Bespoke self build home by Potton

Roy & Gill Dance

Built on the Internet

When Gill and Roy Dance first considered building their own home way back in 1983 their first move was to send for a Potton information pack.

Following this Roy’s job allowed them to live in various places in the Middle East, including Oman and Brunei.

After a while Gill, originally from London, and Roy, who was born in the West Country, were hankering to get back to the UK. They both had a liking for the area around Chichester, it was ideal for their son Josh’s schooling and close to the sea which was a real plus for all of them.

Land Cost:
Already Owned
Build Cost:
Completion Date:
March 2015
Floor Area:
2637 sq ft
After around 12 months looking, they eventually found a property that in Roy’s own words “was a tired and unloved mid-fifties detached house, the ugly duckling on a nice private estate that we had always had our eyes on”

The house which they purchased for £500,000 was on an 810 square metre plot, so ideal for them to extend and completely refurbish. Once the planning application was approved and they started to put the costs together they came to the conclusion that it didn’t make financial sense to refurbish it, they decided to investigate Potton.

After living in the house for 3 further years before setting out on their self build project they subscribed to Homebuilding & Renovating magazine and went to the show in Birmingham and the dream started to form once again.
Build It Awards 2017 Shortlisted Best Timber Frame Self Build

Shortlisted for Best Timber Frame Self Build

The home of Roy and Dance was shortlisted in the 2017 Build It Awards for Best Timber Frame Home.

Celebrating all aspects of self-build and renovation, the 2017 awards recognised this new home for its high-end finish and striking contemporary interior.

Setting out on Self Build

Visiting the Potton Show Centre at St Neots, Roy and Gill met with one of Potton’s Self Build Consultants and started out with a layout from the Ideas Book.

They really liked the Averham’s open plan design, which they modified and developed with Richard into a 254 square metre home with 4 bedrooms and lots of bathrooms. The exterior had that seaside/New England style lodge pole pine weatherboarding.

Both Roy and Gill were keen that the house should be highly insulated, soundproofed and airtight. They chose products that would not only keep the house warm but would dramatically reduce their running costs, the final spec would give them an average u-value of 0.14 overall. In addition to this they also included a mechanical ventilation and heat recovery system, underfloor heating, a solar thermal store, gas condensing boiler, LED lighting and a wood burning stove with a back boiler that would also provide hot water, they also invested in a rainwater harvesting system.

The service provided by Potton was excellent from beginning to end, we would like to give special thanks to everyone, especially Keith Butler who showed endless patience with us.

The Build Begins

Finding a builder was the next task and with the original house to be demolished, this would be a big contract for the right company. After reviewing a number of potentials the couple decided to go with a local company called West Sussex Carpentry and Building Ltd.

The original house was demolished in 2014 which meant Gill and Roy could set about the project they had first considered all those years ago.

Roy was working in America and around the Caribbean, but didn't see this as a problem as he had the wonders of the internet at his fingertips!

“I was in constant contact with the builder and the site foreman, we exchanged e-mails and discussed all sorts of points on-line, I sent drawings and photos to illustrate specific queries, the whole thing worked like clockwork”

Roy and Gill wanted to achieve an open-plan style but be able to close some areas off if required. With Gill’s choice of floor and wall tiles and bathrooms with Philippe Starck taps, the finished house has a contemporary slant.

Early 2015 and the house was completed, with Roy and Gill moving in during the March.

"We enjoyed every moment of the build and can’t wait to do it again, the most memorable days were the first day of demolition when the old house needed almost no assistance to collapse into a big heap! The other was handover day with everyone still friends, on time and on budget!"

As featured in SB&D - Dance

As featured in...

Roy and Gill's self build featured in the March 2017 issue of SelfBuild & Design.

Read the feature here.

Floor Plans

Dance Floor Plans


Image_Case Study_Dance_1

Contact form

Potton Head Office

Eltisley Road

Great Gransden


SG19 3AR

441767 676400