When mum and dad became the builders
create the homes they wanted was the best thing we could do for them. We learnt a lot during their builds, including mistakes that we didn’t repeat on ours. We copied the things we really liked from their homes, so it wasn’t all one-sided.”
In 2012, their daughter Katherine’s house in Brigg, Lincolnshire, was the first to get the Collins family treatment. Katherine and her husband Joe had taken over his parents’ bungalow. They planned to extend it, but Ann suggested knocking it down instead and putting something else in its place. Katherine, a dentist like her father, and Joe, a teacher, were both working fulltime, so Ann and Wyndham got involved from the start, even finding them a firm of architects, ID Architecture in Grimsby.
“We wanted a modern house that could be adapted as our family grew,” says Katherine. She and Joe loved the architects’ design, a spacious openplan house with floor-to-ceiling glazing opening on to the garden. There are three large bedrooms upstairs, and a playroom and office downstairs that could become bedrooms as needed.
Joe and Katherine found a builder, who joint project-managed the build with Wyndham. At the time Ann and Wyndham were living in Hampshire, but they spent a lot of time in Lincolnshire, sharing the three-bedroom bungalow their daughter rented during the build.
“We got involved in a lot of the procurement,” says Wyndham. “Katherine and Joe would give us a brief then Ann and I went around window, bathroom, kitchen and tiling showrooms and came up with shortlists for them to make the final choice. They got a new house without doing the legwork!”
The build took 12 months, during which Katherine had a baby. “Mum and Dad were a godsend; anything Joe or I couldn’t do they did,” says Katherine. “Dad once drove two hours to sit in a stand-alone bath to make sure it was the right one for us.”
The build went way over the original budget of £165,000 to around £300,000, mainly because Katherine