A passion for renovation undiluted by any of the shocks of experience
Louise, who fell in love with the location and the fabulous period features, said: “It had belonged to an elderly lady who hadn’t done any work to it for years and the garden was so overgrown that squirrels had made a pathway along the rhododendrons into the eaves, where they had eaten some of the struts. That was definitely a nasty shock. There was a lot of blood, sweat and tears went into the work.”
She went on: “I hadn’t even got inside before I decided I wanted it. The verandah and the massive 4ft wide front door did it for me and then when I went in I could see the character of the rooms.
“I could also see why some people had been scared of buying it. There were holes in the ceilings and the estate agent couldn’t turn the lights on in some rooms because the electrics were so dangerous but it didn’t put us off. We could see that it could be a fantastic family home.” She and John, who have two daughters, were keen to move to the area so they would be in the catchment area for Ilkley Grammar School, which is close by.
Work started on repairing the roof, insulating and replacing the plumbing and electrics.
The Victorian windows were rotten but were replaced like for like with wooden sashes and the original panelling and staircase were retained. The couple did change the use of some of the rooms.
“The dining room was huge and so we made it into a kitchen diner and it’s somewhere we use a lot as a family,” says Louise.
The stone-built semi now has a reception hall with original ceiling cornice, polished original timber floors and a coat hanging cupboard. The kitchen diner has solid oak flooring with Shakerstyle kitchen units and a black four-oven gas Aga.
The ground floor also includes a snug, sitting room and cloakroom. On the first floor, there is a master bedroom with a separate room for an en-suite or dressing room.
There are two more bedrooms and a house bathroom with two further bedrooms on the second floor.
On the lower ground floor, there are cellars and outside there are gardens front and back.
The Barwicks are selling so they can fuel their passion for renovating and are looking for another project.