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uSelf builders tend to spend more time thinking about their heating and plumbing systems than any other aspect of their builds. As much as 10% of the average build cost of a new house goes on plumbing.

If building on an unserviced plot, a new water supply will be required. The first point of contact will be the local water company who will advise if a water main to tap into, where it is and how much it will cost to lay a supply to your boundary. You may require a temporary standpipe for the duration of the build. You are responsible for running underground pipe (bury it 750mm deep) from the water company connection into the house. This should be carried out during the groundworks. Whilst hot and cold water plumbing is fairly straightforward, this is not the case regarding space and water heating, where there are a series of decisions you have to make at the outset.


PRIMARY HEAT SOURCE? Most people choose a boiler and, if mains gas is available, this will be the natural choice. If its not, the options are principally oil or LPG, both of which require storage tanks. Alternatives include heat pumps (a specialised form of electric heating), boilerbiomass or pellet boilers, or warm air heating systems.

SECONDARY HEATING? Most heating systems include some form of back-up or additional heating. This may be something simple like an electric immersion heater (a coil inside the cylinder), but it could be a woodburning stove or an Aga capable of providing hot water. Solar hot water panels are also popular. If you go for a supplementary heating system, ensure that it is included in the design from the outset.

COMBI OR SYSTEM BOILER? Combi boilers work by heating the hot water onvdemand. They are best suited to flats and small houses where demand is limited. Larger houses tend to go  for system boilers, but these require a hot water tank or cylinder. If you have a secondary heater, such as a solar panel, you need a system that stores hot water.

UNDERFLOOR HEATING, RADIATORS OR NOTHING? You need to plan for space heating. Many Self Builders go for underfloor heating which can be an expensive option compared to radiators. Some green homes do away with the need for space heating altogether, but they invariably have some heat source to fall back on for the cold days and nights.

GREEN ENERGY? Householders are being encouraged to make their homes greener, and from 2008 all new homes, company and public buildings will have to use renewable energy systems. It is no surprise that more and more people are installing one or more types of renewable energy technology in their homes.

Haldane Fisher is moving to meet this demand by introducing a range of alternative heating methods, such as:

  • Solar heating systems.Solar panel
  • Wood pellet boilers and wood stoves; &
  • Heat pump systems

We know the importance of keeping abreast of developments both within the renewable energy industry and specifically renewable technologies. Our staff will talk you through the benefits of installing these systems, from the reduction of fuel bills to Government grants, and will make it easy to choose the right product for your home. In addition, we can provide a full Plumbing and Heating specification and quotation from your Architect’s plans.

All of these decisions should be made before you begin work. Take time to research costs, benefits and implications. Haldane Fisher’s ‘One Stop Shop’ approach means that we stock everything for the plumbing and heating engineer: large stocks of boilers and radiators, backed by a wide range of essential products like pumps, valves and controls. All supported by specialist staff that provides helpful knowledge, availability and price on all product areas.