What's included?

Our integrated service can include as much or as little as you need - from a full Turn-Key service covering all aspects of the Design and Build, to a wind and watertight Shell for fit-out by others to a kit-only supply to your own design. We assume that you already own a site, but if you have found one that you like, then feel free to give our team a call. We can help with the decision-making process and undertake a site appraisal to help you consider the development potential of the site. You will find what's included in our costs in our brochure.

What are your costs?
Costs vary depending on your location and requirements. Our brochure gives an overall picture of all the costs required when building a MAKAR house - not just kit costs.
How big should my home be?

Size is not everything - although popular TV shows would have you believe that bigger is better, this is not necessarily the case!

We encourage you to think carefully about the spaces that you need. Remember that well-designed, and carefully constructed space can have far more value than large, but poorly designed space.

Our experienced architects will work through your brief and requirements, and from this derive the size of house that suits you. We would encourage building a home that is not larger than you need, or will need in the future, as much as to save on building materials and future energy costs.

How long does the whole process take?

In general, the first five Design stages can take approximately 6 months, including the development of your design and going through the Planning and Building Warrant consents. You will find the step by step process in our brochure.

A house typically goes through our workshop in 6-8 weeks. On-site assembly of the prefabricated panels is typically undertaken in 5-10 days, and our teams will then stay on site for a further 4 weeks to ensure that the Shell is 100% wind and watertight. Internal fit-out time depends on your location and finishes, but this typically take 15-20 weeks after the Shell is complete.

Do you deal with Planning and Building Warrant?
Yes, we have a dedicated architectural team who takes you through the entire Design process.
What are your U-values?

All MAKAR homes use the same kit, which far exceeds baseline Building Regulations. We achieve U values of 0.14 W/m²K (walls) and 0.12 W/m²K (roof). We use timber-framed triple glazing which typically has a U-value of 0.93 W/m²K.

Are you an expensive option?

Our costs fairly reflect the high-quality, healthy materials that we use, and the entirely integrated service that we provide. Many other house builders offer kits using cheaper, petrochemical-based products, which we believe are harmful long term to both the environment and the occupants of those homes.

We aim to take all the hassle out of building a home, and our highly-experienced team will guide you through every aspect. Aside from the design and construction, this can include dealing with Statutory bodies, bringing services to the site, dealing with drainage and groundworks and ensuring commissioning takes place.

What is breathing wall construction?

Another phrase for ‘breathing wall’ is vapour permeable. This means that moisture, in the form of vapour, is able to move through the wall construction, from inside to outside, due to the properties of the construction materials. Think of a top-quality, wind and waterproof jacket that is also able to breath.

Because we use breathing insulation, including Warmcel recycled newspaper and wood fibre board, our floors, walls and roof are able to allow moisture to pass from inside the building to outside.

Breathing is a particularly important aspect of the MAKAR system. Many other modern constructions reply on a plastic-based vapour barrier to stop moisture getting into petrochemical-based insulation that don’t have breathing properties. This results in moisture getting trapped inside the building, and relies on energy-losing ventilation systems to deal with it. The MAKAR breathing wall contributes to a healthy indoor atmosphere.

What is MVHR?

Most older homes are very air leaky, and suffer from draughts. This means higher energy bills and can create an uncomfortable environment.

Modern homes, on the other hand, are very air-tight and suffer few leaks. This means that energy bills are lower, but a ventilation system is required to refresh the internal air periodically.

Mechanical ventilation with heat recovery (MVHR) is a type of whole-house ventilation. Because MAKAR homes are airtight to Passiv Haus standard, we use MVHR to ensure indoor air quality is maintained. Moisture can be dealt with using the breathing wall, but we also have to refresh our indoor air to deal with pollutants and CO2 build-up. The MVHR unit transfers the heat of outgoing stale air to the fresh incoming air, ensuring that you lose as little energy as possible, and that fresh air delivered around the home is pre-warmed.

What is your insulation?

We use two types – a recycled newspaper cellulose called Warmcel, and wood fibre boards.

Warmcel is a recycled newspaper insulation with very low embodied energy, as well being an inert material with no off-gassing of Volatile Organic Compounds. Warmcel is natureplus® certified, recognising a product that meets the highest standards from raw material sourcing or extraction, to low emissions and clean production methods. The hygroscopic properties of Warmcel helps moisture to naturally migrate to the outside of the building fabric without building up on structural elements. Boron salts added to Warmcel deter vermin, insects and mould growth as well as providing fire retardant properties. The specific heat capacity of Warmcel provides comfort in both winter and summer as both insulation and thermal mass.

Wood fibre boards are fitted externally and around windows to provide a full insulation jacket to the house. Like Warmcel the boards deter vermin and insects, and are suitable for external installation, behind the rainscreen cladding board.

Where do you build?
Most of our builds to-date have been across the Scottish Highlands, however we build across Scotland and have recently begun our first project south of the border. Your site location in relation to our Inverness HQ will have a bearing on transport and labour costs, although most other costs will remain unaffected.
Do your houses use renewables?

In short yes, many MAKAR homes use some type of renewables: This includes solar panels, air and ground source heat pumps, back-boiler wood burning stoves, rainwater harvesting and PV battery systems. Solar PV and solar thermal panels can be installed in our workshop, negating the requirement for scaffolding on site.

We are dedicated to building ‘fabric first’ homes, which reduce energy requirements in the first instance, and we add renewables based on our customers’ preferences in order to complement this approach.

Speak to the Design team about your preferred strategy for energy and renewables.

How much energy do MAKAR homes require?
Energy bills vary according to your own habits, your site conditions and the design of your home. Using Passiv Haus software we are able to model the likely energy requirements for space heating, based very accurately on the MAKAR system – down to the number of screws in the walls! According to the UK government a typical UK three-bed house will use over 15,000 kWh of energy per year on heating, lighting and cooking whereas a typical MAKAR three-bed will require just over 3,000-4000 kWh per year.
Do you build to Passiv Haus standard?

Yes we can do. Our standard system already meets most of the Passiv Haus criteria, and with a few tweaks we can reach the standard for certification. Find out more here.

Do you build other people’s designs?

Yes, we are happy to consider building a design that you already have, whether as a full Build contract or as timber-kit supply. We find it is best to work with architects and designers at the early stages to ensure that your design meets the criteria for the MAKAR construction system. Find out more here.