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Stunning farmhouse style home on Herefordshire custom build site

After spotting an advert for award-winning Webbs Meadow in a magazine, Judy and Arnoud ­­­­visited the custom build site and fell in love. Using our turnkey service, they are now enjoying their retirement in their stunning barn-style home.

Project Details

  • Herefordshire
  • 2021
  • Farmhouse style
  • Turnkey

How one advert changed retirement plans for Judy and Arnoud

Gwyneth Paltrow has a lot to answer for. Sliding Doors, a 1998 romantic comedy in which she stars, popularised the phrase to describe those inconsequential moments that seem to tilt our lives in an unexpected direction.

Judy and Arnoud’s ‘sliding doors’ moment came by way of an Oakwrights’ advert for Webbs Meadow in Herefordshire. If not for the ad, the recent retirees may never have gone to the open day at the custom build site. Which means they would not have fallen in love with the location.

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Choosing to build with oak

At the time of their first visit, Webbs Meadow looked just as it sounds. The lush location suited Judy and Arnoud down to the ground. As did the fact that it was close to the village centre.

Before retiring, they led busy lives. Judy managed a farm and a holiday let business, Arnoud was a dentist in a Shropshire practice. Experienced DIYers, they were also pragmatic enough to know they didn’t want to project manage a self-build.

Which is why they were thrilled to learn about our full turnkey service. Especially on an oak frame home, which Arnoud describes as “wonderful”. The third to purchase one of the development’s 11 available plots meant they had plenty to choose from. They opted for a plot on a corner that would place their home in front of Webbs Meadow village green. Even the road that runs alongside is quiet, thanks to it leading to only one direct neighbour.

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Key design features

Their 0.25 acre plot came with planning permission for a farmhouse style detached four-bedroom home. They made minor changes to the design, as is possible with all our custom builds. This, as well as connections to utilities, including sewers, electricity and water, is what many people love about the custom build option.

Judy and Arnoud made a few changes to the original design, filling what would otherwise have been a mezzanine landing. This adjustment gave them a large open-plan space at the top of the stairs. Rooflights in the vaulted ceiling above allow daylight to flood the stairwell, making it the ideal place for Judy to have her sewing room.

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Characterful oak frame home

Judy and Arnoud’s home has settled beautifully into its surroundings. Its larch cladding contrasts with its more traditional jetty and porch. Sleek grey windows and aluminium guttering give the exterior a modern edge.

Closed off from the main part of the house, the entrance hall serves as a cloak- and boot room. It’s also a handy place to clean the dog after a walk.

A grand piano, surrounded by bookcases and art-clad walls, gives way to the show-stopping space beyond, suffused with light thanks to two large glass lanterns and face glazing around the sides. “We are so pleased we added the orangery,” says Judy of this flat-roofed, oak frame addition. Judy and Arnoud use the space for relaxing as well as entertaining friends.

The kitchen that leads off the orangery features units and an island from a local company while the range cooker and induction hob hint at their home’s electric-only power source. A capacious pantry, intended as a small study, proves more useful as home to a chest freezer and plenty of shelving.

Back in the oak-clad central hallway, extra wide doorways lead off to the living room and kitchen. This semi-open-plan area balances width with wall space for art and additional storage.

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Energy efficiencies

Thanks to the efficiency measures built into Judy and Arnoud’s home, the lounge’s wood burner is seldom used. Our award-winning WrightWall encapsulation, alongside a mechanical ventilation and heat recovery system, ensures excellent levels of insulation and airtightness for very low energy use.

Nor have Judy and Arnoud needed to splash out on new sofas or chairs. Much of the oak furniture from their Georgian farmhouse is perfectly suited to their brand new oak frame home.

Upstairs, the master bedroom, with a separate dressing room and an en-suite, takes up much of the west gable end. It affords uninterrupted views over the neighbouring fields. As well as a family bathroom, this floor also consists of three other bedrooms, each of which has a vaulted ceiling and oak frame details.

Outside, the drive’s Kenchester, part of our single-storey garage range, has two bays for cars, a third for storage and a place for the air source heat pump. “We created loft space with access for additional storage, making the garage a really efficient space,” Judy explains.

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From Sliding Doors to Friends – what a difference an ad makes

“It’s funny to think that seeing one advert in our local paper completely changed our retirement plans, but it did. We thought we would just pop in and have a look, find out more about custom build and what is means,” Judy continues.

“We absolutely love our home and really enjoy life here at Webbs Meadow. Our little community of self-builders are friendly and helpful. We have a garden club, we meet for coffee and enjoy watching our neighbours complete their projects. We have integrated into the local community and life is as busy as ever with family moving closer to us, too.”

There’s lots more to read about custom build homes on our website.

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