Print out your own dream home

The Daily Telegraph - Property - - Front Page -

stan­dard pre-fab homes of the post-war pe­riod.

But there is an in­creas­ing num­ber of com­pa­nies that al­low you to dream up a brand new home to your ex­act spec­i­fi­ca­tions, which is then cut out by a com­puter and as­sem­bled in a mat­ter of weeks with the pre­ci­sion of a Swiss watch. Anya and Robin Nut­tall turned to Facit Homes to build a roomy house with a pool in the base­ment and more room for their grow­ing fam­ily.

Mov­ing en­tailed a hefty stamp duty bill, so they had ini­tially planned just to add an ex­ten­sion, be­fore re­al­is­ing they could cre­ate some­thing re­ally spe­cial by knock­ing down their home in High­gate, north Lon­don, and build­ing on the land. It had the added bonus of be­ing free from VAT, as the house was built from scratch rather than re­fur­bished. As fans of shows such as Grand De­signs it had been a “the­o­ret­i­cal dream for years” for Anya, a con­sul­tant at a nearby hos­pi­tal, and Robin, a man­age­ment con­sul­tant. “We don’t do any DIY; we barely even change light bulbs most of the time,” says Anya.

Af­ter talk­ing through ideas, Facit came up with a 3D model of their dream home: a big mod­ern house with Ed­war­dian hints. The ar­chi­tect added in mod­ern touches, such as a new take on bay win­dows, so it could bet­ter blend into the con­ser­va­tion area it sits in, and more eas­ily win plan­ning per­mis­sion.

Unusu­ally, the com­pany takes the project through the de­sign stage and then builds it, guar­an­tee­ing its cost as well, mean­ing no out-of-con­trol bud­gets. “Hav­ing one com­pany that sees it through to com­ple­tion means the prod­uct at the end is how it is meant to be, rather than an in­ter­pre­ta­tion of it,” says Rhys Den­bigh, head of new busi­ness at Facit. Af­ter the Nut­talls’ project sailed through plan­ning, work started on dig­ging out the base­ment. When it was ready, Facit brought its patented mini- fac­tory to the house, set­ting up its ver­sion of a large printer in the gar­den that would cut wood into sec­tions, each one la­belled with its lo­ca­tion on the model.

Th­ese were then slot­ted to­gether to make the skele­ton and the walls of the house, a process that Anya com­pares to putting to­gether a house made of Lego.

Anya and Robin’s High­gate home, built in weeks by a por­ta­ble ma­chine by Facit, has open-plan rooms and huge amounts of liv­ing space

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