When mum and dad be­came the builders

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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

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