Case Study of the Month - January
The New 'Madams End Cottage'
Land Cost: £195,000 with existing house
Build Cost: circa £200,000
Current Value: £550,000
Hanne Foyle was no stranger to the village, or the house that her and husband Mike decided to buy back in 2013.
In fact she had lived in the village all of her life, and her father in law, who they were living with for 5 years, used to maintain the garden of Madams End Cottage for the previous owners.
The couple had never considered buying it, despite the owner at one time, giving them first refusal if it ever came up for sale. They had however considered the possibility of building their own home for about 3 or 4 years, but decided that as they could not find a plot, they were going to buy another house in the same village.
During the process some friends of Hanne and Mike’s decided that they would purchase the old cottage, with a view to renovating it. The house had laid empty for 5 years and needed a lot of work doing to it. Then, out of the blue, Hanne and Mike’s house purchase fell through, so they approached their friends who had decided not to go ahead with the renovation project and wanted to sell the cottage.
A purchase price of £195,000 was agreed by both couples with the condition that the Foyle’s would only purchase if planning permission to knock down the old house and build a new one was granted.
The outline planning went through with only 1 amendment, which meant that the roof pitch would have to be reduced slightly in order to resemble the old house. The planners also turned down the couple’s first choice of Georgian styled windows.
Around this time, a friend of the family who was a construction project manager made them aware of Potton and the companies role in the self build industry. The couple immediately ordered an information pack, then followed it up with a visit to The National Self-Build and Renovation Centre in Swindon where they saw the Potton Ruskin show house, the centre piece at the venue.
There, they also met with one of Potton’s self-build experts who looked after their particular area of the country and went through their needs and requirements.
“We explained about the planning condition to reduce the roof pitch and that we couldn’t use the Georgian style of windows” said Hanne
“Our main requirement was to have a big kitchen, dining area as we like to have people round and liked the idea of keeping everyone together in one room. Upstairs we wanted to have a guest room and one for each of our boys who are aged 20,10 and 9 years old, it was important for them to have the benefit of their own bedrooms” says Mike
“But most importantly” says Hanne “the final design had to be based around our budget of £345,000”
“We got on really well with the Potton expert, he offered advice and helped us achieve extra light on the landing area by adding a roof light. This has since proved to be a big advantage in what could have been a very dark area, light is so important to us!"
"The service we received from Potton from both the sales and technical support sides was really excellent, they supported us all the way through the build, nothing was too much trouble” says Mike
The couple used Mike’s contacts in the industry for most of the subcontract work.
"We did some jobs ourselves but were very confident that we could self manage it on our own, and as it turned out we were right! It was a most enjoyable experience with the main highlight being the day we actually moved into 'our new home'!"
“We would definitely like to do it again if we had the funding available” says Hanne
“We wanted to fit solar panels but unfortunately our budget did not stretch to that. Next time I’d like to incorporate more renewable products”
There were some areas where the Foyle’s went over budget but the overall cost for the land and the build currently stands at just over £394,000. But with a current valuation of around £550,000, they both agree that self-build was by far the best route! They have effectively finished up with a home personalised to their own family needs and one which if ever sold would provide a major financial benefit.
The project started with the demolition of the old cottage in May 2013 and the family moved in to a completed home during April 2014.
The construction process...