Cameron and Claire Whitlie have lived in their Victorian terraced home in Kingston-upon-Thames for almost thirty years. The couple recently completed a side return extension to create a spacious kitchen diner which has changed the way they live in the house. Built using H+H Celcon Blocks the extension has made the house noticeably warmer and improved the sound insulation.
The Victorian house’s layout previously was typical of the period with a living room at the front of the house, dining room in the middle and a narrow galley kitchen at the back which led into a utility room.
When the utility room developed a leak and the exterior brickwork needed repairing, Cameron and Claire realised it was an ideal opportunity to remodel the back of the house. The couple were keen to create an open plan kitchen with bifold doors opening on to the south facing garden.
They contacted design and build specialists Beacon Lofts which drew up the plans and organised the building work. Once work started Cameron and Claire were amazed at how quickly the walls of their new extension went up.
Lead builder, Florin Ciornei explains why he selected H+H Standard Grade Celcon Blocks to build the cavity walls of the extension: “We chose H+H Celcon Blocks because they are a good quality product. They are light to handle and easy to use - we’ve been working with H+H products for a long time. In my home country we often use the H+H Thin Joint system which is a quick way to build but for this project we used traditional mortar.”
Beacon Lofts’ architect specifies the size and properties of materials in the plans but the lead builder for each project decides which suppliers to use.
“We always choose H+H Celcon Blocks. For this extension we built a cavity wall with brick exterior and Standard Grade 440 x 215mm H+H Celcon Blocks on the interior with Rockwool insulation,” Florin adds.
The finished extension houses the kitchen and dining area, as well as a sofa and television. Claire comments, “We spend most of our time in the open plan kitchen now. We cook and eat in there enjoying the views of the garden, and then in the evenings we watch TV and relax in there too.
“The weather has been unseasonably cold recently, but we’ve stayed nice and warm in our new extension. Building the kitchen extension has changed our lives completely – in fact we hardly use our old living room at the front of the house now!”
Large format thin-joint aircrete is commonly used throughout Europe, but for more traditional British methods H+H Aircrete has been used by builders for more than 60 years, realising the benefits of making the switch away from dense aggregate blocks. As the UK’s largest manufacturer of aircrete, H+H are able to provide technical information for contractors thinking of using aircrete for their next project.
All Celcon Blocks are BBA certified, fire resistant (Up to 4 hours on 100mm walls or up to 2 hours if loadbearing) and have been classified 0 surface spread of flame and non-combustible to Class A1 (the highest class).
Celcon Blocks are manufactured in 440mm x 215mm and are available in thicknesses from 75mm to 215mm.