The Moorings: love at first sight inspires couple’s ideal home

Case Studies, General

Peter and Maggie Clist first spotted The Moorings as they were walking along a familiar country lane near Oxted. Despite the terrible state of the house, they fell in love with it immediately:

“On every side, we could see green fields, tremendous oak trees, hedges, ditches, woodland and the continuity of farmland and country lanes, along with all the wildlife that brings. We could not believe our luck.”

Although they briefly considered a refurbishment, Peter and Maggie soon realised that the house had too many problems, so they decided to demolish it and build their own replacement.The Moorings: love at first sight inspires couple’s ideal home

The Clists began their project by appointing an Architect, who helped them to create drawings that met their design brief. The couple were keen for their new home to blend in with the local landscape and incorporate panoramic views of the surrounding countryside.The Moorings: love at first sight inspires couple’s ideal home

They also wanted it to have a traditional look, so the exterior features block/timber cavity walls, clay roof tiles and plenty of oak. Natural materials, oak floor finishes and light colours combine to create a calm, restful interior. The Moorings: love at first sight inspires couple’s ideal home

When it came to their property’s 1.25-acre plot, the Clists were keen to reflect its rural setting by planting new trees, building a pond and restoring the surrounding ditches. Good lighting design would also limit any light pollution.

Work began on site in May 2017 and finished in November 2018. Peter and Maggie lived on site during construction in mobile accommodation and his team were provided with a heated outbuilding, toilets, hot water and cooking facilities.

Because this was Peter’s first self-build project, he decided to use Southern Building Control partnership for site inspections and approval. The team’s close proximity enabled them to explain the inspection process in person and offer reassurance regarding compliance.

As with any self-build, several problems arose during the course of the Clist’s project. The movement of the green oak used on the property’s facade created an issue with glazing, which was solved by fixing a movement gasket between the glazed unit and the oak, then repeating the process between the glazed unit and the new dried oak.

Glazing was also an issue when it came to installing windows that were large enough to capture the property’s views. The Clists were keen to install bi-folding doors on two levels, so their structural engineer suggested erecting steel support beams to cope with the amount of glazing required.The Moorings: love at first sight inspires couple’s ideal home

Outside the property, flooding of the nearby road was the main problem. This was solved by designing a surface water drainage system which feeds an existing well and by creating a natural pond with connected stand pipes around the garden. The pond uses most of the excess water and any extra flows into local ditches.

From the outset, Sustainability was an important feature of the Clists’ new build, so the couple favoured local subcontractors and locally sourced materials. Their new home was built using handmade tiles and bricks, insulation made from recycled materials and sustainable timber.The Moorings: love at first sight inspires couple’s ideal home

Even the demolition was thoughtfully planned, as the Clists wanted to avoid offsite removal of earth to landfill. Crushed brick and concrete from the demolition was used in the sub base of the new house and they recycled the three chimney stacks adorning the new chimney.

The glass featured in the Clists’ new home has improved its thermal properties, maximising insulation and minimising any build up of heat. The internal walls and the roof have been insulated and he house features a log burning stove fuelled by trees felled during the project.

Peter and Maggie’s self-build was completed in November 217 and the couple are full of admiration for the tradespeople who worked on their house: “It is their skill that has produced the quality of workmanship that we appreciate every day.”

Thanks to Peter’s meticulous planning, his team’s attention to detail and the high quality of the design and build, Southern Building Control Partnership recently described the Moorings as “one of the best examples of a self-build project we have ever been involved with.”

This magnificent new home has been nominated for the 2018 LABC building excellence awards.

Project Team


Peter Clist

Structural Engineers

Bellamy Wallace Partnership, 01622 630675

Building Control

Southern Building Control Partnership, 01883 776 967

Homeowner Guide

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