George Clarke’s Remarkable Renovations was in Kingsbury near Tamworth in Staffordshire this week where Laura and Adrian were transforming a 19th-century coach house into a family home for themselves and their sons, aged four and six. The couple fell in love with the building and bought it for £285,000. The hidden gem of a building included a barn, which they knocked down and re-built, and an acre of land.
Childhood sweethearts Adrian and Laura put their life savings into buying the property while Adrian’s parents invested their pension into the ambitious project which included an annexe for them to live in.
The couple were budgeting £350,000 for the project but ended up spending around £100,000 more.
During the project, which took three years in total, the entire family lived in caravans while Adrian did some of the work himself.
Architect George looked over the plans before the couple began building.
Looking at the plans, he suggested the couple should make a small change.
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“If you have the kitchen down here, all of this can then be living space.
“Friends, family, kids – so when you walk in through here straightaway it just feels a little bit calmer and there’s sofas and there’s chairs and everything and the busy-ness of the kitchen is kept at the back.
“It might seem like a simple change but it does completely change the way the house feels, certainly in that area.”
The couple said they had never thought of that before and would put the change in place.
When George looked around the finished project, he said he was pleased the couple took his advice.
He said: “I have to say, I’m very pleased that you didn’t put the kitchen here and you put it over that side.”
Laura agreed, adding: “It would have been such a mistake. You look at that lovely wall now with all the brick restored and we’d have lost all of that and it makes so much more sense.”
Adrian and Laura had a novel approach to preserving the history of the coach house.
They built a modern timber frame inside the old brick shell, allowing them to configure the space to their needs.
Upstairs, the property has a master bedroom with a walk-in dressing room and an ensuite.
The other side had two bedrooms and a bathroom for their two boys to share.
Downstairs had a living room, a utility room, a laundry, a toilet and a large playroom.
In the rebuilt barn was a generous kitchen/diner with a vaulted ceiling.
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