A familiar plot becomes a forever home
Having lived in the Somerset village of West Camel for over 50 years, Graham and Frieda Garrett knew exactly where they wanted to build their cosy and efficient forever home.
Solution: Tailor-made heating system combining screed underfloor heating on the ground floor and ClippaPlate™ underfloor heating upstairs, all powered by an air source heat pump, with hot water supplied by two solar thermal panels.
A long-held connection
Graham and Frieda had always dreamed of building their own home, and when the opportunity arose for them to build on the paddock opposite their former family home in West Camel, they jumped at the chance. Not put off by the fact that there was no mains gas connection to the site, they saw this as the perfect opportunity to combine underfloor heating with renewable technology in their new home – the most efficient combination available.
After a series of conversations with their local Parish Council, Graham and Frieda learned they might have a better chance of obtaining planning permission if the plot also offered a community benefit. Working with the local Parish Council and the owner of the adjacent paddock, an application was placed for an eleven plot community housing project across the two sites (six on Graham and Frieda’s land, the other five on the adjoining paddock). The application fulfilled an identified need for smaller homes that would enable local people to be able to purchase their own home or downsize within the village.
Frieda explains: “We love that the scheme will help people who have lived in West Camel to be able to stay here – whether downsizing in retirement, or bringing up their families in the same village where they spent their own childhoods. Our daughter and son-in-law are taking one of the plots, and we’re really looking forward to having them nearby.”
Efficiency and expertise
Whilst planning permission was being obtained for the paddock, Graham and Frieda researched suppliers and technologies to make sure their timber-frame home – later known as Pippinfields – would be both stylish and efficient. They knew that they wanted to incorporate both underfloor heating and renewable technology with their hard flooring, so after spotting Nu-Heat’s advert in a magazine, they went to meet the team at a self-build show in 2015. Not long after, the couple visited Nu-Heat’s offices to discuss their plans and discover suitable solutions for their future home.
The result was a bespoke heating design incorporating screed underfloor heating on the ground floor, and specialist ClippaPlate™ underfloor heating upstairs, zoned for individual room-by-room temperature control and designed to work perfectly with their choice of floor coverings. ClippaPlate™ is ideal for timber-framed properties like Pippinfields, as it can be fitted either between the joists (before the ceiling is up) or over the flooring joists (before the floor deck is laid).
Graham and Frieda’s home is made even more efficient thanks to an air source heat pump which powers the underfloor heating – making it up to 40% more efficient than an equivalent radiator system – and solar thermal panels which provide hot water.
“We love the difference that having underfloor heating, an air source heat pump and solar thermal has made to our comfort and our energy bills,” says Frieda.
“It’s definitely a far cheaper off-grid option than the oil and logs we needed to buy for our old property – and we will receive around £1,000 back from the Government’s RHI scheme each year.”
A family affair
Graham and Frieda’s son-in-law and future neighbour, Richard, works as a plumber in the village. Despite never having fitted underfloor heating before, he was determined to help out, and so attended Nu-Heat’s underfloor heating training course to learn how the systems work and how they are fitted.
Richard found the training course really helpful, and was surprised at how straightforward the underfloor heating was to install.
“The training course was brilliant!” says Richard. “It was a cracking day, and nice to have a go at installing some product and to ask questions as I went along. It was really useful.”
“I found it a lot easier to fit the underfloor heating than radiators. It took just a couple of days for me to fit the underfloor on both floor levels at Pippinfields. The end result is so much better – there are no radiators to spoil the look of the home or pipework on show.”
A cosy bolthole
Finished just in time for Christmas 2017, Graham and Frieda are delighted with their new home.
Frieda explains: “We are thrilled to bits with our house – we can’t believe our luck!
“The house stays so snug with the underfloor heating that we were still only using a 2.5 tog duvet in the middle of winter, and thanks to the solar thermal panels we always have lots of hot water and haven’t had to switch on the immersion heater once.”
“People love coming in and taking their shoes off because it’s lovely underfoot. Our little grandson refuses to keep his slippers on when he comes to visit!”
Outstanding service from start to finish
“From the original discussions to the final job Nu-Heat have been outstanding in their service,” says Graham.
“We would certainly use them again and have already recommended them to several people. They were brilliant right from the start; so professional and helpful, and everything was available just when we needed it. We can’t fault them at all.”
Tailor-made solutions for all properties
Whatever the age, size or construction of your home, chances are it’s suitable for underfloor heating. Whether you’re plotting an extension, tackling a new build or giving your existing home a complete overhaul, Nu-Heat will design your underfloor heating to be the perfect fit.