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Welcome to our Self Build Insurance blog!

Welcome to the ProAktive Self Build blog where we hope to bring you news, advice, hints and tips to help you with your self build!

If you’d like to save up to 50% on all your building materials check out our deal with Jewson  or if you’d like a quote for self build insurance click on the image on the right.

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This entry was posted in Self Build Insurance and on January 9, 2014 by admin.

Which flooring should I choose for my new self-build?

One of the questions which often comes to mind when putting together a new self-build is which flooring to choose, with many people wanting the most eco-friendly, energy efficient choice for their new home.

With this in mind, a solid or engineered wood floor may be your best choice, with both options offering a sustainable way to ensure your new home has an ideal flooring solution.Engineered Wood Pic

One of the best things about a wood floor is that it’s naturally renewable, and so with careful management, the forest from which it comes can supply huge amounts of building materials without being depleted over time.

The manufacturing techniques involved in engineered wood flooring are becoming more and more efficient, as the boards can be made from types of wood that are not currently utilised in solid wood flooring. Once its laid, it’s almost impossible to tell the difference between a solid or engineered wood floor, and as the slightly cheaper option engineered wood flooring really is the ideal choice for your eco-friendly home.

With both solid and engineered floors, they are, as explained, a natural product and so it’s likely that you’ll find natural variation in terms of the pattern and colouring of your flooring. The amount of variation which is deemed acceptable depends on the grade of the wood you choose.  The AB or Prime grade gives extremely consistent colour throughout the planks and minimal variation. The ABC or Select grade has a consistent colour but some variation and knots in the wood may be noticeable. Finally the CD or Rustic grade has a wide variation of colour and knots, which may sound unattractive, but actually gives a real warmth and vintage look, making it ideal for homes which are going for that vibe.OAK RUSTIC LAQURED PORTRAIT

Of course, engineered wood floors have longevity in their favour, with their ability to be sanded down and refinished at least once, making them look brand new once more. The sanding process should be done carefully however, especially on planks which have a 2mm wear layer, as these can only be done once.  You should only need to sand down after ten years of use though, especially if you have gone for a lacquered finish.

When it comes to energy efficiency, if you’re worried about it, then there are several ways in which you can enhance the levels of efficiency.

Over the years, natural flooring products can move creating little gaps and spaces which are a result of expansion and contraction, these gaps allow cold air to pass through them. The way to combat this is to install the correct calibre of underlay, and doing this could save you up to 15-20% on your heating costs as no heat will get lost.

With wood flooring giving a great balance of longevity, sustainability and being eco-friendly, it would be an ideal choice for the green self-builder.

Oak Antique Web

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This entry was posted in Uncategorised and on February 20, 2017 by admin.

Treehouse Self Build Projects

Treehouse Self-Build Projects

From Visually.

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This entry was posted in Uncategorised and on February 7, 2017 by admin.

Mini Home Builder Challenge Winners

Back in October 2016 we launched our minibuilder competition inviting under 11`s to build and design their dream home using materials of their choosing.

We were stunned by the entries we received and the judging proved challenging to say the least. But….. we have chosen the winners and they are…

Winner of Under 5`s – Matilda. What little girl doesn’t dream of a castle to live in! We loved the ingenuity of the materials involved in particular.

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Winner of 6-8 yrs – Alfie. A grand designs build that Kevin MacLeod would be proud of. Great detail and a boys dream of an indoor football pitch meant it had to win.

Alphie Anderson

Our overall winner and the winner of the Age 9-11 category is………. Monica. We loved the different materials used, design and plans involved. A very clever build we hope to see built in the future.

IMG_20161222_214028_522-12-22-16-AJ0at

Congratulations Matilda, Alfie and Monica. We hope you enjoy your prizes.

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This entry was posted in Uncategorised and on January 31, 2017 by admin.

Planning Permission or Permitted Permission?

Planning Permission or Permitted Permission?

From Visually.

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This entry was posted in Uncategorised and on January 12, 2017 by admin.

Animal Architects

Animal Architects

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This entry was posted in Uncategorised and on December 19, 2016 by admin.

THE COUNTDOWN IS ON FOR THE MINI HOME BUILDER CHALLENGE!

TIME is running out for young designers from across the nation who are building or designing their dream home.

Our Mini Home Builder Challenge, a competition which will test the creative ability of children aged under 11, ends on December 23.

This opportunity for children to build or design their dream home, using building or art and craft materials to demonstrate how easy and fun designing your dream home can be will be judged over the Christmas period.

Andrew Reardon, our Senior Selfbuild Account Handler at ProAktive Selfbuild, said: “There is not long to go now. We’ve already had some great entries in and cannot wait to see the different designs that young people from across the country come up with.

“With a competition like this, the only constraints are their own imagination and we know there are some amazingly imaginative children out there.”

