Plan the windows, doors, kitchen and bathroom layouts at an early stage

Do a budget plan and add 20 per cent on to whatever you come to (or 25 even!)

should be mandatory in my opinion,” he says. “Rainwater going off roofs into the ground is a total waste.”

Solar panels supply their electricity, however heating (underfloor downstairs and in the master bedroom, radiators elsewhere) as well as hot water is provided by an oil boiler. In hindsight, Mark now regrets not installing ground source heating, but was put off at the time by the initial upfront cost.

One of the decisions he struggled most with was choosing the windows. “I spent months and months deliberating,” he says. “We just couldn’t decide on the style and manufacturer.” In the end they decided to go with dark grey painted aluminium externally, and wood internally. There had to be a change of plan on his original intent to have three bifold doors, due to cost. It was more cost-effective to have a mix of one bifold, to the dining area, and sliding doors elsewhere.


Upon entering the house, guests are immediately greeted by the oak staircase. To the left is the formal sitting room, featuring a wood burning stove, while behind the staircase is a TV room. A downstairs toilet is to the immediate right of the entrance. Next to that a door leads through to the large open plan kitchen/family room area – another of the family’s key requirements for the design. Utility and garden rooms sit off the kitchen on the right hand side. The downstairs features decorative oak beams, supplied by Border Oak, who had to work collaboratively with Taylor Lane on their installation, along with an oak porch and balcony leading off the master bedroom. Also upstairs are another three bedrooms, all of which (including the master) feature an ensuite wetroom. “It adds cost but it’s worth it,” says Mark. The main bedroom also features a separate dressing area, and the attic has been converted ready to house a fifth bedroom,

Start making contact with local tradespeople as early as possible

Speak to other people who have done it. It makes a big difference if you’ve got a connection or know someone in the trade

november/december 2018

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