Case Study of the Month - December
An Alternative Route to Finding a Building Plot

Location: Cambridgeshire
Land Cost: £275,000
Build Cost: £750,000 estimated
Current Value: Unknown

When Pas Ruggiero and his wife Aylar were sat in a traffic jam, Pas decided he would take a chance and divert cross country. It was then that the couple, purely by luck stumbled on a for sale sign on a building plot in a village 20 miles from Cambridge.

The couple had, in their own words been ‘half-heartedly‘looking for a building plot, searching online and making a number of site visits. All in all they had looked at over 70 plots, but as Pas says “you instinctively know if a plot is the one you want, just by looking.”

The couple knew it was the perfect plot for them, so much so that they contacted the owners who had moved up to the North of England and agreed to the purchase within a day!

The 3/4 acre plot cost £275,000 and had a chequered history of failed planning applications, it had once had a dilapidated thatched cottage on it and the local planners really wanted to see something similar built on it.

Pas Exterior

Pas and Aylar had been aware of Potton for around 30 years, they knew the company had a good reputation and Potton show houses were very close to where they lived. They visited the show centre, factory and attended a number of Self Build Academy seminars. “The courses gave me a very good insight into what might be possible” said Pas.

Pas has had a company since the early eighties that specialises in telecommunications and IT, but has little experience in building which is why he opted to use one of Potton’s approved  project managers.

They decided that they would build a Potton barn with a traditional external appearance and incorporate a modern/contemporary interior so they chose the 'Shalford' from Potton’s Ideas book.

Their dream was to have a home with open plan living design so they would be able to make the most of the great plot they had found and they liked the large windows and space that the barn gave them.



Pas Interior 2

Pas Interior

Once planning had been approved, and foundations for the Shalford were complete the couple decided to visit a self build exhibition to look at eco products.

It was there that they were very taken with a contemporary house design with lots of glass and outdoor entertaining space which they thought would make the most of their plot.  Pas and Aylar decided to go in for planning for a new contemporary design which would fit the slab already on site.

Ruggerio Night Shot

Model Projects prepared a 3D version of the house design and it was submitted to the planners. The house met all of the conditions laid down by the committee and therefore received unanimous approval.

Pas then had a number of design and specification meetings with Potton and decided to utilise the Kingspan TEK® SIPs system (Structural Insulated Panels) Potton were able to engineer it to sit on the existing foundations originally intended for the barn.

As the couple were renting a house in the same village there were not many days when either one of them would not visit the site to view progress, meet with the project manager or discuss ideas with contractors “the Potton recommended contractors were excellent” says Pas.

“We found that the support from the project manager was excellent, he was regularly available for site visits and always on the phone if we needed him, his support made me braver with my decisions” says Pas.

“Overall the house has turned out exactly as we wanted, and despite some delays with the glass the build went really well”.

Pas Interior 3

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