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Oak charm

A renovation project evolved into a self build opportunity, allowing Peter Crosdil to create the oak frame house he’d always wanted

The desire to build an oak frame home first struck Peter Crosdil when he saw a client’s new house whilst at work. “I have a swimming pool business and I was on a job for a customer who had just created a new oak frame dwelling,” says Peter. “I saw the character and warmth of the material first-hand, and decided that this was the type of property I wanted to develop for myself one day in the future.”

The opportunity manifested itself out of the blue two years later, when Peter spotted a dated 367m2 farmhouse for sale near his home in Pulborough, West Sussex. the dwelling came with 20.5 acres of farmland, a converted barn and an annexe. Initially, Peter viewed the property as a possible business venture. “The site was great value for money and the location was fantastic, with farreaching views across Sussex. It was also close to work,” he says. “The original idea was to update the agricultural conversion and annexe and rent them out. We also planned to set up a riding school, as my ex-wife had horses. However, we parted ways during the project so I didn’t take this element of the scheme any further.”

Change of plan

At this point a self build wasn’t on the cards at all, as Peter had envisioned renovating the main house. However, during the purchase process, a survey revealed cracks in the walls and foundation problems caused by subsidence. It quickly became clear that starting from scratch was going to be the best course of action. “I was really pleased because I could design a home to really make the most of the views,” says Peter. “On a clear day, we can see as far as Portsmouth in one direction and across to Devil’s Dyke in the other – that’s a view of nearly 60 miles.”

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About Build It

The July edition of Build It magazine brings you a wealth of information to help make a success of your self build, renovation, extension or conversion project – including: • A modern eco home built for just £77,000 (page 44) • Top flooring options (page 65) • Solar PV & battery storage (page 68) • Sliding doors vs bifolds (page 73) • 10 top tips for self builders (page 101) • Design ideas for awkward plots (page 110) … and more!