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Eco-home built from 25 years of construction experience

THIS latest addition to a Waltham couple’s growing portfolio is not your typical ‘new build’. It is a forward-thinking eco home, set in the tranquil village of Barnoldby-le-Beck and launched little over a month ago.

Eco-home built from 25 years of construction experience

Developers Lee Jane Mawer and husband Steve of Spartan Property Developers Ltd had a passion for building 25 years ago when they tackled their first project in Holton-le-Clay before their two sons came along, putting further brick-building on hold. Lee, 50, said: “When the boys settled at school, we decided we would wait until they went to university to start a venture and build some houses.”

And just a year ago, with the boys now grown up and away at university, it was a chance for the Mawers to carry on building their future and tackle an eco-home, even if it took a bit of persuasion.

Taking a look the plans they set about putting their “own stamp” on it, changing some of the internals to create a truly spacious, barn style bungalow on a private, gated development. 

Swallows’ Retreat, Kingsfield Farm features mock beams and high vaulted ceilings to really give it a farmhouse feel. It’s this homely blueprint which the couple have perfected; creating a large living kitchen with modern fittings including a built in coffee machine and a down draft extractor system which isn’t fixed to a wall or hangs from a ceiling but instead pops up from the kitchen island.

This too has been carefully thought out encouraging all things family and guest entertaining – set on an angle, it means whomever is doing the cooking can engage in conversation not just with those in the same room but also anyone out in the garden – thanks largely in part to the bi-folding doors. 

These full width grey solar efficient double glazed bi-folding doors allow the garden to be incorporated into the space where Karndean rustic oak flooring boasts underfloor heating. 

“It brings the outside in,” enthused Lee who enjoys adding the finishing touches and fittings to each home, whilst Steve takes care of the construction side; utilising locally sourced products and companies.

“The bi-folding doors have solar efficient glass which let so much heat in and then shut off, holds the heat back,” said Steve, 52.

This thermo efficient bungalow is set in quarter of an acre, once occupied by a (plant) nursery) and features solar panels, air sourced underfloor heating (powered by the panels), oak internal doors, four spacious bedrooms, utility room and plant room. 

“It’s got very low running costs,” enthused Steve.

Other eco-features include a bio disc sewage treatment system. “We manage all our own sewage,” continued Steve.

“It goes into a bio-disc treatment plant, which produces clean water that flows back into the ditch.”

Inside a cloakroom is fitted with a low flush WC with natural light illuminating the room from a sun tube. Another is located along the main corridor, making maximum use of daylight hours alongside three double glazed Velux windows, electronically controlled with rain sensors.

“It’s new in the area and something that stands out,” commented Lee.

The annexe comprises of a large studio space, again with underfloor heating run from the house and a double garage which Joy Walker, from Joy Walker Estate Agents is perfect for today’s market.

“You’ve got to look at selling for all aspects of the community. 

“It’s wheelchair-friendly being on one level. 

“It’s standing out from the crowd – you’ve got something different, people can’t compare this house with anything that’s on the market in this area.

“It would suit people working from home, people who want a gym or a personal office.

“The buyer is going to be a person that’s aware of the environment. It’s having the vision to see what people want next.”

The mix of traditional and contemporary features are what sets this eco home apart, with a natural slate roof, aluminium instead of plastic guttering, a modern walk-in shower, individual thermostats in each room and high spec finishes to each room. Mock oak lintels continue the farmhouse theme internally whilst the annexe also includes a mock loft door to the rear replicating an old farm building, set in a landscaped south facing garden, with two Alfresco entertaining patio areas and laurel hedging. 

Lee and Steve now have a more personal project, working on a new home of their own and planning two new properties for 2018.

The full details can be found here.

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