Case Study of the Month - May
Out with the old, in with the new
Land Cost: £340,000 with 5 bed chalet bungalow brought in 2002
Build Cost: £379,247 inc landscaping
Current Value: £925,000
Airline Pilot Steve and his wife Rebecca, a freelance wine professional, first thought about building their own home almost 20 years ago, even down the ground floor layout.
In 2002 the couple purchased a 5 bedroom, 1970's Chalet style bungalow in a small village in Hertfordshire for £340,000.
Once settled in the bungalow, they started to think about the possibility of building for themselves, and requested brochures from America and Scandinavia, but then decided to shelve the idea.
Now in 2017, together with their two children, the family sit in the very home they ad always dreamed of living in.
Steve first learnt of Potton through a fellow Pilot who had already built with Potton and was extremely pleased with the finished article. This made the couple turn their attentions to Potton.
"Like many others, we had this complete misconception that Potton only supplied Tudor and Georgian style houses and were not very flexible on design." Explains Rebecca.
However, after visiting Steve's friends' home and meeting with Potton Self Build Consultant Graham Hughes, they soon realised that this was not the case at all, and that Potton were completely flexible with design allowing the couple to create something truly bespoke.
The initial design of their new home unfortunately exceeded the couple's budget, so working with Potton and the planning consultant, they set about redesigning the house to ensure it had all the features the family wanted while reducing it in size to fit their budget. This was achieved by slicing 2 metres from the overall house size, taking the house from a chalet bungalow to a two storey design.
The planning consultant organised a site survey followed by a pre planning application which led to the detailed approval going through with no problems at all.
“We can’t speak highly enough of the practice” says Stephen. “They even arranged the tree survey for us.”
The couple had future proofing on their minds and have allowed for a ground floor bedroom and bathroom with all fitments for future use should their needs arise in the years to come. They incorporated underfloor heating with a Mechanical Heat Recovery System and whilst the ground floor could be described as open plan it is in actual fact far from it.
"I don't really like open plan living to be honest” says Rebecca. “We wanted a house with plenty of space and light, a house where we could have parties in."
Rebecca’s idea was to incorporate sliding folding doors at the dining end of the kitchen so it would create a separate feel to the room when they have visitors. They also included a similar arrangement between the lounge and the single storey sun room on the back of the house which attracts so much light via the glazing and the Velux rooflights.
“It’s where we spend most of our time” say the couple.
Through Potton, the couple were introduced to Shaun O’Connor who has acted as Project Manager for many Potton clients and who in fact lives in a Potton home himself.
The first step on site was to demolish the existing building which included a very badly extended 1980's roof area built to a sub standard quality, this made the couple realise that building new was most definitely the right way to go.
Shaun oversaw the groundworks and foundations prior to the Potton erection team coming to site to put up the structural frame.
“This” say the couple, “was the most memorable moment for us, just seeing the frame go up in just a couple of weeks was amazing.”
Luck was on the couple’s side through the build as they were able to live at Steve’s fathers house in a nearby village.
“The weather was very kind to us and caused no delays, the contractors we used were excellent, especially the carpenters they made a fantastic job of the flooring and hanging the special internal timber bi-fold doors” says Rebecca.
“We were heading towards Christmas 2016 and this was our target finish date” says Stephen. “So we decided that we would move in on the 23rd December, albeit the house was about 98% complete but at least we were in!”
“We had a lovely house warming party with lots of people milling around the kitchen diner, living room and sun room areas, proving that we had got our layouts just about perfect” says Rebecca.
The couple recently had their 2,800 sqft. dream home valued by a local estate agent who valued it at £925,000, so not only do the couple have the house they have always dreamed of, but they have one with a considerable amount of equity in it.