“Nu-lok has a product which provides a clear advantage over standard roof installations with regards to maintenance and slate replacement. They also provide a higher quality slate and level of service than most traditional methods of roofing that we looked into.”
Nigel and Barbara Illingworth were lucky enough to find a fantastic location in the heart of the Northampton countryside, on which to build the house of their dreams.
In April 2004 they purchased 2 acres of land from a local developer, in an historic village called Greens Norton. Greens Norton is 2 miles from Towcester and 10 miles from Northampton. Nestled in the rolling hills of scenic Northamptonshire, it is steeped in history. Catherine Parr (Henry VIII 6th wife) was allegedly born in Greens Norton. The village church could have been built as early as AD 650, and the stone Saxon church dates back to the 9th Century. During the 11th Century Edward the Confessor owned the manor at Norton which was built around 1650, it then went on to be owned by William the Conqueror.
The Illingworth’s plot sits between this manor house and the rectory, which also dates back to the 1600’s.
The village’s website www.greensnortonvillage.co.uk demonstrates how selective planners have been over what is passed in the area in terms of new builds and self builds. Between 1967 and 1976 there was a flurry of new housing developments in the village, and a further housing estate was built in 1979. But it wasn’t until 1977 that four self-build houses were allowed. Since then, only a new rectory had been constructed in 1986.
The Illingworths wanted to design a house to match their requirements and so they quickly set about designing a stunning stone detached house, with three storeys, and 27 rooms.
Nigel explained: “It took us nearly six months to gain planning permission, and we feel really privileged as not much building has taken place in the village since the mid eighties.
“Outside our front door there is a Horse Chestnut tree which is approximately 250 years old and other very old trees reside in the plot, so it is understandable how protective the planners around here are. They are highly selective and we had numerous discussions regarding style, materials and production methodologies in relation to stone, windows, doors, slate, landscaping and positioning.
“Our plans were to use traditional building methods and traditional materials. But although Nu-lok slate roofing is non-traditional and innovative, we still achieved the traditional look we wanted. It has all the benefits of a modern product, but its appearance fits well with an historic village.
“Nu-lok roofing also offered us easy future maintenance and good quality, thick slate, with a price that we felt reflected the quality.”
Nigel and his wife, who run their own business, heard about Nu-lok via their architect Anthony Ricketts who is based in Everdon, Northampton.
Although the Illingworths didn’t work directly with Nu-lok, their roofing contractor Russell Roofing in Northampton received plenty of assistance and training from Nu-lok and found them very helpful.
320m2 of Nu-lok slate was used on the roof, but this included a wastage contingency.
Nu-lok roofing was not the only modern method of construction used on this house. There is a Fosroc tanked basement, block and beam flooring, underfloor heating, and full data and telephony cabling.
But Nigel and Barbara have struck the right balance between old and modern construction methods by using traditional methods such as oak for all doors, window frames and other visible elements such as stairs, skirting boards and windowsills. Stone has been used for the wall construction and slate for the roof. Nu-lok roofing combines traditional slate with modern ‘know how’. The innovative ‘no nails’ roofing system replaces traditional wooden battens with a lightweight galvanised steel grid system. The system incorporates uniquely designed link channels containing a high grade steel clip for securing the leading tile edge, locked into place between steel battens.
The couple’s whole project took two years to complete. One year to complete the plans and gain planning permission and a further year for building. The Nu-lok roofing took just under 3 weeks to install.
The Ilingsworths moved into their new home during October 2006.
Nigel continued: “Nu-lok has a product which provides a clear advantage over standard roof installations with regards to maintenance and slate replacement.
“They also provide a higher quality slate and level of service than most traditional methods of roofing that we looked into.”
The Illingworths have achieved a traditional stone house built to a very high specification. They have managed to successfully combine both traditional and state of the art building methods and materials, to provide the house of their dreams which doesn’t compromise the views of the other villagers or the history of the village.