Contemporary render and timber clad Potton home with garage

Dennis & Maureen Stephens

A Local Move

Maureen and Dennis Stephens, now retired, were living in a ‘chocolate box’ country cottage with a thatched roof and timber cladding in a perfect Hampshire village close to the River Test.

After living there for 14 years they found it hard work to keep an old house up to standard, not to mention the running costs and heating bills.


Craving a new contemporary home with high levels of insulation the couple had never even considered self build. However, following some online research, Maureen and Dennis decided it was the way to go.

Location:
Hampshire
Land Cost:
£285,000
Build Cost:
£295,000
Value:
£850,000
Completion Date:
December 2015
Floor Area:
1981 sq ft

Locating a Plot Close to Home

Armed with local knowledge, the couple explored their existing village on and off for about two months before investigating a half-acre plot which had no planning permission but amazing open countryside views.

On approaching the local authority they were told the plot was not formally within the settlement boundary but eventually an approval was gained for two houses on the land and the Stephens purchased plot 2 for £285,000.

Throughout the process the couple had managed to rent a cottage in the same village which would prove to be invaluable during the build.

Design Inspiration

They took the opportunity to visit the Potton Self Build Show Centre in Cambridgeshire, Potton’s Ruskin show house at the National Self Build and Renovation Centre in Swindon and visited the Potton factory whilst attending a Self Build Academy seminar.

Maureen and Dennis met with Self Build Consultant Sean Adams who worked with them to transform the ideas they had and to incorporate things that they had seen and liked when viewing other houses.  

Their main requirement was to have a large open-plan kitchen and living area and incorporate some interesting interior features.

“The external look of the house was the be a blend of old and new, introducing a large peaked gable window that would provide plenty of light in the lounge and also provide a slightly more contemporary look to the outside. Sean’s input and experience was excellent, as was the whole Potton service and process” said Dennis.

Finding a Builder

The couple’s next task was to find a builder to work with. This in fact turned out to be fairly straight forward, as Dennis had actually been at school with one of the area’s quality builders, Les Palmer, who had by coincidence not only built two beautiful Potton houses in the village but also built a number of other Potton homes for clients across the county.

The house itself was finished in December 2015 with the landscaping completing the following year. The finished home is a testament to the couple’s initial vision and their project was featured on the cover of Build It magazine in the September 2017 issue.

“Despite the fact we went over budget on the groundworks, kitchen and garage, we still came out with a final project cost of £580,000” said Dennis.

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