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Self-build couple tell tale at Build It Live

By KentOnline reporter

When Jon and Angela Thompson left their five-bedroom home in Bromley for a tired 1970s bungalow at Grafty Green, near Maidstone, a rural lifestyle was top priority.

All pictures by Katy Donaldson
All pictures by Katy Donaldson

The existing bungalow was in a sorry state, having suffered years of neglect. Plus, there was no insulation.

While Jon and Angela knew they wanted to alter the dwelling quite radically, they’d never carried out any major structural projects before, and were unsure about what options were open to them.

With the help of an architect, the couple decided to reconfigure the bungalow’s existing layout and add a dramatic vaulted extension with a semi open-plan layout.

The kitchen and sitting room would both lead out on to a spacious deck running the full width of the back of the property, taking full advantage of the lovely rural views.

The work cost £242,500 and took nine months. The couple’s new rural location means they are now able to keep alpacas, goats, sheep and a shetland pony – which wouldn’t have been possible at their old suburban house.

Angela is grateful for the friendship of new neighbours.

She says: “They were very supportive and pleased we were going to smarten up the place. Certainly there were no objections.”

The couple will be telling their tale within the Self-Builders’ Own Stories section of self-builders exhibition. Build It Live.

Tickets are on sale now for the event, to be held on Saturday, February 3 and Sunday, February 4 at the Kent Event Centre, the Kent Showground, Detling, near Maidstone.

On offer will be expert guidance for anyone planning a self-build, renovating a property or looking to add light, space or value to their current home.

Visitors can meet hundreds of the UK’s leading suppliers and see thousands of products including oak frame building solutions, door and window ideas, the latest in underfloor heating, bricks and roof tiles, staircases and kitchens.

Meet experts from Build It Magazine, ask them questions and even show them your plans for top tips on making your project a success.

In the Naked House you’ll be able to see a section of a new build home as it comes together. Get first-hand insight into how products and materials are installed, from insulating concrete formwork to underfloor heating.

For further information and to book tickets visit www.builditlive.co.uk

Tickets are £12, children go free. Doors open at 10am, on Saturday, February 3 and Sunday, February 4. Ticket price includes latest issue of Build It Magazine, worth £4.65.

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