Self-build diary: second fix carpentry and flooring

Written by Charlie and Helen – Plot 1 (Church Cottage) homeowners


We saw the integration of these home interior features as the start of our oak frame cottage developing its character, flair and identity.

In hindsight, we could have taken a bit more time deciding on our skirting boards, however, like with everything, there is more choice than you can shake a stick at! We would advise getting a sample to check what you will receive is as pictured on the website.

In terms of our flooring, downstairs, we fell in love with limestone from the off and knew it would complement our frame beautifully. It was laid to make the area look spacious under the guidance of Richard from White Hall Flagstones: who knew how much is involved with laying a floor…

Upstairs, we debated on a hard floor with rugs in bedrooms but soft and warm prevailed on top, and so we went ahead with carpet. By this point we were efficient at making decisions and we chose our carpet within 20 minutes, having gone through a van full of samples.

All the hard, ugly structural materials were now being hidden by the finished articles.

White Hall Flagstones supplied these tumbled limestone tiles for Manuka cottage's downstairs areas

Written by Craig and LB – Plot 2 (Manuka Cottage) homeowners


Our second fix carpentry quickly came around and we were presented with a million different options. We went for torus skirting and architrave and, although we both liked the look of ledge and brace doors, we went for latch handles on oak doors as they’re much quieter.

Flooring options got a lot of airtime from the start; I grew up in a hot climate and couldn’t get my head around having carpet throughout the house, whereas Craig couldn’t imagine waking up in the morning and stepping onto a hard floor. We met halfway and decided to go with a tumbled limestone, also from White Hall Flagstones, throughout the downstairs of our cottage. This suits our open-plan layout and thought would also work well with children and dogs.

Upstairs, we opted for carpet in our bedrooms and on the landing. We liked the Scandi-style of wood floors in bathrooms but knew it wouldn’t be hugely practical. Instead we chose a light oak wood effect porcelain tile from Topps Tiles; we have been thrilled with the outcome and can’t believe how realistic they look.

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