Chris & Ellie Davies
Home of their dreams
"Our experience with Potton was one of harmonious collaboration, the Potton design team were able to take our wish-list and turn it into our dream home with very little compromise.”
Land Cost: £240,000
Build Cost: £260,000
Current Value: £800,000
After realising that they could live in a property that far exceeded what they could afford on the open market, and have their dream home too, Chris and Ellie Davies decided that self-building was their obvious route for their new home together.
“The new Barn show home at St Neots, with it’s energy efficient features, thoroughly inspired us and became the catalyst behind our own development. Whilst we didn’t want to replicate every feature within it, it helped us to understand what we did want for our own build.”
The couple worked closely with Potton’s Design and Planning team to create their new home. “Looking at the options that were available to us and understanding the total flexibility of design was invaluable” said Ellie. “Neil Strong and the design team helped us turn our ‘wish-list’ into our dream home, with very little compromise. They were very patient whilst we explored different design ideas – we had to be 100% certain on our final plans.”
The land was bought from Chris’s father and formed part of the family livestock farm in Haynes. Although there were a few planning issues surrounding the project, with the help of an independent planning consultant, the plans for their dream home were eventually approved. “There used to be a small worker’s cottage on the plot which we subsequently demolished to make way for our own Barn.
“Whilst planning policy supported a replacement dwelling on the site, we had to ensure that our proposed design complied with national and local requirements.
However, following pre-application discussions with Central Bedfordshire Council our proposed new home was considered not to have any adverse impact on the character and appearance of the countryside.”
As both Chris and Ellie were working full time they decided to employ a Project Manager to oversee their new build project.
“Shaun O’Connor, one of Potton’s approved Project Managers, was absolutely fantastic” said Chris. “He was knowledgeable, flexible, hard-working and diligent. Shaun oversaw all of the main works on our behalf and was empathetic and patient with us. More importantly he totally understood us and what we wanted to achieve.
Building your own home is such an all-encompassing and personal project, it’s essential that you have someone that is prepared to listen to you, work with you and share your passion. Watching our new home take shape and knowing that we’d built it ourselves was, and still is, incredibly rewarding. Make no mistakes though, it’s hard work and comes with a lot of pressure, but it’s all worth it when you can sit back and enjoy all the details you’ve slaved over.”