When influencer Caroline O’Neill took on her self-build project, she knew she was going to need advice from a company she could trust for her heating, plumbing and bathroom needs. That’s why she sought the help of Bassetts Bathrooms, Heating & Renewables Northern Ireland.
When building a house, it goes without saying that you have to be diligent about your research, especially for the big ticket items,” says Caroline. “And while I’m fairly good at finding bargains and figuring things out, heating is one of those areas I’m not confident I can tackle on my own.”
She started by reading up on the topic, and chatting with her architectural designer about it. “I did some research but soon became overwhelmed. It was information overload.”
“All I wanted at that point was to ensure I would be installing a reliable, efficient system that’s eco-friendly. And that wouldn’t cost too much upfront either. Like most self-builders, I’m on a budget.”
That’s where the Bassetts Heating Innovation Centre stepped in, to help Caroline fine-tune what she needed from her heating system. “With a company with 45+ years experience, I knew I was in good hands,” she adds.
So, how did her initial consultation at the Bassetts Heating Innovation Centre go? “The renewables engineer helped me go through all of my options, and plan how much it would cost,” she says.
Caroline says she wanted to understand what system she would to be putting into her home, simply because she and her family would be the ones using it.
“The Bassetts Heating Innovation Centre is the ideal place for familiarising yourself with the renewable options out there,” she says. “Like walking into a furniture store, I liked that I could touch and feel my options.”
“Boilers, stoves, radiators, valves, cylinders. All of the plumbing, including underfloor heating with floor finishes, were there to interact with. I even got some insights into laying out pipes.” In fact, she says her favourite part of the experience was seeing the live working models of the heat pumps and home controls. “That’s what really helped me get my head around how it’s all going to work,” says Caroline.
“The great thing about renewable energy systems is that you get back more than you put in,” she adds. “A solar thermal panel will give you loads of hot water with a tiny input of electricity to run the system. Same with a heat pump – one unit of electricity will produce four times that amount of energy in the form of space heating and/ or hot water.”
So what heating system is Caroline going to install in her new home? “I’m now looking at an air-source heat pump system. I’m also considering solar thermal panels for hot water,” she says.
What’s her top tip for self-builders who are at the same stage as she is? “Each home’s energy needs are unique. So the system you end up installing needs to match your own requirements. Heating systems aren’t bought off the shelf; there’s serious maths behind it. All I can say is I’m glad I’m not the one doing it!”
“Seriously though, at the end of the day, with a self-build, there are things you can do yourself and others where you need to hire people who know what they’re doing. For my heating and plumbing requirements, and my bathrooms too, I’m going with the professionals I can trust.”
About the Bassetts Heating Innovation Centre
Based just outside Portglenone, the Bassetts Heating Innovation Centre is the first interactive centre dedicated to plumbing and heating solutions for self-builders in Northern Ireland.
Since it opened in October 2021, it’s helped self-builders across the province design and cost their heating and ventilation systems.
Featured brands include market-leading manufacturers such as Grant, Mitsubishi, Viessmann, Glo+, Heatmiser, Worcester Bosch, Gledhill, and many more.
Upload your plans and book a free consultation at bassettsonline.com
Check out Caroline O’Neill on Instagram @diggmama