Case Study of the Month - December
Twice as nice

Location: Somerset
Land Cost: Already Owned
Build Cost: £350,000
Current Value: £500,000

The project began in 2005, when Jean Bird decided to retire from the holiday letting business she owned, and to use the land occupied by the holiday lodges as the location for a retirement dwelling to be built to her own requirements.   

"This was the most logical site as the timber holiday lodges were built under a periodic planning license which was due for renewal" explains Jean.

This coincided with her sister and her husband moving down to Somerset from London to find a quieter place to live. As their search for a suitable property proved fruitless, they decided that they would also like to have a custom built property. 

So, one property now became two!


The couple comissioned an architect to apply for outline planning consent for two properties which was approved in 2005. However Jean soon realised that the preliminary designs would not meet her needs and decided to go back to the drawing board. "Fortunately Geoff has a background in construction and civil engineering, so i had the benefit of an in-house designer with surveying skills!"

Having gained the necessary consents, Geoff and Jean made enquiries to Kingspan in early 2009. However they received no reply for some time and eventually a reply was received from Potton. "This was our introduction to Potton, and it proved to be a turning point."

The couple travelled up to the Potton office to discuss their plans and whilst there they also visited the Show Homes and had a tour of the Potton factory.

As the properties had already been designed and had Planning and Building Regulations Approval, there was not any real need for involvement by Potton’s Design Team. The only exception was the valued advice from Kevin Hopton in respect of the selection of the most energy efficient heat sources. This would allow for the best possible value to be achieved for the SAPs Calculations.



Read the full feature on Geoff and Jean in the January issue of Selfbuild & Design Magazine - coming soon!Small Orange Logo Jpeg

Pope And Bird Quote

We had decided at the beginning of the project that the general building work wouldbe undertaken by a local builder, and that the foundations, ground works and external drainage would be done by a local civil engineering contractor.  
The former had previously worked for many years for Jean on her holiday buildings, whilst the ground worker had worked for Geoff.

There were initial delays in construction due to the wet weather in the winter of 2009/2010 but by Spring and early Summer of 2010 the foundations were in and the SIPs panels were installed on the prepared bases by Potton’s Structural Frame Erectors, who did a very good job despite some appalling wet weather.   

During this phase, Potton’s Contracts Manager visited the site regularly.

The windows and doors were delivered to site and were installed by Potton’s window installers who again did a very good job even though the weather was unkind.

"From this time, we have gradually completed the building work for both plots and, at the present time, both properties are complete, with one being occupied."


Unfortunately, shortly after the contract with Potton was signed, Jean's sister died and, just before their property was due to be completed, her husband, Tony King also died. The latter bereavement led to a delay in the completion of their property.

Having now lived there for two years, Jean and Geoff have been impressed with the energy costs of their new home. Despite the project being tinged with personal sadness, the project has been an outstanding sucess, something that is clearly visible in the attention to detail both inside and out.



As featured in SelfBuild & Design...

Read the full feature in the January issue of SelfBuild & Design Magazine, coming soon!

Jan Issue Scan