Only way is up for sin­gle-storey homes burst­ing with po­ten­tial

Bun­ga­lows are ripe for re­vamp­ing, as Greg Kil­roy showed when he trans­formed his into a grand de­sign. Sharon Dale re­ports.

Yorkshire Post - Property - - FRONT PAGE -

A BUILD­ING plot in the per­fect lo­ca­tion is rare and even if you find one, the price tag will be prob­a­bly be pro­hib­i­tive.

An al­ter­na­tive strat­egy for would-be self-builders is to search for a bun­ga­low. These sin­gle-storey prop­er­ties are of­ten over­looked and branded old-fash­ioned but they of­fer enor­mous po­ten­tial for both re­de­vel­op­ment and re­design.

If it is fi­nan­cially vi­able and the plan­ning au­thor­ity is happy to give the go-ahead, you can in­dulge in “bun­ga­low munch­ing” – knock­ing it down and re­plac­ing it with a two-storey house. If not, then you could look at re­design­ing and ex­tend­ing, es­pe­cially if there is scope to put rooms in the roof.

Build­ing contractor Greg Kil­roy says: “De­tached bun­ga­lows are of­ten in good spots and on re­ally good-sized plots, so they of­fer a lot of po­ten­tial. De­vel­op­ers have been knock­ing them down and re­build­ing for years but you can also adapt them. If you com­pare a four-be­d­room house and a four-be­d­room bun­ga­low, the bun­ga­low al­ways has a big­ger foot­print and of­fers bet­ter value.”

So when Greg and his wife Laura saw a stone-built bun­ga­low for sale in the sought-af­ter vil­lage of Kirkby Overblow on the Leeds side of Har­ro­gate, they could see it had more to of­fer than the brochure sug­gested.

“It was in a fan­tas­tic spot, tucked away on the edge of the vil­lage, but it had been built in 1968 and it was dated,” says Greg, who has worked on re­fur­bish­ments for some of York­shire’s wealth­i­est in­di­vid­u­als.

“As soon as I saw it, I could see what could be done to make it big­ger and more con­tem­po­rary.”

His first idea was to knock it down and start again but plan­ners wouldn’t al­low it, so he ap­plied to put an ex­ten­sion at the rear, to raise the roof to cre­ate head height for a new first floor and to re­vamp the be­d­room above the garage, chang­ing it into a self-con­tained suite with large win­dows and a bal­cony.

His designs have trans­formed the bun­ga­low into a large, mod­ern, light-filled home with large ar­eas of glaz­ing and an in­ge­nious glass lan­tern sunk into the roof, which is in­vis­i­ble from the ex­te­rior.

The 3,477 sq ft prop­erty is now a third big­ger than be­fore and is ar­ranged over three floors. The ground floor has a large re­cep­tion hall and three old bed­rooms are now one enor­mous draw­ing room with bi-fold doors. There is also a snug with French doors lead­ing to a decked area, a 22ft x 17ft liv­ing kitchen with a walk-in pantry, a sep­a­rate util­ity room, boot room and cloak­room, plus a prin­ci­pal be­d­room with dress­ing room and en-suite, a guest be­d­room with en-suite, two fur­ther bed­rooms and a house bathroom.

On the lower ground floor there is a be­d­room/sit­ting room with en-suite shower room while the new first floor houses a study with un­der eaves stor­age, a cloak­room, games room and gym.

Out­side there are gar­dens to three sides and an in­te­gral dou­ble garage.

The house has also been rewired, re-plumbed, in­su­lated and now has un­der­floor heat­ing. All the win­dows are tim­ber and it has be­spoke fea­tures and in­no­va­tions in­clud­ing a hid­den, spin­ning larder and prod­ucts Greg has dis­cov­ered do­ing his day job, like a con­tem­po­rary Swedish fire.

“I’m re­ally pleased with how the house turned out,” says Greg, who warns that plan­ning per­mis­sion can de­lay bun­ga­low projects. It took 18 months for him to get the go-ahead.

“That was the main frus­tra­tion. I had to keep go­ing back with re­vised plans. One of my aims was to al­ter the lay­out so the main rooms all had spec­tac­u­lar views and I wanted to cre­ate more nat­u­ral light. I’ve man­aged both. The sunken lan­tern works bril­liantly at fill­ing what would’ve been dark ar­eas with light.”

Over near Keigh­ley, Karen But­ler is thrilled with the bun­ga­low she bought seven years ago.

“We weren’t look­ing for a bun­ga­low at all but we’d sold our cot­tage and were des­per­ate to buy some­thing quickly as the mar­ket was hot then. This was in a lovely spot and it was a good price so we bought it as a stop gap not re­al­is­ing how prac­ti­cal it would be and how much po­ten­tial it had.

“It had be­longed to an old per­son and so it needed com­plete mod­erni­sa­tion. The builder we hired sug­gested that we do a loft con­ver­sion as there was plenty of space in the kitchen for the stairs.”

The con­ver­sion, which in­cluded rais­ing the roof slightly, gave them two ex­tra bed­rooms, a sec­ond bathroom and a study at a cost of £35,000.

“Our sons are teenagers now and ba­si­cally they have the whole up­stairs, which they love, and I don’t think we’ll ever move as the bun­ga­low will be per­fect for us as we get older,” says Karen.

Greg and Laura could eas­ily fol­low suit but they are sell­ing Tre­mayne to pur­sue a life­style change.

They have bought a farm and barns with fish­ing ponds in a vil­lage near Scar­bor­ough and plan to con­vert the prop­erty into liv­ing and hol­i­day accommodation.

“I’m proud of what we’ve done to this house,” adds Greg.

“But I’ve been in the build­ing trade for years and mov­ing to the farm and cre­at­ing hol­i­day accommodation will give me a change.”

RAIS­ING THE ROOF: Tre­mayne is now a third big­ger since builder Greg Kil­roy ex­tended and re­vamped the bun­ga­low in Kirkby Overblow.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.