In December 2013, I purchased a derelict barn in the centre of Ulverston, a town in southwest Cumbria. Over the next four years, (when time and money allowed) I demolished the existing property and rebuilt a new, two bed house on the same footprint as the original. This project pushed me physically, financially and emotionally and was a brutal reminder of how easily the television shows make property development look. I went into the project with enthusiasm and naivety, but the site location, state of the original structure, bureaucratic processes and 2015 Storm Desmond all contributed to a realistic experience of project managing a difficult build.
The original property came with planning permission for conversion of garage/ store to a two bedroom dwelling with garage. On inspection and assessment of the plans the previous owners had drawn up, the dwelling would have been habitable, but not an easy place to live, due to the lack of windows and split levels. After contemplating the options, it was decided that it would be best to demolish the original structure, dig out the banking at the rear of the property and build a new house, which would have more windows and be a conventional two storey house with an integrated garage.
The following pictures tell the story of the build.