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Expand AND evolve

After living in their 1950s home for a couple of years, Carole and Ben Hepburn decided the straightforward update they’d planned wasn’t enough, and instead took on a complete remodel and extension project
PHOTOS JEREMY PHILLIPS

It wasn’t the thirst for a project that drew Carole Hepburn and her husband Ben to this red brick 1950s house in Newcastle as much as the lure of the big, handsome garden. “Ben wasn’t convinced at first because the kitchen and snug looked onto the driveway, and a single door in the dining room was the only access to outside”, says Carole. “But we loved the south-facing garden and the interiors had an inviting feel. We felt confident we could make the house work for us with some minor amends – but actually it’s turned out to be the biggest project we’ve ever done!”

Taking time

The family moved to Newcastle in 2012 after deciding to up sticks from London with their daughter, Lucy – now 10 – to be nearer Carole’s relatives in the north east.They spent the first few years renting before purchasing this property in October 2014.

At first the couple had no plans to make radical changes to the house.They had £60,000 to spend on refurbishments and, after selling their London flat, their main goal was to live mortgage-free.

“I’ve renovated quite a few properties in the past”, says Carole. “From those experiences, I knew we could just about afford to make a few alterations to the kitchen and bathrooms, decorate, and put doors in the dining room to improve access into the garden.”

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About Build It

Build It magazine's new September 2018 issue is packed full of ideas and practical advice to help you successfully create your dream home. Here's our pick of some of the top features this issue: - Top tips to save you £10,000s on your home building project - How to get real value for money from your builder - Are SIPs sustainable? - Design ideas for a better, healthier home - Make your home water efficient - Choosing the right windows for a heritage property ... and more!