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Digital Subscriptions > Build It > Aug 2017 > A complete makeover

A complete makeover

Nathan Berger and Donna Pettefer followed their hearts and injected new life into an abandoned architectural project

From the roadside, the six-bedroom 1950s bungalow was unremarkable. Positioned on the bend of a busy road and in the direct flight path of a major airfield, the property was in desperate need of some TLC. “It was in pretty poor shape,” says Nathan. “A lot of people wouldn’t have given it a second glance.”

However, Nathan and his wife Donna weren’t put off and arranged a viewing. They were greeted by a space-wasting entrance hall that was disproportionately huge compared to the rest of the house, which comprised a disorganised jumble of corridors and small bedrooms with no flow or character. But when the couple went upstairs, they immediately saw its potential – through the eyes of the previous owner. “The bungalow had formerly belonged to an architect and his wife, and they’d started to transform it into something really different,” says Nathan. “Unfortunately they separated before the work was complete, so although the bones of his original ideas were there, it was very much a renovation in limbo.”

In fact, the previous owner had only managed to apply his vision to the bungalow’s huge loft space, which had been turned into a large, open-plan living area. There was a kitchen at one end of the zone, with a dining room in the middle and a sitting area at the other end, which overlooked open fields. A split-level floor across the middle of the room was bound by a series of vertical and horizontal wooden support beams and a door leading towards the garden actually opened out straight onto a sheer drop.

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About Build It

The August edition of Build It magazine brings you all the inspiration & practical advice you need to complete your home building project on time and on budget, including: • A stunning self-build on a countryside plot (page 20) • 10 way to maximise light and space (page 62) • 7 lightweight cladding options (page 67) • Find out whether triple glazing makes sense (page 79) • How to rewire a period property (page 119) • Discover how to find land with real potential (page 123) … and more!
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