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WELCOME TO THE WINTER 2015 ISSUE OF YOUR BUILD
Planning your self-build or renovation project can be a daunting prospect - where do you start? It's an exciting time, but it can also be tinged with trepidation. On a self-build you have the chance to build your perfect home, one that can work for you and your partner or family for years to come. The advice is always to get the foundations and structure right first time, and this is undoubtedly the case. Insulation, weatherproofing and glazing are all vital aspects of the project, but in this issue we also take a look at some of the technological advancements that can offer increased peace of mind and bring a stunning finish to your project, as well as look at how simple design and planning at the right time will offer better results. In his article on p.28, Neil Stevenson of NEJ Stevenson outlines what he feels is the difference between good design and great design. As Neil explains: "Naturally homeowners do often tend to focus first and foremost on the look and decoration of the room and leave more practical elements of design to a later stage. When they reach this point, however, the self-builder will realise that, for example, a mirror could be hung where a wardrobe should be, expensive tiling should be pulled back to make way for a fridge and there is nowhere to store unsightly cleaning products." It's a good point, and highlights perfectly the importance of preparation, planning and the requirement for monitoring at every stage of the process in case changes are needed.
This idea is echoed by Graeme Smith, senior designer at Second Nature and 1909 Kitchens, in our regular Question & Answers feature. On the issue of when self-builders should start really thinking about the kitchen, Graeme points out: "It's never too early to start thinking about the kitchen. The layout, rather than the style of your kitchen, will determine such things as where services need to be planned and incorporated into the build." But Graeme also has some great views on designs, styles and trends in the kitchen sector so make sure you read his piece on p.26.
Elsewhere in this issue, Crestron's Phillip Pini explains how the growing trend for home automation and the benefits of home technology are enabling self-builders and renovators to create a home that meets their own unique requirements. Read Phillip's article on p.78 to hear how the latest integrated technology systems are designed to blend naturally within the build process and adapt naturally for heating, lighting and entertainment, plus the important issue of access and security.
So read on for all this and much more including finance and insurance advice, electrical safety tips and a guide to the latest landscaping trends.
Enjoy the issue!
Matt Downs, Editor