Friday, October 16, 2015

Delightful Self-Built Remodel in Shropshire

Normally, planning authorities don’t look favorably upon building plans when they include significantly remodeling an older structure in order to vastly change its appearance or character. However, if the existing house is unattractive, impractical, or where it does not warrant extensive protection, then allowances can be made.

Such is the example I recently came across on Homebuilding and Renovating—a Tudor Revival remodel in Shropshire that really combines a number of clever tricks and some original thinking to deliver a very convincing and attractive home. Yes, there is some sleight-of-hand going on here; steel beams have been covered in plaster, then grained and finished to look like wood. Stone-like door surrounds are actually made from cast-moulded concrete, and then weathered to look like stone.

Purists may wish for “the real thing” but I cannot argue with the end result. Such is my own experience that the budget of most people—especially where new building projects are concerned—cannot always sustain the use of traditional materials, though they would clearly be our first choice. Creative and available substitutes can often be employed, and this home is a fine example of such an approach.

Looking at the end result, the original, nondescript Georgian home has been flanked with half-timbered Tudor side wings, embellished with a jettied porch over the center section, and topped with a high-pitched timber frame roof. As a self-build project, it is quite impressive; the owners, Mark and Julia Swannell, clearly have an excellent eye—as the proportions and architectural detail are very authentic looking. From a distance (other than the fact that the home’s lines are straight and level) one might briefly mistake it for an original. Well done!


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