We now have exactly the home we wanted ... and at the right price

Chris & Nicola Day - Cannington, Somerset

“Having previously restored an old property, we were well aware of the work involved and the limitations of building with bricks and mortar so when we decided to build our new farmhouse, we went for a timber frame.  We had the planning in place and drawings from our architect before we went to a self-build show and came across Hanse Haus.  We were instantly impressed with their efficiency and commitment to quality and after a trip to Germany, where we saw the high standards of the manufacturing process, we easily made the decision to build a Hanse Haus.
Only 4 months after putting in our order, our house arrived in 3 arctic lorries from Germany.  By the end of day two, the roof was on making it weather-proof and an astonishing 4 weeks and 6 days later, the remarkably efficient and concise construction team had completed the entire house.  From start to finish, it was an incredibly smooth operation with a ‘nothing is too much trouble attitude’ and we now have exactly the home we wanted…and at the right price too”.  Nicola Day.


Chris and Nicola Day’s house is located on their farm in Cannington, Somerset.  It was the very first Hanse Haus to be built in the UK and led the way for many more to follow.  Largely modern in design but with some traditional features, the 4 bedroom property provides approximately 200 sqm of living space. With a busy life on the farm, the functionality of the house was of primary importance for Chris and Nicola.  “We wanted a house which would fit in with the local area but it also needed to be practical to our needs.  With lots of restrictions in the Sedgemoor planning department, our architect pleased everyone when he came up with the final drawings. We’re more than happy with what we’ve got, but, in hindsight, and having been to the Hanse Haus visitor centre in Germany, we might have challenged the planning restrictions and looked at a bespoke Hanse Haus design.  As well as building something a little different to the norm in UK terms, Hanse Haus architects maximise use of space by incorporating fully waterproof basements, for example”, says Chris Day.


A sweeping entrance drive leads past the farm buildings and up to the house, which is built on a concrete foundation slab, constructed by a local builder.  The house has a timber frame and hardwood windows. Exterior walls are 255 mm thick and outside, are finished in a textured yellow render. The windows and patio doors are triple thermal glazed and are PVC foiled.  The outside colour is dark oak and the inside is white. The roof is a saddleback, purlin roof and is covered with tiles.


On the ground floor there is an entrance porch and utility area, as well as a wet room with separate entrance, large kitchen/diner, separate dining room, spacious hall/reception area and living room.  There is also internal access, leading off from the hall, into a double garage.  The groundfloor hall, kitchen, bathroom, utility room, storage room, shower rooms and downstairs cloakroom are fitted with ceramic floor tiles.  Carpets as selected from the Hanse Haus sample range, are in all other rooms. Upstairs is a large master bedroom with en-suite bathroom, a second large bedroom, also en-suite and two further bedrooms as well as a family bathroom.  The four bedrooms each incorporate large windows with dramatic views at every angle across the Sedgemoor district. There is also an open-plan and spacious landing, which is set off by elegant wooden banisters. The staircase is made from solid Oak or Beech wood, including mortice and tenon steps with risers, and a banister with straight balusters as well as an inner handrail. Upstairs has carpets throughout, with ceramic tiles in the bathrooms.  The entire house benefits from under-floor heating. The house also boasts the Hanse Haus solid wall system, which combines the advantages of a timber frame and solid wall construction.  “The walls have a stud every 300mm and they are completely glued on both sides with OSB boards. That makes them loadbearing and the fixing of wall units, including heavy kitchen units for example, is possible everywhere“, says Hanse Haus architect, Bianca Keil.




An air to water boiler provides heat and domestic hot water which is stored in a buffer tank.  There is no need for any gas or oil.  With under floor heating as fuelled by the Air to Water boiler, the ambient room temperature can be around 2°C lower than with radiator heating, which whilst keeping you warm, also means 8 to 10 % less heating costs.


Initially, Chris and Nicola planned to use the onsite borehole for water but when they discovered it needed a treatment plant, they opted for mains water.


The house boasts a controlled air ventilation system, which means that humid and odorous air is extracted from rooms such as the kitchen, bathroom and toilet through a short, central duct and fed outdoors.  The required supply of fresh air is then provided by decentralised outside air openings known as fresh-valves.  The many benefits of the controlled air ventilation system include the following:

  • High levels of humidity and the resultant problems such as the build up of mould on walls in living areas and bathrooms are prevented.
  • By defining the air exchange rate, you can automatically control the warm-air heating needs, leading to a reduction in heating energy requirements.
  • The regulated room ventilation increases a sense of wellbeing as the room air hygiene is guaranteed.


Walls, ceilings and roofs are insulated with a GLASSWOOL product, which is produced with 90% natural mineral raw materials, like for example, sand and more than 50% recycled glass. The GLASSWOOL product recently gained recognition as an environmental product due to it’s high content of waste glass and also gained a quality control mark to confirm that it’s harmless to health.  What’s more, the type of insulation ensures low heating demand in the house. 


Only the roof rafters and the battens were impregnated with BOR salt to protect the wood against humidity, otherwise, no wood preservation was used and all materials are chemical-free.

Energy Efficient

Consisting of a timber frame, and given that wood has the lowest energy consumption and the lowest CO2 emission of any commonly used building material, Chris and Nicola’s house can be described as energy efficient.  Added to this, the short construction time on-site meant that there was minimal disturbance on the surrounding environment.  What’s more, the entire house can also be rebuilt and recycled!

So, what’s the house like to live in?

“The house feels really solid, yet it’s very light and airy and with such lovely views, it’s certainly a pleasure to live in”, says Nicola Day.  “Compared to our old house, it’s also been noticably warmer through the winter months and although we haven’t had any utility bills yet, we’re certainly hoping that they won’t be too high“.




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