Published: 13:00, 15 August 2014
The father and son team who are working to restore an iconic Sheppey building have said things are progressing – slowly.
Mark Soper and his dad, William, paid £192,000 for 362 Minster Road, Minster, at auction back in 2012.
The 1920s Art Deco house was in a state of disrepair – covered in undergrowth, and with a cracked and dilapidated exterior.
Since they took it on, the pair have spent around £100,000 trying to bring the building back up to scratch, and the outside now looks loved again.
Back in January, we reported how the property had been stabilised structurally, the damaged brickwork had been removed and replaced, and the walls had been rendered.
Inside, there is still a lot of work to be done, although Mr Soper said he estimated that the job was about 80% complete.
The electrics have all been sorted, the windows are finished, radiators have been installed, and most of the painting and skirting boards have been completed.
But the pair still need what Mr Soper called ‘expensive stuff’ such as the bathroom, kitchen, doors and tiles. He said it could cost them up to another £50,000 to finish the work, but that figure depended on the amount of landscaping they did.
The 39-year-old Newington resident said it was hard to put a timescale on when the project might be finished as they couldn’t move forward until they got the funds in the bank.
“It’s been going very well,” he said.
“It is getting there slowly, but Rome wasn’t built in a day.
“I’m pleased with it. There are some bits and pieces where I wish we could have spent more but we have the original stairs and the original hallway flooring, which is oak and has come up nice.
“If we can afford it, we will move into it ourselves. It’s a beautiful property.”
The house, which was built around 1925, sits on a site measuring almost a quarter of an acre.
It was sold after the death of owner Thomas Varty. When the executors of his will went inside, they found a concert piano made by Bechstein, one of the world’s leading piano manufacturers, hidden under ceiling-high piles of newspapers.