What is your dream home? Close your eyes and picture it… you're thinking about what it looks like from the outside aren't you? You aren't alone.
A house's exterior appeal is important. The way a building looks sets its tone and character; it is a pre-curser to the interiors, and can make a huge difference to a property's value. For many it also spells the difference between the kind of house they want to live in, and the kind they don't.
But what if you find a house with good bone structure, in a great location, at the right price, that is sadly lacking in architectural appeal? It isn't the end of the world. In this series we will aim to show what's possible with some imagination and a good architect; starting with the incredible transformation of this house in Manchester.
The ranch-style home is ubiquitous to most towns in the UK. 'This one was bought by a young family who wanted to modernise it,' says architect Roger Stephenson of Stephenson: ISA Studio, of the transformation carried out on this split-level version that was built in the Sixties.
'The owner got in touch at the very earliest stage, before they had bought it, and asked what we could do with it. We wanted to find a way of changing it cosmetically, without actually tearing the place down and rebuilding it.'
The answer came in the form of a new silhouette, made by adding a new parapet to the roof, creating space for a new living area and master bedroom. The old brick exterior was then clad in kiln-dried Douglas fir, for a contemporary look that still maintained a rusticity that allowed the house to blend with it's neighbours.
The work took around nine months to execute, and has added roughly a third to the value of the property. 'The owner wanted to make an architectural statement, and we carried it out in ways that worked with, and accentuated the existing structure,' says Roger.