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Pooling resources When two generations of the Wilson family found


neither could afford a self build, they did what families do – they pulled together to create a stunning home. By Mark Williams


suggested combining their homes it made per- fect sense. Marion and her husband Keith had lived in


M


the same bungalow, in a sleepy Hertfordshire village, for 40 years. It was their second home in the same village, the first having been built by Keith – a telephone engineer by trade – in the mid-1960s. “I used plans from Practical Householder,”


Keith told us. “It was a three-bedroomed detached home, which I managed and built from the foundations upwards. It wasn’t completely straightforward; I had wanted a Yorkstone chimney but the planners weren’t keen. Even when I chose the bricks, I discovered just before we were about to start the build that there would be a two-year waiting list to get them, so we ended up using a more com- mon brick.” Sadly, the Wilson’s country idyll didn’t work


out as planned. The house abutted the local recreation ground, and the local youths on motorbikes caused so much noise and trouble, they eventually forced the Wilsons to start looking for somewhere else to live. When the bungalow, just around the corner, came up for sale, they grabbed the chance to move. Built in 1948, the bungalow was of its time,


with 20cm thick walls and not the most attrac- tive building. But it had the position and outlook the Wilsons wanted, so they stayed and raised two daughters. Both now have children and homes of their own. “It was my daughter’s idea,” says Marion.


“She said ‘I want to look after you in old age, and it would make sense to pool resources and build a house for us all to share. But I don’t like your bungalow.’ Having cared for my mum, I knew what she meant.” And so a plan was hatched in which her


daughter’s family, including husband and two children, would sell their home and, together with Keith and Marion’s savings, replace the bunga- low with a self build. A legal agreement would ensure joint ownership of the entire family. “We had wanted to build a Potton home


way back, when we built our first house,” says Keith. “But back then, we couldn’t afford it. This time, we went off to see the show homes


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selfbuilder & homemaker www.sbhonline.co.uk Continued on page 15...


arion Wilson has abiding memories of looking after her elderly mother in her final years, so when her daughter


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