From dilapidated bungalow to beautiful new Cotswold home

As it continues to grow its reputation for bespoke building projects, Ford Construction lets us inside one of its latest - the transformation of a previously uninhabitable Cotswold bungalow.

By Andrew Merrell  |  Published
The customer wanted a turn a near derelict bungalow near Winchcombe into a new, modern, stylish and practical home for their mother. Ford Construction delivered.
The customer wanted a turn a near derelict bungalow near Winchcombe into a new, modern, stylish and practical home for their mother. Ford Construction delivered.

We continue our series about the sought-after Gloucestershire building firm Ford Construction, as it lets us inside another of its bespoke projects that deliver beautiful new homes for its customers.

From tasteful renovations of listed buildings to additional modern living spaces to much loved homes, Ford Construction continues to apply its formula of customer service and attention to detail to deliver. Here is one of its latest projects near Winchcombe.

About the expert – Harry Ford, Ford Construction

Harry Ford started Ford Construction in 2019 after two decades-plus in the construction industry, and with his name also pinned to the mast, every job has been personal from the start.

To date, that attention to detail has delivered the payback both he and his customers are after – and it has built a valuable reputation with a select number of architects. Word has spread into the commercial world too.

But despite the pressure, meeting the customer’s expectations and more remains as big a thrill as ever.

Why did the client pick Ford Construction for this project?

This client came to us through the Federation of Master Builders, a trade association for the UK construction industry which we are a member of. The FMB independently inspects members to guarantee clients high quality service and peace of mind. It’s a great portal for anyone looking to carry out home improvement works and means that you have your pick of the best in the SME building industry.

What was the brief from the client?

The property was really an uninhabitable bungalow that needed to be made into an accessible living accommodation for our client’s mother. Great consideration and thought had been put into the plans by our client, to ensure that the property would be future proofed for his mother’s disability.

Details such as widened doorways, removal of pinch points and level non-slip surfaces were absolutely vital to the integrity of the works.

Was it a straightforward brief, or did you need to work with the client to develop the idea?

A local architect that we now collaborate with regularly had already worked on the plans for the bungalow, allowing for two extensions to give ample indoor space and had drawn out a fantastic design for the building.

Generally, I think that the realities of the situation had meant that the project was well-thought through beforehand. There couldn’t be any allowance for beautiful impracticalities as it would impact everyday life.

Each detail was carefully considered for comfort, style and usability before being added to the plans and I think that’s what made it a really great brief.

Was there a time frame in which the client needed the work completed by and how were you able to meet that?

We were given a very reasonable target completion of Christmas 2020.

Our clients were renting another property at the time and their lease was due to end in December so getting the mother into the bungalow safely and quickly was paramount. Thanks to great planning and preparation by everyone involved, we were able to achieve a smooth-running schedule and an on-target completion date.

What was Ford Construction able to bring to this particular job that will have made the end result special for the customer?

I think, for this client, the end result is just being able to live independently and confidently, without the worry of falls or trips that there would have been in a standard property. It’s something a lot of us take for granted on a daily basis.

Few building projects are without their challenges. Looking back, was there something on this particular job which had to be overcome and how did you do that?

Yes – there was a public sewer running through the garden. This meant that we had to increase the trench excavation to 2.2m which was a lot of extra work.

As always, we put our organizational skills to good use and the team worked hard to get it done, before quickly getting the relevant professionals to sign it off so that we could continue on with the schedule without any wasted time.

What are you most proud of when looking back at this particular job?

I’m extremely proud of the whole project but, in particular, of those little details; the plug sockets, the radiators, the resin-bond for the garden. Everything was perfectly tailored to the brief – totally practical whilst still being a sleek and stylish build that the clients can be proud to show off.

Until they look closely, most people don’t even notice that the property is designed to be disability accessible – they just see a really warm and sophisticated bungalow.

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