Insight

Concrete Staircases

Our Materials Manager, Dan looks at the growing popularity of concrete staircases. For more than 20 years we have, as standard, supplied concrete upper floors with solid walls throughout to our clients. The feedback from our clients is that their new homes are extremely quiet and have that unmistakable feel you only get with a

Choosing the right people

Our Regional Architect, Mike Morris discusses the importance of choosing the right people to help you with your project When building your own home you will need the help of a range of industry experts. Typically this will include architect/designer, land surveyor, structural engineer, energy consultant and builder. Depending on your plot you may also need a soil investigation,

Choosing your windows

Our Designer Beverley discusses the importance of choosing the right windows for your design Along with roof and external wall finishes, the choice of windows is an important decision for those building their own home. If you are building a period design for example Georgian, that decision is probably made for you as all-bar sliding sash windows (see top image opposite) are the natural choice. For contemporary / modern designs the most popular choice is aluminium, either all aluminium or composite

Glazing options

Our Materials Manager, Dan looks at the options for glazing your new home When building your own home your choice of windows and patios is one of the key decisions you will make. There are so many types and styles to choose from but you also have options for the glazing itself. Single glazing was replaced many years ago by double glazed units which are now the most popular type of glazing. There is also the option of triple glazing but that is quite expensive and usually only specified in conjunction with Passive Principl

Finding the right builder

Our Project Coordinator Ian talks about how you go about finding a suitable builder Finding the right builder to construct your new home is no easy task. You naturally want a reliable builder with a proven track record who can provide the quality you are seeking to achieve. However, not surprisingly, good builders are usually in demand and conversely unreliable builders are the ones scratching around for work. There are three main aspects to building a new home; quality, price and speed of construction.

Knowing the planning rules

Our Designer Beverley talks about the need to fully understand planning policies “If you think you have found a potential building plot or an old property to demolish and replace you need to be aware of national and local planning policies. National Policy is fixed but Local Policy varies and it’s risky to make assumptions about what you can build or indeed if you can build”,

Masonry still first choice

Our Materials Manager Dan examines the popularity of modern masonry construction Hi I’m Dan, Materials Manager at Design & Materials since 1986. Over the years I’ve seen some important developments in masonry products. The two that, in my view, have had most impact on the end-user are solid upper floors (allowing solid walls throughout) and modern airtight, high-performance cavity insulation. Our clients tell us their new homes have that unmistakable ‘feel’ of quietness, comfort and permanence you only get with a solid structure.

People on the move

Our Project Coordinator Ian considers why so many are looking to 2016 to start their build Hello I’m Ian Watson, Project Coordinator at Design & Materials for 20 years. There are many individuals who obtain planning permission but, for a variety of reasons, delay the build. Recently I have received a significant number of enquiries from such individuals looking to get their project moving again. Perhaps an indication that people feel 2016 is a good time to build.

Current design trends

Our Materials Manager Dan examines the popularity of modern masonry construction Head of Design Beverley looks at current trends in house design Hello I’m Beverley Pemberton, Head of Design at Design & Materials. When I’m designing a bespoke home for new clients my objective is to marry together all the relevant factors; the clients’ aspirations and pattern of living, the plot, the planning criteria, surrounding buildings and last but not least the budget. So as you would expect every project is unique to each individual client.
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