Bill & Angie Jenkins
Just Imagine...a home on the banks of the river Thames
A luxury waterfront retreat...
When Bill and Angie Jenkins decided the home they’d lived in for the last ten years wasn’t the one they wanted to spend the next ten years in, but the idyllic riverside location in Staines was the only place they wanted to be, there was just one thing to do.
Demolish the old house, and build a new one in its place.
And despite last summer’s appalling weather, just six months after the bulldozers started work, the couple were able to move into their beautifully tailored bespoke Potton home.
Their story started in 2009, when the couple decided to undertake their life-changing project which featured in the new More 4 TV series, Building the Dream.
Bill, who was a Communicator in the Navy’s Communication branch and a diver, is the founder director of Securus a software company that helps schools protect children when using computers. Angie is a state school bursar.
After a sixteen month search for a suitable self-build mortgage, which was finally sourced through BuildStore, the couple chose Potton to design and supply the timber frame for their dream home.
“The design had to be open plan with lots of cathedral-style windows to take advantage of the panoramic river views, and it had to fit into our existing 135ft x 80ft plot, which was quite a challenge,” says Bill.
“Also, we had to have a dressing room – Bill is ex-navy and I’m not as tidy as he is,”adds Angie.
“We wanted any future purchaser to know the house was from a well known and respected company,” says Bill. “We went for both style and brand reputation. It’s like comparing Ford with Bentley. Potton is the Bentley.”
The couple used Potton’s £2,750 bespoke design and planning service. “That was fabulous and really confirmed our decision to go with Potton. It even included all the planning costs regardless of how many applications were made. Ours went through without a single objection or hitch,” says Bill.“We got planning permission in eight weeks and it was all down to Potton.”
They visited Potton’s show centre at St Neots twice, once before the build started and once again, half way through.
“Our frame arrived on June 6 and we moved in on September 20 for Bill’s birthday and properly on September 22, which was four days inside our objective of six months. I still can’t believe we did it,” says Angie.
“We used Potton approved contractors listed in their self build manual and Potton’s self build expert, Greg Rumbles was brilliant,” says Bill.
The home they achieved is breathtaking. The huge, open plan downstairs kitchen and living area looks straight out onto the river, with a snug to one side and a cloakroom and utility room near the front door. On the other side of the house is Bill and Angie’s 21ft x 14ft river facing bedroom , ensuite and dressing room.
“The first thing you see when you walk into the house is the view of the water. It’s stunning,” says Bill.
Looking back on the build, the couple say it’s been a phenomenal journey and they’ve enjoyed nearly every minute.
“If you ask us to name our key moments – the biggest and most emotional moment was when the frame arrived and we saw Mr B Jenkins imprinted onto the timbers. Even though we’d spent all that time, energy and emotion on the ground work, it suddenly became real,” he adds.
“The best thing has been to turn our ambition into reality,” says Angie. “We designed this house, we haven’t had to compromise and we have a home that’s exactly what we want.
Potton handhold their customers through the whole process, ensuring that from gaining planning permission to getting the technologies right for achieving high energy efficiency levels, there is always the right help available.