and then there was heat

The past few months have certainly been busy . Our house refurbishment in Tunbridge Wells continues with a view to finishing in 4 weeks time, the apartment in Rome gathers momentum as the Italian contractors gear up to start on site in 2 weeks, and the Knightsbridge flats are underway having now completed first fix plumbing and electrics. All exciting projects, all great clients, all very time consuming. It’s with little surprise then that I have needed to push my own house project to the bottom of the priority list. That is until our boiler broke down leaving us with no hot water or central heating. Hmmm… time to focus (just a little) on Timbertops.

When considering a new heating system, there are a whole host of options out there. Solar heating, ground source heat pumps, under-floor heating, electric heaters, gas condensing boilers, systems which run off a wood-burning stove or AGA…. and believe me, I researched them all.

Unfortunately, many of the renewable home heating systems worked out to be far too expensive for us to consider. We knew we wanted instant hot water without the need for timers and emersion heaters. So after much deliberation, research and advice, we opted for an Intergas combi compact HRE boiler, a Dutch brand, new to the market. It is super energy efficient with few parts to go wrong but only time will tell, and I’m happy enough to be the guinea pig. At least I can enjoy a hot shower whenever I want and flick the central heating on when it gets chilly. So for now, I’m happy.

What this boiler installation has also meant is that the house has now been safely re-plumbed. The new boiler is happily located in what will be the new utility room, and even though the cat is a little freaked out by all the changes, it is finally out of the main living room.

And this means something even more exciting than instant hot water….

It means we can look into installing the long awaited wood burner. Hooray! Space finally too, to show off my recently restored G-Plan room divider and McIntosh 50’s sideboard. Now we really will be organised and cosy this winter!


However large or small your budget and whichever heating system you decide is right for you, just remember that the best thing to do in all instances is to insulate your house well. There is little point in having a super efficient or eco friendly renewable system if heat can escape through a poorly insulated roof or single glazed and/ or poorly fitting windows and doors.

great find

So far so good with the new Intergas combi compact HRE boiler. Not many plumbers I spoke to were familiar with it, but it has had some great reviews and our plumber was hugely impressed when he got it up and running. If you would like to ask me any questions about it, or need any advise as to good options for locating your boiler, just drop me an email at

By Louise Putman

I'm Louise, founder of architectural interior and spatial design consultancy, REcreate.

I’m a fully qualified architectural interior designer, with a BA(Hons) degree in Interior Architecture and Furniture.

I combine my architectural knowledge with interior design expertise and project management to design or renovate internal spaces.