Our next Client’s Case Study takes us to our Water’s Edge B&B Glenarm project with Jenny, Pete & Norman (the dog). They give us an insight into what it’s like to build your very own B&B from a disused Police Station
Our client has recently been award NI’s Best Guest House/B&B Stay
Why did you decide to build your dream home?
We wanted to leave the rat race in England and live by the sea. We wanted to run a business together and work from home. We drove past the police station in Glenarm when over visiting family and before we knew it we had bought it.
How did you come about Slemish Design Studio?
Mr Google helped. We were living in England when the purchase was going through but we wanted to use Architects local to the area where we were buying. We shortlisted 3 and asked them to provide sketches based on our brief, to tender and then to meet with us on site. We liked Slemish Design Studio’s way of thinking and their easy approach. We immediately gelled with Joe and Steven and we are certain we made the right choice.
When putting your brief together, what was top of the list?
Maximise sea views from all guest rooms and our own living areas. Retain the character of the building. Provide a flexible but workable place to live in and run a B&B from allowing us and our guests to have privacy and space.
What is your must-have feature you wouldn’t compromise on?
Large sea facing window in our living space.
How have/did you found the experience so far.
Slemish Design Studio was an excellent team to deal with, Joe and Steven were always on hand to talk through issues when things got tough. We lived in a camper van in our driveway during the build and sometimes things got a little overwhelming. We found that the guys made time for us, gave us sound advice and acted as our advocate when we needed any issues of a technical nature resolving.
What was your favourite part of the process?
We enjoyed seeing the building take shape after it had been gutted and we loved watching the plans come to life. We particularly enjoyed witnessing the big window go in.
During the whole process, what did you find the worst
Have you used anything different such as MVHR/Eco etc in your house
We wanted to install MVHR and we are pleased we didn’t compromise on this. When costs increase unexpectedly it is easy to decide not to install something that isn’t a necessity. We run a B&B and we find that MVHR helps keep temperatures constant and air fresh.
How would you describe your project
Enlightening, rewarding, overwhelming, emotional but on the whole a fantastic experience, every day was a school day. No regrets.
Have you any tips for any future self-builders
Plan everything in detail, write it down, research. Give clear instructions, know what you want to see in your home. If something is really important to you do not compromise. Keep a diary, a site diary if you are living on site, but in any event a diary of works and events. We have found it really useful to refer back to both during the build and afterwards, even recently when an item failed after almost 3 years, we were able to show that although purchased on a particular date, it wasn’t installed until some time after resulting in it being within warranty leading to a free replacement. Above all, enjoy the experience, for us, it was a once in a lifetime opportunity and we are so pleased we were able to be involved in the process. Slemish Design Studio enables you to remain involved at all stages of the build so that you feel part of the team.
If you fancy a night in a luxury and award-winning 5star B&B get in touch with Water’s Edge Glenarm