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Article Date: 27th May 2016

Taylor Maxwell - Woodhouse Eaves East Midlands

Woodhouse Eaves - Exterior Facade - Stone Facade - Stone Cladding

Taylor Maxwell - Woodhouse Eaves

A recent East Midlands development of £1million houses has shown you can make big savings on façades without compromising quality.

If you’re building for the top end of the housing market, every detail of a home is going to be subject to the closest scrutiny.

Nottingham-based developers Willmark Homes knew when they set out to build eight luxury properties with landscaped gardens on a five-acre site in a historic Leicestershire village, that extra attention would be given to the exterior facade of the houses.

Nestling on the side of Beacon Hill in the Charnwood Forest near Loughborough, the existing buildings in and around Woodhouse Eaves are renowned for being built in a traditional local stone that has made the village one of the most desirable in the county.

Willmark Director Ian Jowett explained the importance of getting the external finish right:
"Swithland slate is used extensively in the local vicinity so the stone we used had to blend in seamlessly with the existing buildings in the surrounding area.

"The planners’ requirements were very specific, and finding the right stone facade to satisfy them was a key part of the job."

Bryan Webster, whose firm installed the cladding on the new houses continued:
"One of our team had seen a Swithland slate on Taylor Maxwell’s Stonepanel stone
cladding system in their Nottingham showroom. I knew that it was going to be much better for the job than the actual stone itself due the potential efficiencies in both cost and time - it is much easier to install."

As its name suggests the Stonepanel stone cladding system comprises of panels made of natural stone including quartzite, gneiss, limestone, sandstone or slate joined to a cement base that is reinforced with a fibre glass mesh at the base. The individual panels are very easy to install, with an interlocking pattern that hides joints from view.

Once Willmark and BR Webster had shown an interest in using Stonepanel, TM identified some completed sites that had used the panels previously so that they could see how they looked on a finished property.

Actually seeing the stone cladding convinced Ian Jowett to use the product at Woodhouse Eaves:
"We were going to use the natural stone option originally but then we went to view the jobs in Wales where TM had supplied Stonepanel previously. When we saw the product we switched to it, not only for the price of the material but for the speed of construction."

Bryan Webster emphasised just how much time was saved using Stonepanel instead of natural stone: "It’s about three or four times quicker to install than the actual stone, and on top of that you have the saving in the material costs."

When the project partners had agreed that Stonepanel was the best product for the job, they still had to persuade the planning officers.

But according to Ian Jowett, the planners’ doubts were resolved once they had seen pictures of Stonepanel on completed buildings as well as a selection of onsite
samples provided by Taylor Maxwell.

"The planners took a little bit of convincing at first - but that changed when we showed them the samples and pictures."

And judging by the response to the houses, the planners and the project team made the right choice when it came to the cladding.

Bryan Webster reported: "It’s had a lot of publicity - everybody thinks it looks great."

And Ian Jowett added: "The finish on the houses is really good, it looks lovely. We are due to finish on site in May and we have already sold two of the units, and pre-sold another three."

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