About the project | Self Build Project
ARCHITECT: Scott Fairley – BDA
CLIENT & PROJECT MANAGER: Self Builder
PROJECT TYPE: Self Build
PRODUCTS: 142mm SIP Walls, 172mm SIP Roof
The SIP Self Build Project begins. When Dave Rush moved into a 1930’s three-bed detached house with his family, he had plans to increase the size of his home by 150 per cent by adding an extension. But the further he got into the project, the more he felt as if there were too many compromises, particularly around temperature control with trying to mix old and new.
After watching numerous home-building and renovating programmes, he was inspired to demolish his existing home and embark on a four-bed new-built family home on which there would be no compromise.
He decided early on that bricks and mortar wouldn’t deliver the home of his dreams and didn’t want to go whacky with hay bales. So a lot of desk research and a few visits to home-building shows led him to SIPS.
He said: “As a construction method, it is commonplace in the US. I spoke to Chris at one of the shows, and with the backing of Kingspan, it felt like a very safe choice for a new build. A quantity surveyor friend and I visited the SIP Build site and had a tour of the Kingspan facility to see what was involved, from drawings to completion and were impressed by the professionalism and experience of the SIP Build team.”
The original house was demolished in January 2016, groundworks started in February, and the structure was watertight by the first week of May. The family moved into their new home in December 2016.
The SIP Self Build Project is a spacious four double-bedroom detached home. “I wanted to create a feeling of space. So it’s got a wide hallway from which you’ve got a long-distance view through living space to the bottom of the garden,” said Dave.
The combined living area has a galleried landing giving a feeling of height and space, and two of the bedrooms have vaulted ceilings, one of which leads up to a mezzanine floor which takes up a third of the loft space. The vaulted primary bedroom includes a dressing room and en-suite. The ground floor has an integral garage and plant room, a cinema room, a shoe and coat cupboard, a utility room and a pantry.
“The house works; when people come round, they love the way it flows and the feeling of light and space we’ve created,” said Dave.
SIPs contributed to the project’s success by delivering a ‘super-efficient’ home with precise, off-site manufacture that provided a watertight structure within six weeks. It also enabled Dave to pre-order windows and doors because he was confident the final measurements would be accurate, which reduced the build time.
Temperature control was another important feature in the design of the house. Underfloor heating was fitted downstairs and in the tiled bathroom floors upstairs, and a mechanical ventilation and heat recovery system were installed to extract warm air, deliver fresh air to the structure, and regulate the temperature throughout the house. As a result, Dave said: “The house is consistent. You’re not walking into one part of the house and thinking it is chilly; even if you open and close outside doors, it is consistent.”
Dave was so confident in the ability of SIPs to deliver the thermal qualities he required that he didn’t install any additional heating upstairs, which also increased the internal useable space.
And nine south-facing solar panels provide energy and significant cost savings. During their first winter in the house, the family didn’t require any additional upstairs heating and utility bills were reduced by around 70 per cent in comparison to the costs for the original 1930s house, which was just 40 per cent of the size of the new-build.
Dave Rush said: “I would wholeheartedly recommend Chris and the SIP Build team, and I have done. If I were building another house, they would be my first port of call. I needed it to be right because it was my home, and there was a vibe that built up throughout the build from Chris and his team in the office and the guys on site. They were all good people, really genuine, and couldn’t do enough to help. My wife was happy it was such a nice bunch of guys doing the build as well.”