Artist brushes up his prospects with bungalow transformation
A boring building has become more exciting with an adventurous extension, as Sharon Dale reports.
A PICTURE paints a thousand words and everyone one them said “boring” when Tony and Sandra Dexter browsed the brochure for a bungalow that was fresh on the market.
“The agent’s picture of the front was dreadful and it looked so drab and boring we discounted it straight away,” says Sandra, who luckily revisited the property portal and found new images, including one of the rear garden and its views to Beamsley Beacon.
Although the detached bungalow, near Ilkley, was a standard 1980s build, it was in a great location and clearly had potential.
“We thought it was worth a look and we’re so glad we went up. There were some small windows and a tiny conservatory at the back, so you couldn’t see much of the view but we immediately thought we could do something with it.
“Luckily, the lady we bought it from absolutely brilliant and was happy to wait until we put our cottage on the market and sold it,” says Sandra.
The couple had downsized prematurely to their bijoux cottage with no garden but they soon realised it was too small to accommodate grandchildren and Tony’s desire to take up painting.
The bungalow offered more space with two bedrooms, a living room , office, kitchen, bathroom and a large garden.
The tiny, leaking conservatory, accessed from the living room, was on a plinth with steps down to the garden and it was ripe for replacement.
While Tony and Sandra could’ve followed a conventional path and installed a large upvc conservatory, they agreed on a far more adventurous route.
They decided to extend the living room out into the garden and create a wall of glass to take advantage of the sensational rural views.
Tony was keen to have a pitched roof on the extension plus folding sliding doors to the side leading out onto a new patio with a glass and stainless steel balcony.
The garden below is at a lower level so the space under the patio is now storage for garden equipment.
Architect Mike Widdup worked with them on the design and drew up plans to submit to the local authority.
Planning permission wasn’t an issue as many householders on the estate had extended to the rear and officers and building regulations staff at Bradford Council came up with some helpful suggestions.
“The idea was to bring the outside in,” says Sandra.”But we really wanted the extension to tie in with rest of the house from the outside, rather than attach something ultra modern to it.”
After getting two quotes for the work, which included moving drains, they engaged local builder Joe Bonner.
He project managed the scheme and brought in other trades, including joiner Tim Owen, who made the folding sliding doors from Iroko wood.
“We originally wanted oak but were told that it would probably shrink and cause problems so Tim suggested Iroko, which has been fine,” says Tony.
The end result is a multifunctional space that is distinguished from the sitting area with a wood floor. It acts as a dining area, playroom for the grandchildren and a studio for Tony.
The original house was also been given a facelift.
Underfloor heating was installed and the office and shower room is now a third bedroom.
A new kitchen and bathroom have been installed and all the walls and ceilings were re- plastered. New internal doors were bought from Howdens.
The coving in the sitting room was removed to give it a more spacious, modern look and the old fireplace has been replaced with a wood burning stove. The pendant light was replaced with elegant wall lights from Oldfield
STATE OF THE ART: The glazed extension has added wow factor and has had a life-changing effect on Tony Dexter. It acts as his studio and his paintings have been chosen to star in the Great North Art Show.