Case study: Family turn self-build dream into a reality

A flexible, open living space that worked for the whole family was the inspiration for the Hanysz family to build their own dream home.

Nick and Fiona, from York, decided to self-build after years of living in period properties. Teacher Nick said: “We’ve lived in old Victorian houses before that we basically destroyed with our bad DIY. With this in mind, it was really important to us that we chose the right products to use in our home.”

The couple opted for a timber frame house and collaborated with specialists Oakworth Homes to help design and build the structure of their property. As well as offering design flexibility, timber frame homes have lightweight components, which can be assembled in a matter of days after the foundations have been laid.

The couple then began to think about the interior walls of their property. It was only after attending a home building trade show they decided to incorporate Gyproc Habito plasterboard into the specification process.

“We wanted quality products that allowed for both strength and versatility, so we could be sure every room would continue to work for us over a long period of time. As soon as we saw Gyproc Habito we knew it would suit us perfectly,” added Nick.

Gyproc Habito is part of British Gypsum’s Rooms Made For You range and is a plasterboard with a reinforced core, making it five times stronger than regular plasterboard. The product is installed in the same way as standard plasterboard, but can support up to 15kg with a single number 10 woodscrew. The super-strength solution meant the couple would be able to secure heavier items such as TVs, book shelves shelving, large paintings and mirrors to the wall without specialist fixings.

“Having Gyproc Habito on the walls really gives us the flexibility to be creative, which is brilliant. For me, the main highlight of the product is being able to screw directly into the wall.”

“We have lots of pictures, but putting them up has been so simple because we haven’t had to bother with tricky fixings. In the past I would have been really cautious about putting anything on the wall, but with Gyproc Habito we’ve put over 20 pictures up around the house using just a screwdriver,” Fiona added.

Not only have the couple attached pictures to the wall, the interior of their home now features large clocks, televisions, lighting and even a giant surveyor’s stick which stretches from the ground floor up into the mezzanine level of the property.

Nick said that Gyproc Habito has also made the house feel solid: “The newer properties we looked at felt really flimsy. Being a timber frame house this was one of our main concerns, yet the house feels solid and you can tell it has been well built with quality materials,” said Nick.

After being so impressed with Gyproc Habito Nick and Fiona also opted to use another British Gypsum product, Thistle Magnetic Plaster, an innovative magnetised plaster which turns any wall into an interactive display. Applied to new or existing walls, once dry it can be painted or covered with wallpaper. Nick and Fiona used Thistle Magnetic plaster in the kitchen.

Fiona said: “Magnetic plaster is fantastic! It’s really flexible, we can change the design when it suits us so it makes a great feature wall. I was really in favour of using magnetic plaster as I love putting our daughter Florence’s drawings up in the kitchen. The plaster goes right down to the floor so the whole wall is effectively a ‘living’ notice board and there’s also blackboard on the wall so it really is multi-purpose.”

With the property now complete, the Hanysz family couldn’t be happier with the end result. “By using these innovative products we’ve been able to create a truly flexible home that gives us the freedom to play around with the design without any fuss,” added Nick.