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Leap of faith

A chance meeting led Richard and Zoe Berry to embark on the conversion of a listed Georgian church in an Edinburgh conservation area, in what turned out to be an emotional project, full of drama

THE BERRY FILE

NAMES Zoe & Richard Berry

OCCUPATIONS Stay-at-home mum & civil engineer

LOCATION Edinburgh

TYPE OF PROJECT Conversion

STYLE Georgian church

CONSTRUCTION METHOD Internal steel frame supporting joisted floor

PLOT SIZE 450m²

PROPERTY COST £180,000

BOUGHT 2010

HOUSE SIZE 290m²

PROJECT COST £300,000

PROJECT COST PER M2 £1,034

TOTAL COST £480,000

BUILDING WORK COMMENCED August 2011

BUILDING WORK TOOK 27 months for the main structural work, plus four years to completion (incl. internal fit out)

CURRENT VALUE £650,000

I t all started as a bit of a wind up. It had been a longstanding ambition for Richard Berry to convert a church, so when he came across a dilapidated Georgian one for sale in Edinburgh’s seaside suburb of Portobello he half-jokingly emailed the link to his wife. Later in the pub, a friend happened to introduce them to architect Anthony Rochmankowski – known as Rocky. During the course of the evening it transpired that this new acquaintance lived only a few doors down from the church Richard had spotted and was hugely enthusiastic about the building’s conversion potential.

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About Build It

The June edition of Build It magazine is packed full of inspiration and advice for your self build, renovation or extension project - including: • An amazing oak frame self build (page 20) • Total makeover of a 1960s house (page 39) • How to self build on a budget (page 64) • Can solar hot water panels save you money? (page 71) • Design details: exposed beams (page 74) • Guide to designing the perfect barn conversion (page 90) • Assessing a building plot's potential (page 100) … and more!