Self-build diary: fitting the encapsulation systems

Written by Steve Laws – Encapsulation Design Manager & Frame Designer


Church Cottage (Plot 1)

Charlie and Helen wanted to add as much of the joinery and external finish to their WrightWall encapsulation panels in the workshop as possible. Having the ability and capacity to do this is a large step forwards in the development of our panelling systems, as it reduces the amount of time needed on-site to get from a foundation slab to a weatherproof-finished project externally.

In order to achieve this from a design perspective, we needed to develop all the detailing for the finishes to work from panel to panel and allow time for the weatherproofing of a combination of different material such as weatherboarding, the lime render board system and brick external finishes. It was also important the manufacture drawings of the panels included key dimensions and details for the cut back of the weatherboard, including the lead trays which needed to finish above the tiles on the gable ends.

I then needed to incorporate the external taping of the breather membrane that’s required around the building into Charlie and Helen’s encapsulation design. This forms the airtightness layer that’s critical for the project to pass airtightness tests with flying colours later in their building timeline.

Pre-fitting the joinery and skylights into the panels in the workshop enabled all the critical taping to be completed in a completely dry environment, so Charlie and Helen could get their building weathertight within days of our builders leaving their site. To make this a seamless process on-site, I took the 3D model from Emma, their Frame Designer, and added all the timbers required to manufacture the wall and roof panels to the 3D model of Church Cottage.

It was a pleasure to help to build Charlie and Helen’s home. I have learnt a lot from the whole process and it was lovely to see the project develop as the site is so close to our offices.

Charlie working on-site at Church cottage

Written by Tim Griffiths – Senior Frame Designer


Manuka Cottage (Plot 2)

Craig and LB also opted for their oak frame cottage to be insulated with our WrightWall encapsulation system. There were a couple of areas that proved challenging, however, with some careful 3D modelling I was able to design these out. The utility roof adjoining the main gable wall came very close to the underside of the verge rafters of the main roof. So, by clipping the traditional overhang seen on the rest of the build, I could correct the detailing around the tricky intersection. This helped to distinguish the area as a secondary part of the build.

We also made slight adjustments to the roof overhang around the porch and sunroom. This ensured the fascia (gutter) board continued seamlessly on the one side regardless of the different roof thicknesses and looks correct on the other where the wall construction is thicker.

From the outset, the house was designed with the intention of keeping the dormers entirely on the roof. This allowed us to build the dormers in their entirety off-site and presented the possibility of fitting joinery into the panels in the early stages, alongside the Fakro roof lights. The first floor window height is set for emergency egress, so designing these within the panels established the internal eaves height and we then worked from there to design the rest of Craig and LB’s encapsulation system.


If you feel inspired by the couples’ self-build journeys and would like to learn more about our cottage designs, click here to browse the full range.

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