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JOHN’S ADVICE


“Pick your architect with care, and do the design yourself – make sure you’ve really got an idea in your head before you go to professionals, otherwise you’re just going to spend money to get there. Also don’t worry too much about the small things, people seem to get hung up on little decisions but they can all be changed, as long as you get the main structure how you want it.”


fitted perfectly. It’s a well thought out package, the wood, skirting boards, window sills etc.” Due to the temperamental Scottish weather, John and Helen chose to install sliding doors as opposed to bifolds, worrying bifolds might not fare so well when subjected to high winds. Sliding doors also offer a slimmer frame, which along with the tall, frameless windows allows them to make the most of the views. It was something they changed after seeing sliding doors at an exhibition, where they also learnt about MVHR, which benefitted them as they wanted to avoid having openings on the windows but needed to fulfil certain ventilation requirements.


Despite their substantial size, the windows


were fairly simple to install. The only ones which proved slightly tricky were the large ones by the stairs. “We couldn’t get a machine in the courtyard, so they had to be carried through the house,” John explains.


THE RIGHT LAYOUT & LOOK The five bedroom house features a large open kitchen/living space downstairs, complete with a woodburner, with a separate pantry off the kitchen and a boot room and toilet near the front door. “The boot room is a handy space, and the pantry means there’s less clutter in the kitchen,” says John. There’s also a hall leading off to the additional bedroom and bathroom earmarked for their son in the future. Upstairs are four bedrooms, including a master with ensuite, and a family bathroom. Externally the building is mostly finished with a roughcast render and slate roof, with some larch


58 www.sbhonline.co.uk


“We’re delighted, it really works for our family. We like the flow of it” - John


cladding elements added to “break up the front,” says John. The ‘wing’ housing the pool is fully clad and has a metal roof to add an agricultural element. The couple didn’t have an absolutely strict budget, but did somewhat underestimate the final cost. “We knew we weren’t building a cheap house, it’s our forever house, but we thought it was going to be cheaper,” John confesses. “Once we’d been to some home shows and started getting quotes we realised it was going to be quite a bit more.” They also hadn’t factored in how much things like lighting would cost, but unanticipated costs aside, John says “nearly everything was delivered to quote.” Having now lived in the house for just over a


year, the family couldn’t be happier. “We’re delighted, it really works for our family,” says John. “We like the flow.” Because of how well it works for them, John’s almost certain they wouldn’t do another build; the next project is to improve the garden. “It’s not that building it was so stressful we’d never want to do it again, there just wouldn’t be that same passion,” he says. “We just want to stay here.” 


may/june 2021


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