When seasoned self-builder Jason Orme began work on his forever home, he knew that a ‘fabric first’ approach was the only route to take. Opting to invest in high quality materials for the building’s structure, Jason and his wife Sarah have created a durable family home that will stand the test of time.
As Editorial Director of Future Plc, the publishing house behind Homebuilding and Renovating magazine, and with a string of successful projects already under his belt, Jason is well versed in the challenges and rewards of building your own home.
The project itself is an ambitious remodel of a 1960s brick property, set in a leafy part of rural Staffordshire. With the addition of a light filled stairwell atrium, a large extension and a versatile open-plan family space that includes kitchen, dining and living areas, the finished home is a far cry from its original dark interior. Externally, the classic red brickwork and attractive wood cladding has already started to weather and age beautifully – so that despite its striking modern façade, the building blends perfectly with its picturesque surroundings.
With two young children, the Orme family intends to put down some roots with this latest project, so it was even more important to get the specifications just right. Crucially, having tried and tested many products in his time, Jason has learned through hard experience that investing in the actual fabric of the building is the only way to ensure the property will meet the family’s needs – both now and in the future.
Jason chose to upgrade the plasterboard specification to British Gypsum’s super strong Gyproc Habito.
“When you’re building or renovating a house it’s natural that you want to concentrate on the finishing items, such as the kitchen or the lighting – and while these things are certainly important, the structural materials are just as important,” commented Jason.
“The plasterboard finish is really key to the long-term performance of the house, in my opinion. That’s why taking a fabric first approach was critical to us, as the basic structural elements are not something you can change later on. It’s an area I often see people fall down on and is a mistake we’ve made in the past ourselves. We’re investing our life savings into this project, so we wanted to make sure we got it right this time.”
Gyproc Habito plasterboard was used to construct the internal partitioning throughout the new and extended sections of the property, which include the kitchen and utility room, the stairwell atrium, the eldest child’s bedroom and the dressing area and en suite bathroom of the master suite.
Capable of supporting up to 15kg with a single no. 10 woodscrew, installing cabinetry and shelving throughout the suite was no problem, as was hanging the family’s extensive collection of artwork and framed prints.
The finished property is a stylish and airy space, that fuses contemporary design with subtle nods to the building’s mid-century heritage. The versatile layout provides plenty of opportunities for family time, with the two youngest members of the Orme family free to run around their spacious new home, without any worries about their boisterous play damaging the pristine walls.
As Jason explains: “The main attraction was Gyproc Habito’s flexibility and durability. It’s a bit more expensive to put in now but actually it’s worth it, because it means we won’t have any problems with holes in the walls further down the line. The kids can bash into it without causing any dents and it gives us the design flexibility to place pictures where we want, without having to worry about finding battens to hang them from.
“It’s given us a long-term solution for a long-term home. Products like Gyproc Habito make a house special and high quality, so I would absolutely recommend it for people who are interested in building a long-standing home that will last a lifetime for their family.”