Scotframe – the Devine’s garden kit build in Fyfe

Building on the garden was the ideal solution for Elaine and Tom Devine as they approached retirement, having been inspired by a neighbour who had done the same. Building a home with Scotframe to meet their changing needs in later life meant they could stay in the area they loved.

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With one eye on the future, the couple worked with Alistair Graham of Gillespie & Scott Architects to create a design that would create a smaller two-storey home, but that could work for single-floor living if the stairs ever became an issue.

Elaine’s job as an environmental health officer meant she’d seen a lot of older people who ended up in homes unsuitable for their needs, so they wanted their home to adapt with them. So the downstairs needed to be step-free, with doors and bath rooms able to accommodate a wheelchair.

The only other requirement was a sunny, light-filled living room that made the most of the aspect.


The couple had come across Scotframe at a Homebuilding & Renovating Show. From first sight they knew its timber frame kits would be perfect for a speedy on-site build that would allow Tom to be as hands-on as possible once wind-and-watertight.

The closed-panel timber Valutherm+ frame and roof cassettes were highly insulated, and was the perfect solution for the narrow site with limited access, with Scotframe working with the architect to create a bespoke design.

While Tom did a lot of the physical work, Elaine project-managed the build.

Work sub-dividing the garden and demolishing the garage started in 2018, with groundworks commencing in July 2019. Together the couple moved the spoil and necessary aggregates, much by barrow due to access. while they purchased their own mini-digger and scaffolding, which they later sold.

By the start of the 2020 the slab was ready, with the Scotframe timber frame kit arriving and going up within weeks of the first lockdown. Although the pandemic delayed progress, materials weren’t an issue and they had moved in by April 2021.

Choosing a highly-insulated and airtight structure meant it made sense to use an air source heat pump, as the heating need was lower than a conventional build. Scotframe’s Valutherm+ panel system and triple-glazed windows work well with the underfloor heating, and the Renewable Heat Incentive also made up the difference between the heat pump and a cheaper gas installation.

Sustainability was also important, and Elaine and Tom reused as much material from the demolition and excavations as possible on site, as well as using second-hand slate on the roof.