CASE STUDY: A MODERN TAKE ON GEORGIAN STYLE
David and Heather Burton built a four-bedroom detached home, near Howden.
They spent a year searching for the ideal location before finding a farm orchard for sale in a nearby village.
David and Heather wanted a home which would be light and spacious, but they also liked the balanced proportions and square frontage of a traditional Georgian-style house.
“Our architect suggested that we write a list of everything we wanted and didn’t want in a home, so he could draw up plans based on that,” says Heather. “We particularly wanted a large, open hallway. We do a lot of entertaining and there’s nothing worse than everyone being squashed into a narrow hall when they arrive. We also liked the visual impact that a wide hall creates.
“Our architect insisted it would be a waste of valuable space and tried to persuade us to have a more traditional hallway. We dug our heels in – and we’re very glad we did. It’s the busiest room in the house.”
The Burtons put the build out to tender and only two people responded. They hit it off straight away with builder Anthony Townend of Bradston Homes in Carlton, near Selby, who saw the project through from start to finish.
“Tony was very flexible and willing to go the extra mile to make sure we ended up with the home we wanted,” says David.
“We also took his advice and did a lot of the ground work ourselves, spending weekend after weekend looking at bricks, roof tiles, door handles, kitchen fittings – everything you can think of – so that when he asked us what colour bricks we wanted, or which style fittings to use, we had a pretty good idea. It saved a lot of time.”
The only setback was the weather. “From the moment they started digging the foundations, the heavens opened and it didn’t stop raining for weeks,” says David. “The water was so deep it had to be pumped out of the footings and the JCB got stuck in the mud.”
The couple kept a close eye on the project, visiting the site every day and the hard work was worth it. They now have a stunning Georgian-style home.
Heather says: “There were times when we wondered whether we were doing the right thing. But it was worth it. We designed a house to suit our own taste, circumstances and lifestyle.”
“Self-building can be very stressful because it’s so timeconsuming and there are so many decisions to make.
“Do plenty of research and planning before you start. Have very clear ideas about the house you want to build – how you want it to function, what style you want inside and out, how much money you have to spend. Budgets often run away with you so be prepared to compromise. Money invested in the fabric of the building is money well-spent, so don’t cut corners on the quality of the build.
“It’s worth spending time sourcing materials on the internet and shopping around for competitive prices. Likewise with the builder.
“It’s a good idea to go on recommendation as a flexible, reliable builder is worth their weight in gold.
“If you don’t have time to be on site every day or to source the materials yourself, budget for a project manager who will keep the build on track and within budget.”
GROUND WORK: The four-bedroom home near Howden.