Clive and Maureen Keevil have farmed at Ingsdon Farm for over 40 years and when times became turbulent for farming, in the nineties, bought a derelict barn and land adjacent to their holding, and with the help of a cousin, who was a builder, turned it into a beautiful accommodation facility. They lived here running the farm and successful Bed and Breakfast business for 16 years.

As time went by the couple started to think about the future. Clive would always enjoy his cattle rearing and working the farm whereas Maureen was thinking that she had come to the end of the B&B business and although she enjoyed every minute thought she needed more time to herself,  "It was full on for all those years, it's a business that never really stops so a change of lifestyle was needed" says Maureen.

It was about that time that purely by coincidence Maureen had three carpenters staying at the B&B
who were erecting a Potton timber frame home for someone she knew in the village.

Land Cost:
Already Owned
Build Cost:
£500,000 approx
December 2016
Architectual Design, Planning & Building Regs, Building Structure, Potton Package
Barn style home with timber cladding
This gave her the opportunity to see what was going on first-hand “I was so impressed by the speed that the frame went up and also the professionalism of the erection team”.

So when the opportunity arose during their stay Maureen would quiz the team, not only about Potton but about building and timber frame construction in general.

"I think she used to bribe them with extra toast in exchange for information" says Clive with a smile.

This led the couple to start thinking about the future and the possibility of building a smaller farmhouse nearer to the cattle sheds, creating a more efficient farming unit. Their three children had all left home to pursue their careers in medicine so Maureen and Clive were able to consider themselves and their own requirements again.

Maureen then began to scour the internet in search of self-build knowledge and timber frame suppliers, we looked at a number of suppliers but kept coming back to Potton, especially as their friends in the village were so pleased with their finished home.

I was so impressed by the speed that the frame went up and also the professionalism of the erection team.

"We were also very impressed with the range of styles and house types Potton had to offer" says Maureen "but most of all" says Clive "we really liked the fact that Potton would handle all of the design side of things and also make the planning and building regulation applications on our behalf, that way we wouldn't need to employ an architect and would have a single point of contact…That was the thing that inspired us most. It just made the process so simple.

“Although we did have to employ an agent to prepare a statement endorsing the fact that we were genuinely farming the land in order to qualify as an agricultural dwelling" said Maureen.

The outcome was that they retained enough of the farm to accommodate around 150 head of cattle and a building plot of around 1/4 of an acre to site the new house.

The couple then made their first direct contact with Potton, they were put in touch with Self Build Consultant, Sean Adams, who visited them to discuss their requirements.

Their idea was to design a more bespoke home that would suit their own needs and requirements

"Sean was just the man for this job, he was very perceptive about what we wanted and a great help in achieving exactly what we wanted" said Clive.

Ideas they had gained from visiting the Potton website helped them to finally settle for a barn style of property, one which would suit a rural setting but internally would have a modern functionality.


That original meeting with Sean was during 2014 and around October 2015 after planning was granted the couple sealed the deal and decided to go ahead with Potton. Sean had recommended a building contractor who had previously built Potton homes in the area and the couple accepted his quotation and the project started soon after building regulations were approved.

The house was to incorporate a large vaulted dining area that would be linked to the open plan kitchen and hallway, it would also have a separate lounge, but most importantly a large utility room to house the usual washing machine etc. and of course the dog and somewhere Clive could kick his muddy wellies off when coming in from the fields!

Upstairs they would have three bedrooms all with en-suite facilities and a gallery with vaulted ceiling to bring in additional light from their open hallway below.

Externally the house would be a mixture of timber cladding with Doulting stone that was sourced locally, as were the slates for the roof.

Nu Heat

They also chose a number of renewables including; solar panels and thermo panels for hot water and for their Nu-Heat underfloor heating system.  

Maureen chose the kitchen supplier, Ashgrove from Crediton, also the Esse range cooker, the stone floors  throughout and all the bathroom items. She also sourced the pewter internal door handles herself to match the oak doors throughout.

During the build the couple rented a house locally so could be on hand to keep an eye on progress.

"The frame went up really quickly. The team were really good and allowed the builder to get started in good time although we did experience some delays because of the unscheduled requirement for a drainage treatment plant and all the design work that had to be done in relation to where the water should be discharged" says Clive.
"We also had delays with the utilities. It took 7 months from the initial contact with BT to get a phone line and internet connection and the electric supply had to be brought in underground from the farm. I would also get an experienced project manager to oversee the project at each stage"

From a Potton point of view we were really pleased with their support, they were efficient, flexible and overall provided an excellent service and despite having to live on site in a caravan for a few weeks because of delays in the building works our most memorable moment in the whole process was actually moving in when it was all completed!

Save Barn new build house with timber cladding.


Potton Head Office

Eltisley Road

Great Gransden


SG19 3AR

441767 676400

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