A former Premier League footballer is hoping to corner the property market after launching his own eco-friendly timber frame housing business.
Ex-Manchester City and Blackburn Rovers captain Garry Flitcroft has snapped up a 20,000 sqft factory on an eight acre site in St Michael’s near Garstang, to house Flitcraft EcoBuild timber frame specialists.
The company designs and manufactures self-build kit houses, using a timber frame system of injected structural insulated panels (SIPS).
The timber frame energy efficient structures are precision engineered under factory conditions and then delivered directly to the site, where they are crane erected.
Garry said: “I’ve always been interested in property.My dad was a builder so when I was 18 I bought four or five properties with my first signing-on fee at Man City and things have snowballed from there. I’ve built up a large property portfolio over the last 25 years, consisting of residential and commercial property built in the traditional way.
“But this is completely different to anything I’ve done previously and I’m very excited about it.
“I really love the product and I think there’s massive potential for it.”
From beach huts to bespoke mansions fit for superstar footballers, Flitcraft’s four-strong design team can apply their timber frame system to suit any project, and virtually any budget.
“We can cater for any need basically,” said Garry. “Predominantly we do bespoke projects and in those instances we are helping clients to build their dream homes.
“But there are any number of ways this system can be applied, even down to beach huts, log cabins and instant extensions.
“One of the biggest advantages of building this way, as opposed to traditional concrete blockwork, is the speed.” He continued: “I’ve got a site in Edgworth near Bolton where I’m currently building seven four and five bedroom detached houses.
“I had three houses built with internal walls and fully watertight within 16 days, which gives you an idea of the turnaround time.”
The other big attraction of timber frame structures is their green credentials.
“In my opinion, this represents the future for the UK construction sector,” said Garry. “The government are pushing the green agenda big time: they want us to use less energy so we don’t need to generate as much electricity as a nation.
“Therefore, the more energy efficient our homes can be, the better.
“This system is virtually zero carbon and because the houses are so well insulated, we estimate the annual heating cost for a typical four or five bedroom property could be as little as £500 per year.
Orders have already started to flood in to Flitcraft’s head office from as far afield as Scotland and the Isle of Man, and they have even had interest from clients in Switzerland.
Garry added: “The order book is looking strong, the factory is busy, so the future looks bright.”