Coach house conversion


Client: Adrian & Laura Neaves

Architect: Swan Architects

Location: Tamworth

Project: Coach house conversion and new-build annexe

The Project

This self-build project was the transformation of a derelict 19th-century coach house into a multigenerational home.

Adrian and Laura, along with Adrian’s parents, Andrew and Elinor, jointly purchased the dilapidated coach house. They planned to convert the coach house into a three-bedroom family home for Adrian and Laura with an adjoining two-bedroom annexe for Andrew and Elinor.

The project began with demolishing the adjoining barn. Then, in the coach house, a modern timber frame was built within the old brick shell enabling Adrian and Laura to configure the space to their exact needs.

The barn was rebuilt with Durisol ICF to become a large kitchen/diner with a vaulted ceiling, and Durisol was also used to construct the single-storey two-bedroom annexe and the glass walkway connecting the two. The internal wall supporting the cantilever roof section of the glass link is solid concrete using the 300mm uninsulated Durisol block.

The Architect and TV presenter George Clark followed the family’s self-build journey for the TV programme, “George Clarks’ Remarkable Renovations”. The episode featuring the coach house was shown on Channel 4 on 28 July 2021.

The Build

The family chose Durisol ICF for the new build elements as they wanted the flexibility to stagger the project. Initially, a team of local builders undertook the Durisol part of the build, but Adrian took it on himself when the budget began to dwindle. The simplicity of the Durisol build method made this possible, enabling the family to make cost savings while continuing with the build.

They also wanted to sympathetically integrate the new build aspects with the historic coach house. Building with Durisol provides excellent flexibility in terms of the finishes that can be applied to it. The Durisol annexe was finished with cedar wood cladding and the original bricks from the demolished barn to create a stunning and complementary addition to the coach house.

Another critical factor in the family’s decision to use Durisol is its significant thermal mass property, which is already paying dividends in energy efficiency savings. Since project completion in December 2020, Andrew has been measuring and recording the temperature within the annexe and the heat loss against external temperature. His findings show that through the winter when the nighttime external temperature was below zero degrees, the annexe lost on average just 90 watts of heat overnight. The only heat being put in was 3 kilowatts for 30 minutes each morning, yet the internal temperature was comfortable and stable. Over recent months and the warmer weather, the internal temperature has remained consistently stable.

This energy efficiency is predominantly attributable to the Durisol as the only other thermal performance measure within the annexe is the warm roof.

Client Comment

“The Durisol blocks were fantastic to build with and ticked so many boxes for us. I think the whole family laid at least part of the walls, including the kids! It was such a great way to build well-insulated, solid walls that come together really quickly. We highly recommend Durisol.”

George Clark's Remarkable Renovations

George Clark's Remarkable Renovations

George Clark's Remarkable Renovations

George Clark's Remarkable Renovations

Image credit: Dug Wilders