Entries made from building bricks, computer game generated designs, and drawings have already been submitted and children are coming up with creative ways in which to go about meeting this challenge.

“With schools shutting from Friday 16 December and families looking for things to keep the children entertained this challenge provides a great chance to get the children using art, design and creative development.”

There are three age categories for the competition, under 5s, 6 – 8 year olds and 9-11 year olds.

Entrants will need to upload their videos or images of their design, building process, or the completed build, to the Mini Home Builder Challenge portal: www.selfbuildonline.co.uk.

“We’ll be offering prizes for the most imaginative and creative mini self builds. As part of the judging process, the entries with the most likes, shares, favourites and retweets will help form the final shortlist of entries, to be judged by an expert panel. Family and friends are encouraged to get involved on social media, good luck to all entrants,” added Andrew.

The overall competition winner will receive a family getaway (for a family of 4) to a family attraction of their choice, (to the value of £500)

The competition closes on Friday December 23rd 2016 and the winners will be announced on January 31st 2017.

For further information visit the competition website www.selfbuildonline.co.uk

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This entry was posted in Uncategorised and on December 16, 2016 by admin.

Get crafty this Christmas with the Mini Self Builder Challenge

From snow-topped Igloos to festive forest hideaways, the Christmas season provides ideal inspiration for a Mini Self-Builder project, and is a great way to keep young hands busy while mum and dad get everything ready for the big day.

So how can you add a bit of Christmas magic to your dream home design and be in with the chance of winning a family getaway worth £500?

Make it sparkle and shine

What’s more Christmassy than a home with glitter-coated walls, or silver-lined staircases? Add some sparkle to your design and make it shine out from the competition.

Bring the outdoors, indoors

Why should Christmas trees only appear in December? Imagine a home that had trees inside it, all year round! You could decorate each one differently and, if you’ve got pets, it’s the ultimate scratching post.

Chocolate for breakfast

Parents may tut at the idea, but why not build a chocolate maker into your mini self-build? You could enjoy sweet treats any time day or night, without anyone to tell you off!

Ice is nice

If you’ve got steady feet, then an ice rink would be a fantastic addition to your self-build. Throw some disco balls in and put on the Christmas songs for the ultimate Christmas party.

Advent Calendar – of bedrooms!

Imagine having a different bedroom for every day of the year. That’s 365 bedrooms – but hey, it’s your mini self-build, so why not! Think about what your bedrooms would look like, would they have themes? Would there be a surprise in each? Perhaps you’d have a room filled with sweets? Or a pirate themed bedroom full of adventure.

The Mini Self Builder Challenge is an opportunity for children to build or design their dream home. Entrants may use building or art and craft materials to demonstrate how easy and fun designing your dream home can be. The competition is open until Friday 23 December 2016, visit www.selfbuildonline.co.uk/challenge to enter.

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This entry was posted in Uncategorised and on December 12, 2016 by admin.

Top tips for your Mini Home Build entry

With the deadline for our Mini Home Builder Challenge just around the corner (23 December 2016), we’ve asked our judges for their top tips to help you with your entry. Here are their five top tips:

1. Originality is key
Think differently and let your imagination run wild. Whether it’s the building’s interior or exterior that make it stand out from the crowd, we’re looking for the unique and unusual in this competition.

2. Materials make it
What will your self-build be created with? There are so many materials at our fingertips nowadays, both natural and man-made. Consider how you will use them and what effect they will have on your dream home. Will they affect how your dream home blends into its environment, for example?

3. Look at the layout
The layout of a home plays a crucial role in how it feels. Picture yourself walking through your creation, what rooms flow together well? Where will your bedrooms be? Will it have a garden and if so, which rooms will have the best view? Think carefully about how your dream home comes together.

4. Fantastic features
From waterfalls to glitterballs, roof gardens and more, an interesting and quirky feature can transform an ordinary home into something outstanding. Perhaps your feature will have a function, too? Don’t be afraid to create something that’s never been done before! The more unique, the better!

5. Inspire us
Finally, give us something to get excited about. We’re looking for inspiring young minds that bring big ideas to the table. Who knows? You could be the next Kevin McCloud or George Clarke!

The Mini Self Builder Challenge is an opportunity for children to build or design their dream home.

Entrants may use building or art and craft materials to demonstrate how easy and fun designing your dream home can be. The competition is open until Friday 23 December 2016, visit www.selfbuildonline.co.uk/challenge to enter.

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This entry was posted in Uncategorised and on December 9, 2016 by admin.

The 4 Routes of Building Your Own Home

The 4 Routes of Building Your Own Home

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This entry was posted in Uncategorised and on November 28, 2016 by admin.

The Tiny House Movement

Tiny Houses - ProAktive Self Build Insurance

From Visually.

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This entry was posted in Uncategorised and on November 3, 2016 by admin.