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Sleeping beauty

With their first baby on the way, Stuart and Alexandra Seear were under pressure to get the major renovation work on their 1980s bungalow finished in time

When expectant couples set out to fi nd their fi rst family home, a bungalow built in the 1980s doesn’t often come at the top of the list. However, when Stuart and Alexandra Seear saw this empty, rundown property on the Isle of Wight, they were so excited that they put in an off er even before they viewed the inside. “It was very underdeveloped but in an excellent location,” says Stuart. “It’s surrounded by woodland and there’s a beach a short walk away. Plus there’s a lovely community here, which makes it a safe and peaceful place to be without feeling isolated.”

Superfi cially, the bungalow appeared just a little tired. “It hadn’t been touched since it was built; the plot was overgrown, too, which made it look much smaller than it is,” says Stuart. “But I could look past that to see what the property could be.” On closer inspection, however, there was actually a great deal that needed to be done. In fact, once the structural survey came back, it was apparent that almost everything required an update, including the decorative plaster on the ceilings, which had tested positive for asbestos.

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About Build It

Inside the October edition of Build It magazine: - Smart Homes special: How tech can simplify your lifestyle - Beginner's guide to winning planning permission - Extension costs guide - Passivhaus: Does it make sense for eco renovations? - How to knock through walls & open up space - Building contracts explained - Underloor heating innovations ... and more!