Glen Cairn was an existing property that required a total refurbishment and substantial extension to convert it into a modern, contemporary home. The clients' brief was to make the home as efficient as possible and to reduce running costs. We achieved this by implementing various designs within the build to make it as sustainable as possible.Triple glazing throughout the house helps to retain heat. A specialised sealing tape and no trickle vents means that the property is as airtight as possible. Insulated plasterboard was used on the external walls to add to the existing cavity insulation and help the house retain heat.The property benefits from a wet under floor heating system which ensures an even heat in each room and is fully controllable from room to room.This, in conjunction with a mechanically ventilated heat recovery unit, keeps the heat in the house distributed evenly. The MVHR unit takes the hot stale air from bathrooms and kitchens, cleans it and then redistributes it throughout the house into the living spaces as warm clean air. The home's main heat source is an Air Source heat pump. This takes the heat out of the outside air and passes it through a heat exchanger which heats the water up in the house for the under floor heating and the showers, baths and sinks. This is topped up with heat from a solar panel which means that the house works very efficiently to produce and retain all the heat it needs.To produce the required contemporary finish, bespoke oak doors, complete oak skirting and architraves and door casings were used. Kahrs oak flooring runs throughout the house set at 45° to give it a twist to the conventional. Sun tubes have been installed in the rooms with no windows to allow natural light to pour through.For the external finishing, a combination of Cedar cladding and silica based render were used to perfectly compliment the large areas of glazing and maintain the contemporary feel. Extensive landscaping has been carried out, including a 40m gabion wall, underground Air Source heat pump store, Petanque court, a hidden garden and a teared garden area leading to the sea.
This cottage is situated in the heart of the narrow streets of Peel, on the Isle of Man, and had been neglected for over 40 years. When we occupied the site the chimney had collapsed, the roof was shot and the existing extension was all but gone. The aim was to bring the cottage back to life and provide a holiday home for our clients. We installed new floors, a new roof, an extension - everything except the front and back stone walls is new.The roof was lifted to make the ceiling heights on both floors up to the new standards, meaning that every window and door also had to be lifted.A large extension to the rear provides a bathroom and WC along with the stairwell leaving the upstairs as a large open plan living space. The house is upside-down so the bedrooms are on the ground floor and the living is on the 1st floor. A great project and always good to turn a neglected building into one that will be loved once again.Images show before and after of the facade.
This new build property is a concrete block construction with a 200mm cavity which has 150mm rigid insulation, giving it 3 times the current standard. Standard metal wall ties have been replaced by innovative GRP Fibre ties which reduce cold bridging and thermal loss.The property is triple glazed throughout and to further improve efficiency the normal roof insulation is augmented by Tri-iso thermal blanketing, giving incredibly low U-values of around 0.14. The projected U-value of the house will be one of the lowest on the Isle of Man.The main heat source for the house is an Air Source heat pump which is located 30m from the property in a ventilated lean too. Underfloor heating, combined with an air source recirculation system ensures that there is little energy required to heat the home. Due to the air tightness the heat, once produced, is effectively distributed around all the living spaces. Oak door casings, skirting and architraves were used throughout the house, along with solid pre finished walnut doors to add to the high quality required by the client. Oak flooring was used for all the upper floors with the main living accommodation having a natural stone tile floor to give a seamless look throughout the open plan design.Bespoke doors were made for the manifold cupboards as well as a hand made kitchen and utility. Both were covered with granite in keeping with the high quality that went into every detail, in every room.Galvanised guttering and low maintenance facia and soffits were used on the development, as well as natural stone flags to maintain quality. Extensive groundworks were completed on the land in front of the house. The hillside was fully landscaped and gabian walls introduced to open up the views to the sea and glen at the front of the house, so they could be appreciated from every room. Trees were planted on the site to form a woodland area for future generations. Even an orchard on the opposite side of the property was created to provide apples for the client to enjoy.
When we first arrived on site, we were faced with a dilapidated stone cowshed. The plan was to create four exclusive 4-bedroom houses, which gives an idea of the size of the task at hand. To achieve this, every tiny detail needed to be exact and the quality had to show in every part of the build.With projects of this kind, a simple knock down and start again approach is not allowed. Sections of wall had to be taken down and rebuilt before subsequent sections could be continued.This made for a longer process but one that ensured the building looked as much like the original as possible. Some of the walls that were in good enough condition were left standing, for a mixture of old and new. Internally, it was important to have as high a quality finish as possible. Having some exposed stonework combined with the extensive Oak and glass stair balustrade really helped to achieve this.The bathrooms were fully fitted out and tiled. Under floor heating was installed on every floor to give a more efficient way of heating the rooms, which meant that there was no wasted wall space, unlike using radiators. The heating comes from a ground source heat pump which feeds all four properties. This was due to be fitted under the driveway to get more heat in summer and in winter heat the road to prevent frost. Unfortunately the driveway was only 75% of the area needed so the ground source had to be located else where. Wind turbines were to be used to provide electricity to the 4 properties but unfortunately planning could not be sought.A new driveway was landscaped, winding up the hill to the plot, to produce an enjoyable entrance to these stunning properties.An old well was found and brought back to life and a steel grate was added for additional safety so that nobody could fall in! With the views over a small lake, cleaned stone work and the grey timber windows this development looks as good from the outside as it does on the inside. Final touches like LED spots in the skirting and stairways add to the high quality finish that properties of this distinction deserve.
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