Susan: “The excitement of moving in.” Richard: “There was a bit of trepidation as well though having lived in the same house for the last 24 years!”

house was up, so why take away all that space,” Richard explains.

The couple worked collaboratively on the design for their house, which was loosely based on Scandia-Hus’ chalet-style timber framed Adelia design. Derek and his team also helped double-check all of the legal compliance issues. With work about to begin onsite in February 2016, Richard and Susan encountered another hitch – they weren’t allowed to completely demolish the barn before commencing. “We couldn’t just pull it down – they had to build around it, which was obviously a challenge,” explains Susan. Some parts of the barn were removed as the new building went up, while others had to remain within the new structure, as per the requirements of the permitted development rights.

Despite starting the build in late winter, the weather surprisingly caused no delays. “We had a mild spring and quite a hot summer so they were able to get the footings in quickly,” says Richard. “The team that put up the timber frame were able to get it done within a few weeks. The weather was always good to us!” The frame was manufactured offsite in Scandia-Hus’ West Sussex factory.

The major construction work didn’t take too long, despite having to build around the pre- existing barn. “The biggest phase really was the inside,” explains Richard. In particular, laying the pipework for the underfloor heating – of which there’s 2.5 km – the tiling and the carpentry for the flooring, internal doors and skirting boards were the biggest and most time-consuming jobs. “I think the tiler spent almost four months here!” Richard says.

One of the elements they found most frustrating was ‘plugging in’ the services – they had to have electricity and water connected, a process they found to be drawn out and expensive. “We had to have the road closed for

may/june 2018

a week to get the electricity onsite,” says Susan. “The pipe for the water runs down the road, and we took the new pipe to it, but to get the two connected was £2,000,” adds Richard. “You have no choice, you have to do it.” The couple decided against connecting to the mains drainage and installed a Klargester septic tank system.

Although they found the build took longer than they originally anticipated, they admit they were in no hurry. In fact, when the build began they didn’t necessarily plan to move into it themselves. “It wasn’t always our intention,” says Susan. “We just thought we’d do it, and then we saw how nice it was!” As they still had their farmhouse next door – which they still own and are currently letting – how long it took wasn’t a huge concern.

The final major piece of construction work was

creating a separate entrance to the house from the road – something Richard and Susan were surprised see the council recommending. “We though it might be quite difficult, but they said the other entrance had poor sitelines,” Susan says. “Overall the site really did lend itself to a separate dwelling.”

Although Scandia-Hus managed the project, the couple kept themselves as involved as possible. “We would come down everyday and see the progress,” says Susan. They were also responsible for ordering in key fixtures such as the sanitaryware. “We had to keep on top of it, otherwise it would hold everything up,” Susan explains. “You can’t afford to make a mistake because that costs everyone time, and also costs us money.”


house boasts a double-height

hallway, with an open timber staircase curving up to the first floor which is situated on the right of the house, due to the sloped roof. Susan 15

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