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Woodlands

Essex

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The opportunity to replace a tired, single storey property on a beautiful plot led to the digital design and build of an efficient modern home.

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Originally part of the open woodland and parkland used as grazing by a nearby estate, the land had been in the family for 5 generations.

When our customers moved into the traditional 1970s brick home on the plot, it was clear from the start (and from the avocado bathrooms and raspberry ripple bathtub) that it would need some changes. The single storey property had a large footprint in order to provide space for 4 bedrooms, but it wasn’t a spacious living arrangement. 

After considering a discreet extension and consulting with a builder in the family, they realised that it would be a waste of time and money because, despite an environmentally friendly extension, the house would still “leak like a sieve at the back”. 

Starting from scratch, our customers decided to replace the building, reduce the size of the footprint on the site and get better operational efficiency from a new eco home. Adding another floor also meant they could make the most of glorious first floor views over the surrounding woodland.


"The design process was really good, we spent a lot of time discussing the spaces and how they would fit with our lifestyle. I wouldn’t change anything."
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After consulting with 3 architects, a design and build company that could do it all started to make more sense for our customers, reducing the stress of the project and offering the benefit of fixed prices.

 

Remembering Facit Homes from a self-build exhibition stand, they liked the style of our previous projects, our end-to-end service and, perhaps most importantly, our cost per m2.  

 

After appointing us to design and build their forever home, our 3D design walkthrough helped them to make the right decisions early on in their project.

Initially dreaming of a veranda for the outside of their home, they decided it would prevent light reaching the ground floor interiors. Instead, the large windows and sliding doors make the most of the beautiful garden and views down to the woodland and allow the natural light to flood the interiors. 

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The open plan interiors are designed for entertaining and the spaces can be opened up or shut down accordingly, with a sliding door to a separate snug. The dining area was carefully positioned so that the kitchen is not visible from the table, so that the pots and pans are hidden from guests' eyes. The light, flow and functionality is a great plus and as it’s a modern house, there are far fewer spiders!

Our customers were also interested in future-proofing the home. Intelligently placed storage rooms were designed into the scheme. Two rooms of the same size are located directly above one another near the staircase so that they can be converted to install a lift, if that should be required in the future.  

There was a strong belief that you can never have too much storage, which is why they were focused on internal joinery in their utility room, storage rooms, walk-in wardrobe and entrance hall. After we finished, they also built an external workshop with the same Siberian Larch cladding as the house.

 

A hot and a cold tap outside was another design request for their project. The canine inhabitant can now get a warm bath whatever the weather! 

Another addition after the completion of the house was a fresh water swimming pool in the rear garden, which is full of reeds that naturally cleanse the water.

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Super airtight and insulated, this warm, sustainable new home is easy to maintain.

 

Our customers very rarely use the perimeter heating upstairs but chose to install a log burner for moments when they wanted to warm up quickly after a winter walk (as opposed to turning up the underfloor heating in advance). Once heated, the high performance building envelope keeps the warmth in.

 

The MVHR system means that the house feels fresh and airy even without the windows open. Located in the laundry room, the system extracts enough humidity to allow the quick air drying of laundry - meaning our customers have hardly used their dryer.

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