Hard work of a self-build was worth it, say cou­ple

Yorkshire Post - Property - - PROPERTY -

Vic­to­ria House, Cooper Lane, Holm­firth Price: Of­fers around £435,000 Con­tact: Simon Blyth tel: 01484 689689, www.si­mon­blyth.co.uk ALAN and Liz White­house got more than they bar­gained for when they went in search of a ren­o­va­tion project.

The cou­ple started from scratch on a self-build af­ter be­ing se­duced by a plot close to the cen­tre of Holm­firth.

“We had never con­sid­ered self­build be­fore and the site was like a rain for­est when we saw it.

“There were trees ev­ery­where and it was very over­grown, but the views across the Holme Val­ley were spec­tac­u­lar and it was just two min­utes’ walk from the cen­tre of town,” says Alan, who is busi­ness and trans­port cor­re­spon­dent for BBC Look North.

They bought the land in 2000 and worked with plans pro­duced by lo­cal ar­chi­tects One 17.

Al­though the de­sign was for a four-bed­room, three-bath­room home with a full-height atrium, Liz and Alan re­con­fig­ured the space to suit their life­style.

“It was re-de­signed to suit the two of us. Our daugh­ter was about to go to uni­ver­sity so we need didn’t an enor­mous num­ber of bed­rooms,” says Alan.

“We ended up with with three bed­rooms and a large study/li­brary area at the bot­tom of the atrium.

“Most peo­ple buy houses for the num­ber of bed­rooms but we thought we’d break the mould.”

It took 18 months from reap­ply­ing for re­vised plan­ning per­mis­sion to mov­ing in to their new home, but the wait and the in­evitable stresses of self-build­ing were well worth­while.

“It’s won­der­ful though there were hitches.

“The weather was against us and we had to build a re­tain­ing wall be­cause next door’s gar­den started mov­ing when we be­gan the build. That cost us an ex­tra £8,500.

“We over ran our bud­get by a huge amount and our dreams of be­ing mort­gage free went out of the win­dow, but it is a bit like child­birth. It’s hard work at the time, but well worth it.”

The prop­erty now has an in­ner hall with a li­brary/study, util­ity room, bath­room and two bed­rooms.

The up­per ground floor has a stu­dio area, lounge area, sit­ting bay with views, din­ing area, kitchen and full build­ing height atrium.

The top floor has a bed­room, dress­ing room and en-suite bath­room.

Alan and Liz are sell­ing be­cause Liz now works in York as chief ex­ec­u­tive of the Quil­ters Guild.

“We in­tended to stay here for­ever, but life has taken us to York,” says Alan, who is a vol­un­teer at the Na­tional Rail­way Mu­seum and a vol­un­teer en­gine cleaner on the North York Moors Rail­way.

“We love it here and we are very sad to leave.

“I don’t think we’ll find any­thing like it in York.”

The ex­te­rior of Vic­to­ria House in Holm­firth, and right, the strik­ing full-height atrium.

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