Image of rendered, traditional-style house with a balcony.

Andrew & Michelle Earle

From a Hovel to a Home

If you ask Michelle and Andrew Earle where they were living during their self-build project they will say "in a mundic block built house we affectionately called ‘The Hovel’.”

Michelle and Andrew have two grown up children and had lived in the West Midlands. They had renovated a number of houses over the years before moving to the West Country in 1984.

Land Cost:
Build Cost:
Completion Date:
May 2012
It was whilst living in Cornwall that the couple considered building their own home and began looking at plots of land when they saw an advertisement for a 1/3 rd of an acre plot with an existing house.

Down a private narrow lane and with wonderful views, the plot was perfect so the couple decided to take the plunge, buy the land and create their new home.

Exploring Potton

The couple started to do their homework, reading self-build magazines, attending self-build events at the Swindon Self-Build Centre and began exploring different building methods.  It was at the Centre they took a tour around Potton’s “Renaissance” Ruskin show house and began talking to Potton’s Sean Adams.
“We talked to Sean before actually deciding to go ahead with the company. We had a number of ideas about the house and developed them with his help and actually finished up with a design based loosely on Potton’s Heritage range” said Andrew.

“We wanted to make the most of natural light and solar gain” said Michelle, “Sean was very knowledgeable and supportive throughout”.

Planning permission was granted which allowed the couple to live in the existing house until their new home was complete – providing that it was demolished after. The new house was to be built almost immediately behind the existing house, so convenient for the couple to self-manage the project.
Potton were very good and Sean was 'The face of Potton' for us. We would definitely build again.

Working with Local Labour

They worked with local labour wherever they could, a local general builder prepared the foundations and carried out most of the building work and a chance meeting with a local carpenter (who coincidentally used to live in the old existing house) allowed them to complete the second fix carpentry to an extremely high standard.

Andrew also did a lot of work himself, preparing the plumbing and underfloor heating ready for commissioning by a local plumber.

After 16 months of building, the couple moved out of the old existing house they fondly called ‘The Hovel’ and into their new home, which is the complete opposite.


Image of rendered, traditional-style house with a balcony.

Contact form

Potton Head Office

Eltisley Road

Great Gransden


SG19 3AR

441767 676400

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