KEYHOLE mammoth undertaking in itself.’ The first task was to clear the building of debris and assess what was salvageable and what needed replacing. Many of the original beams and wall posts were rotten but the main trusses, the queen posts, were in good enough condition to bring back to life with a high temperature, bacteria-busting steam cleaner. The rafters and slate roof all had to be replaced, however, and the entire roof needed insulating. Michael did manage to salvage the original roof lights and reused ridge tiles and some of the slates within the main roof structure. ‘The neighbours were really helpful in terms of getting access to put the scaffolding up,’ says Michael, who bought his first house at 18 and has since bought, done up and lived in around 30 homes as he’s gradually climbed the property ladder. The floor of the property was ‘all over the place’ and without a damp proof course, so large sections of the ground floor were dug out and levelled and drains put in for the bathrooms. Areas where pigeons had created mess or oil stains permeated the floors, the boards were sand blasted clean. Most of the debris was wheelbarrowed out and taken off-site in a tipper truck. ‘Having changed the design, I decided to create an outdoor space on the first floor,’ says Michael. ‘I created a roof terrace over the main bedroom, reducing the ceiling height in the bedroom from 2.9m to 2.4m to give more wall height on the terrace and therefore more privacy.’ The terrace is created from a completely new floor structure, including a layer of fibreglass and decking, so the old joists were salvaged and re-used in repairs to the upper floor. Surplus joists were turned into a headboard, a coffee table and an internal sliding gate. A number of huge steel beams, each one foot deep, were taken out and buried in the concrete floor at ground level because they were too big to take off-site. Others were re-positioned to create the various floor levels of the main living space. The industrial brick walls were cracked in some areas but The bespoke balustrade was designed by Michael who had the holes punched into steel sheets by E.E. Ingleton, a specialist company in Sheffield The front gates open into a cobbled tunnel which has a car turning circle at the end. The ceiling is painted black to draw the eye through the passageway The former garage is virtually invisible from all sides – apart from a black painted roadside frontage The room is divided by a wall into a dressing area and two shower rooms Yorkshire Life: October 2020 135
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