What is a Huf Haus?

A Huf Haus is a bespoke timber and glass house, with windows on all sides, maximising the outside environment. The post and beam design means there are no load-bearing walls, so the interior is truly open plan. The houses are modern, light and airy, and the layout of each is designed to the owner’s specifications. The components are made in Huf’s Germany factory, brought over to the UK and assembled in just a few days by Huf’s impressive workforce.

A Huf Haus is considered to be a design classic. They are built to a very high standard and are extremely energy efficient, incorporating sustainably sourced materials, high-end insulation techniques, toxin-free paints, and utilising solar energy and rainwater recycling.

What does it cost to build and how do I go about it?

The cost of a Huf Haus starts at around £220 per square foot. You first need your plot of land (some owners buy an existing house, knock it down and rebuild, others start with an empty plot). See our “Plots for sale” page for current availability. Your plot must be cleared and prepared before Huf arrive and put the house together. It is the owner’s responsibility to get groundworks dealt with (see our contractors page for recommended companies). If you want to remove a tree, tread carefully, as some local authorities can be somewhat militant when it comes to tree preservation orders! Consider local wildlife too, if there is hint of a bat in the vicinity, your progress will be slowed down considerably., but remember you will be paying in Euros, so if the rate fluctuates, the actual cost will change accordingly. If you compare this to a conventional build, which costs around £150 per square foot, it is not as expensive as you may first think as Huf’s costs include the architect, structural engineer, fit out etc. Huf will give you an exact cost in euros at the start of the project, which is fixed (unless you make additions after your visit to Hartenfels).

You will then visit the Huf show house in Surrey to talk through your requirements. Once planning has been granted, you will travel to Hartenfels in Germany for a three-day “fit out” meeting, where you tailor your house, choosing everything from the flooring to the location of electrical sockets to the design of the kitchen and bathrooms. There are show houses on display in Germany, to assist you in narrowing down the many options on offer.
You may find the following website useful for more information about Self Build:

Is it hard to get planning?

This varies immensely depending on your local authority. A recent survey of Huf Owners reported that, if they did the process again, most people would recommend using a Project Manager, who will liaise with planners on your behalf, and co-ordinate your build. We can put you in touch with a Project Manager, or an owner who has already built in your area, for some specialist advice. Our “plots for sale” page often lists plots which already have planning permission.

If you are considering building a Huf Haus, we highly recommend that you speak to your local Planning Department as a matter of priority, before proceeding any further. If your plot is in a conservation area or an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the planning process will be much more difficult.

Is it difficult to get insurance?

We have a list of insurers on our directory, all recommended by our members, who are familiar with Huf houses.

Are the windows a problem?

This is one of the most commonly asked questions. The answer is that the windows are not as much of an issue as you may think. The roof overhang keeps a lot of water away from the glass, and there is the additional protection from balcony glass and external blinds.

One owner has pointed out that “large panes of glass are far easier to clean than lots of small ones”. Another owner commented that “someone needs to be at home to raise the external blinds”, so you cannot easily have your windows cleaned if you are not in. The blinds themselves are more awkward to clean, and it is recommended that you get your blinds cleaned before your windows, otherwise the process of cleaning the blinds will make your windows dirty again!

Most owners have their windows cleaned 2-4 times a year. Costs range from £300 per annum to over £2000 depending on location and size of house.

There are specialist contractors who use purified water and extendable brushes, see our Owners’ Directory page for recommended companies.

Advice on blinds

We receive many enquiries from Huf Haus owners who want their bedrooms to be totally dark for sleeping. External blinds will not do this, they are designed to prevent the room from getting too hot. If your concerns relate to light, you must consider internal blinds.

One owner has recommended Daniela Kretschmann of Stilart, tel 0049 2244 925888, who produced internal vertical blinds, in off-white (blackout strength) for use in the main bedroom (including the triangular windows, which are a challenge to many blind suppliers). The owner comments that the price for these was very competitive and actually cheaper than John Lewis (however several owners have had good things to say about John Lewis, so we advise getting several quotes from different sources). The Stilart blinds, whilst very effective when closed, are not obstructive when drawn back, allowing in lots of light.

Greta Iredale (owner of the Huf Haus featured on “Grand Designs” recommends Sampsons Blinds (located in Stowmarket, tel 0800 626044 or 01449 613535, www.sampsonsblinds.co.uk). The Iredales purchased blinds from this company over 40 years ago for their original house, and have recycled some of them for use in their Huf house. Sampsons can also handle the triangular shape with no problem.

UVF resistant screens for windows

One owner has come up with a unique solution for windows which are too high for blinds (and where wind causes a problem for exterior blinds). They used cheap material which is UVF resistant (having originally been designed for use on deck chairs). The owner reports that it has made a great difference to the rooms, especially at night as the glass is no longer reflective and so the room is more comfortable. In the daytime, the light is good, but the sun does not burn.

The screens were made by Strawson, email: johnstrawson@btinternet.com

The fabric came from Lows of Dundee and is “210cm M5509 WHITE MESH”. The owner paid about £400 for 100 meters. If you would like a sample of the fabric, or want to speak to the owner, please email Sara who will put you in touch.

Can a Huf Haus be extended?

Yes, several owners have had additions to their houses. Most people would approach Huf for this work, but one owner has recommended a builder, Dean Brasenell, in Watford who created a stunning Huf-style summer house for their garden. Dean can be contacted on 01923 331532.

What is the resale situation?

As the company limits the number of Huf houses they build in the UK each year, Huf properties are few and far between. Our “for sale” page lists any properties that we are aware of, which are available for sale. Click here for advice from three estate agents, who have all handled Huf sales (word document).

Afra Bindewald of Huf says that “Huf houses resell at around 25 to 30% more than a conventional house”. Source: Prime Location website.

You may find the following website useful for more information about Self Build: