This Hanse Haus home would have cost 12-15% more to get a similar build quality with a traditional build method

Simon Reeves - Oxshott


Simon Reeves, has built a few properties in his time, the latest of which is an ultra-efficient, stunning family home in Oxshott, Surrey.


“I’ve built houses in places like Camberwell, and Wimbledon, and decided to build this particular one when I found a nice, unused piece of land that used to be part of a bigger plot. I bought the site at auction; it’s in a great location with good access to London by rail.


The last two properties I built had Structural Insulated Panels (SIPS) but when I received a flyer through the door from Hanse Haus I realised that previous builds were nowhere near as efficient as the Hanse Haus specification. When it comes to premanufactured builds, I really believe that the Germans know what they’re doing, and I did look at other German manufacturers but Hanse Haus had the edge, as unlike others, they were willing to build the house that I wanted, not what they wanted. The price was also very competitive, so in the end, it was an easy decision.


In terms of design, the potential of the site has been maximised to produce an attractive and comfortable family home.


It wasn’t all straight forward at the planning stage though. The plot was home to a large tree subject to a Tree Preservation Order which restricted works within a certain distance of it. Obviously this posed quite a challenge from a planning perspective but the Hanse Haus recommended design and planning consultancy ( were able to suggest some alternatives to overcome the issue”, says Simon.

Instead of a large drive with turning, MJS Design specified a turntable which allowed cars to enter and leave the site in a forward gear in line with the Government's Manuel for Streets document.

In addition to this, a foundation design was progressed which cantilevered the front corner of the building to prevent digging in the root zone. As it was, the tree was at the end of its life and eventually the Council relented and agreed it could come down. The house has what is known as a floating foundation, which was built by Abbey Pynford, who have been around since 1988. They have a proprietary system called ‘House Deck’. This consists of a series of piles supporting a floating concrete slab, which guarantees the house to remain fixed in the event of ground movement due to the expansion or shrinkage of clay. ”


“Given the tight tolerances which Hanse Haus specify for the concrete slab, everything went like clockwork. At the end of July 2017, with the foundations complete, Hanse Haus swept in and started work.


By the end of the first day the roof was on and the house was weather and watertight. The crew were incredibly efficient and I had complete faith in the site manager from Germany who has built over 250 houses. The experience was evident; if there was any kind of problem, the whole team would gather round and find a solution. Everything went like clockwork and by 7th November, the build was finished. The internal fit out took 3 months to complete and by the end of October 2017 the entire house was complete. It was all so efficient and the build quality, and the house as a whole has surpassed my expectations. It’s exceptionally airtight (scoring 0.61 on the air blower test), is really warm and very very quiet inside with no road noise whatsoever. This level of airtightness should ensure minimal energy costs of £400/year.


For me, it would be incredibly hard to go back to traditional builds after experiencing this. I’m so happy with it; Hanse Haus have done a fantastic job and especially pleasing is the fact that not only was the house completed exactly as per the contract - and not a penny more - but, according to local estate agents, it also attracts a 12 – 15% higher selling price due to it’s superior build quality”, says Simon.


This property is currently for sale by Curchods in Cobham, Surrey.





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