Creating our dream home

Case Studies, General

Mark Betts and Sara Cooper did just that when they transformed a 1960s bungalow in to a modern 2 storey home.

The couple bought the bungalow in the beautiful village of Coneyhurst, West Sussex once their children had grown up and left home. The project was to create a high-quality, modern home perfect for the couple to enjoy.

Their vision was to create a modern, open plan, 2 storey dwelling built from high quality materials.

They employed a designer, a planning expert to secure permission and an architect to achieve building regulations compliance.

The drawings were very detailed which meant that there weren’t many problems on site.  The most notable was the problem of excess water. There was also damage to the gable ends which was only uncovered once the original plastic cladding had been removed. There were huge cracks so Mark and Sara consulted with the builder and the decision was made to knock the gable ends down and re-build them. The original walls were just a single skin block design so the decision actually enabled them to re-build and create a modern cavity wall with the latest insulation.

Roland Branch Builders translated these drawings into a reality and they are delighted with the finished product.

The original electricity supply cable was attached to the gable end facing the road so this meant the cable had to be re-routed and put underground, work that was completed by the electricity board.

The property is close to the road and has limited access and this made it tricky to lift the steels in to place. There are lots of steels in the house and the biggest of them had to be lifted into position and joined on site as it was too big to go in as one single piece.

The ridge height was fixed and the owners were advised by the planning specialist to stick with a lower than preferred ridge height as this meant the scheme was likely to be approved by the planners.

The builders and Building Control worked well together responding quickly to site visit requests. On one occasion, when the weather was particularly bad, the builder requested a visit at short notice so that he could pour concrete and Building Control responded swiftly and came straight out.

To ensure the finish was of a high quality, close attention was paid to every detail including the selection of FSC certified wood; Douglas Fir for feather edge boarding, oak beams for construction and oak joinery for the doors, windows, kitchen and staircase and also the specification of the plastic guttering and down pipes that look like cast iron.

Mark and Sara wanted to use certified timber that was sourced locally and converted locally. They chose Northwood Forestry who supplied the Oak and Douglas Fir, which was grown on the Cowdray Estate in Midhurst, transported to the sawmill (15 miles away) and delivered to site (5 miles away). The joinery company, TPF Joinery, were only 9 miles away so all the suppliers were locally based.

The house has a master bedroom with en-suite, two guest rooms, an impressive glazed entrance, kitchen/living room, study and bathroom.

Design Team:

Architect: TJ Evans Ltd, 01273 400835,

Builder: Roland Branch Builders, 01403 700857,


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