This week’s episode of George Clarke’s ‘Ugly House to Lovely House’ saw the veteran property presenter helping a couple realise the full potential of their “horrendous” bungalow.
Darren and Hannah, from East Sussex, originally bought their 1960s bungalow for its potential. George began the episode by talking about just how much bungalows can offer, with their high pitched roofs and garden friendly floor plans offering plenty of opportunities for home improvements.
Unfortunately, the couple found their home to be “horrendous”. To the front, a set of two large windows meant that anyone walking past could look inside. Their dormer roof was also so narrow that it was difficult to stand up straight on the first floor. Describing the property’s interior, Darren admitted that “none of it really flows”.
With a budget of just £45,000, one might say that their plans for a larger family home were overly-ambitious. Indeed, critics of the show have argued that participants unwittingly get themselves into debt despite George’s assurance that “great architecture doesn’t have to cost the Earth.”
Still, with a second child on the way, Darren and Hannah were eager to go ahead with their plans.
As you might expect from a property show, Darren and Hannah encountered more than their fair share of problems. Their architect, Carl Turner, came up with a scheme that would be done in stages in line with what the couple could afford. Instead, Darren elected to do all of the work at once, even adding a new rear extension. This caused the project some considerable lag; by the time his new daughter Poppy was born, Darren admitted that they were “miles behind”.
Family and friends were eager to help with the project, with one even donating the roof of his shed to serve as steel cladding for the house. Even so, the project eventually went over-budget by around £20,000.
After months of work, there is no doubt that the “horrendous” bungalow was turned into something truly special. At the front, the couple erected a new trellis over their windows to add some privacy to their home. They also moved their main living space to the rear so that they would not be constantly on display to nosey neighbours.
Several walls were removed at the rear of the property; coupled with the new extension, this created a beautiful open kitchen, dining and living area. They also installed a skylight directly above the kitchen, providing natural light for a key workspace with what George called “a genius move”.
By far one of the most striking aspects of the property’s interior is the extensive use of plywood. Mr Turner pushed the advantages of the material, calling it not only cost effective but also easy to install and incredibly sturdy. Over time, it will also gain a unique and mature finish.
In the end, the couple spent around £65,000 on their renovation. With all of their extra space, a much better interior and a sense of uniqueness that really makes the building stand out, there is no doubt that they still ended up with a truly ‘lovely’ home.
Philip is always on the lookout for properties that inspire. He knows how frustrating home improvements and maintenance can be, which is why he covers everything from loft conversions to radiator repair! Phil’s main interest is in modern properties, with a particular soft spot for skyscrapers.