Channel Four’s Grand Designs has a lot to answer for. Following an episode in 2004 featuring a bespoke, prefabricated, open plan, energy efficient self build project, Huf Haus’s website crashed and they began looking for bigger offices! These impressive non-standard constructions, with large expanses of glass and prefabricated panels, unsurprisingly require a more considered, non-standard approach from an insurance perspective. That’s where we can help.
Quick, Stylish and Energy Efficient – It’s a German thing*
Huf Haus have been building these distinctive homes since the 1970’s but have seen a boom in recent years, with consumers enticed by the level of customisation, energy efficiency and the open spaces that can be created due to the fact there are no load bearing walls. The speed with which they can be constructed is also favourable compared to a traditional build; 14 weeks compared to 9 months!
Huf Haus are not alone however. Baufritz have also established themselves at the top end of the self-build market in the UK. Whilst Huf Haus has a distinctly recognisable design format, Baufritz provide more flexibility in the design. Although still modular in nature, Baufritz homes can be quite different from one another. Baufritz also take great pride in the ecological aspects of their product, using a combination of technology and natural materials to create a calm and healthy living space. Having recently visited a Baufritz home in Newbury, we can certainly vouch for the quality of the build and passion for design.
It’s a bit of a German thing! WeberHaus has been creating eco-friendly timber frame homes since 1960. Again, much like Baufritz and Huf Haus, WeberHaus focus on creating kit houses that are designed and built to suit the client’s discerning requirements. *That said, the Germans aren’t having it all their own way, with a handful of British companies such as Beattie Passive, Potton and MBC Timber Frame all producing well designed factory made houses.
Structurally Insulated Panels
The secret to the construction, other than the excellent architects, designers and builders, is the use of prefabricated structurally insulated panels (SIPs). A structural insulated panel consists of a foam insulating core sat between two structural facings, usually ply or osb board. The panels are manufactured in a controlled environment and can be produced to accommodate an array of designs. The use of structurally insulated panels results in a cost effective, strong and most importantly these days, energy efficient structure.
This method of construction, although becoming more popular, is not considered a traditional way of building, particularly in the UK. For this reason, insuring a building constructed from large expanses of glass and structurally insulated panels can present different challenges from an insurance perspective.
Insuring your Huf Haus or Baufritz home
Whether it’s a Huf Haus, Baufritz, WeberHaus or a Potton, relatively unusual construction methods means that protecting them takes something a little different. Here at Macbeth we currently insure over 100 Huf Haus in the UK, being the number one recommended insurance broker for the Huf Haus owners club. We work closely with Huf and their owners. In comparison we currency insure a smaller number of Baufritz homes, but the principles are the same.
We offer expertise in non-standard construction properties that do not fall into the widely used, yet heavily restricted, description of ‘standard construction’, used by the vast majority of insurance companies. We have access to markets that are able to insure non standard structures. Insuring a Huf Haus or a Baufritz can sometimes be challenging. The polices we offer cover above and beyond regular home insurance. Using a high value home wording that would ensure that your bespoke property and belongings are insured to the highest level. We ensure that should the worst happen and you need to claim on your policy that only Baufritz or Huf Haus approved contractors are used to ensure a seamless repair. After all, your home isn’t like most others.
Financing your Huf Haus or Baufritz home
Here at Macbeth also provide a range of financial services, including mortgage advice. Rachael Clover, our resident mortgage adviser, has experience of arranging mortgages for these stunning homes. If you’ve found a plot of land and are looking to build a Huf Haus or Baufritz, we will be able to assist in finding the best fit mortgage.