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”The journey of ups and downs, as with life itself, is what really makes you appreciate what you’ve got “
PHOTOS CHRIS SNOOK

Howard and Angela Payne overcame multiple setbacks to create their stunning contemporary SIPs home by the sea

For Howard and Angela Payne, the phrase ‘once bitten, twice shy’ most definitely does not apply. The couple had enjoyed living in their modern and spacious self built house just off the coast of Essex for many years. That project began over 30 years ago; in fact, the scheme had initially started as a conversion of a 17th century listed barn. Unfortunately, their plans had to change after a freak hurricane during the Great Storm of 1987 completely destroyed the half-finished structure. As the listed building was no longer there to be preserved, they lost their planning permission and the venture ground to a halt. Eventually the couple were granted fresh consent under the stipulation that the new property would look the same as the old one, so they started again from scratch. Even though that project had it’s difficulties, it didn’t put them off the idea of another self build.

In 2013 the Paynes were looking to downsize. They knew they wanted to remain in the area – not only did they adore the location, but as keen sailors, they wanted to stay close to the water and the local yacht club. “You get the most incredible sunsets here thanks to the mud flats and the shallow waters,” says Angela. “The birds and the mixture of pleasure boats and fishing boats is wonderful – we love it.” Nonetheless, they were struggling to find any houses on the market that suited their needs. Thankfully, they stumbled upon a dilapidated old bungalow for sale down a quiet country lane – it was condemned and in need of demolishing.

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About Build It

Plan, design and build your dream home with practical advice and inspiration from Build It magazine. The November 2019 edition includes: - Britain's Best Homes of 2019 - The Build It Awards Nominations! - The Build It Education House - The Ultimate Guide to Heating Your Home - Expert Design Ideas to save you £100,000 - How to Win Planning Permission ...And more!