Rome wasn’t built in a day... but our 3-bed detached house was!
The amazing f lat-pack dwellings that take just 15 hours to assemble... and can cost only £120k
IN the morning, there is nothing but an empty plot of land.
But on the same spot, only a few hours later, an impressive three-bedroom family home has appeared.
The lightning-quick construction is the work of a Scots firm selling homes that can be built in a day.
Prefabricated wooden sections, built in a factory on Skye, are transported to building sites all over Scotland on the back of a lorry.
By the end of the day, the walls, windows and roof are installed, creating a windproof, watertight home in a remarkably short time.
Geoff and Diana Calvert left Oxfordshire after 27 years to spend their retirement in Scarista on the Isle of Harris.
Having ordered their home from builder R. Houses the couple, both in their sixties, watched it take shape between dawn and dusk.
Mr Calvert, who photographed the entire process, said: ‘From seeing the first panels go up at 5.30am, until the main structure was completed at 8.30pm, it was a momentous day for us.
‘It was the culmination of four years’ planning and something that we had never even dreamed of before that time.’
R.Houses, based in Portree, is a collaboration between architect Alan Dickson and builder James MacQueen.
The two men wanted to find a solution to the frequent delays to construction projects caused by the unpredictable Scottish weather while also offering quality design.
Mr MacQueen said: ‘The idea was we would concentrate on building as much of the work as possible in the factory. We can’t predict the weather, so we designed the houses to be finished from the outside in.’
Although they are built in a day, the buildings are designed to withstand the harshest Highland weather, and last for 60 years.
Prices range from £120,405 to £252,990, depending on the number of bedrooms, which varies from one to four. The cost includes a choice of kitchens and bathrooms from the company’s suppliers.
Clients can also choose individualised internal layouts and additional spaces and upgrades, such as a porch or a wood-burning stove.
For the Calverts, who run a craft business creating hand-made leather goods, while the structure of their home was completed in only a few hours, it took four months before they could move into their three-bedroom R.House.
The delay was caused by a wait for finishing touches and the upgrades the couple had
requested to the roof, kitchen and bathrooms.
Mr Calvert said: ‘Although it was 16 weeks before the internal work was completed and we could move in, we have neither regretted moving to Harris nor selecting R. House to build our new home.’
The company offers a complete ‘turn-key’ service, taking care of everything that goes into building the house: the planning permission application, building warrant process, ground works, and access and utility connections. Would-be home-owners only have to provide the land.
R.Houses claims to offer a simple, traditional design, available in many colours to match the aesthetic of rural landscapes .
The properties are built from larch cladding grown on the Black Isle and are fitted with Norwegian double-glazed windows and doors.
The speed with which the homes are erected in one day is down to the preparation on each site beforehand.
Mrs Calvert said: ‘You can have a metal roof which would have gone up very quickly but we decided to have slates.
‘We also had it decorated throughout, so at the end of the process we literally turned the key, walked in and it was all done. It was magic.’ Now the idea appears to be catching on in their island community.
Mr Calvert said: ‘Someone else we know built two R.Houses – one for them to live in and one to rent out as a holiday cottage.’
An R.House spokesman said: ‘People come to us with an idea, wondering if they can actually have a new design-led home within their budget.
‘Explaining to people that what they would like is indeed possible is so exciting. We take them right the way through to the end when their house is handed over to them, which is a lovely experience.’
THE GREAT OUTDOORS: Diana and Geoff Calvert have swapped a life in Oxfordshire for retirement at their new home in Scarista on the Isle of Harris
HOME COMFORTS: The living room is heated by a wood-burning stove
ALL IN A DAY’S WORK: The Calverts kept a photographic record of the construction of their new home. The process began with preparation of the site (No1). The house components arrived on the back of a lorry on the eve of construction, then the next day the structure began to take shape. By the end of the day, the shell was wind and watertight. The completely finished building is shown below