2021 Master Builder Awards, Medium Renovation Project award

National winner: Coldwells Building Company Ltd

Dating back to 1869, the original granite cottage and neighbouring byre needed to be stripped back and fully refurbished to breath a fresh lease of life into the property and create a modern home for a fast-growing family. Working to designs by Brown & Brown Architects, the team at Coldwells set out to seamlessly blend the two buildings to create a bright and open contemporary home with a new timber and glass extension.

The new home was designed by Brown & Brown Architects.

The floors of the original cottage were stripped out to create a spacious open-plan kitchen and living area, and the byre was converted into two large bedrooms. The new extension, which is clad in black Siberian larch, provided extra space for a large living room and a master suite.

The team salvaged as many materials as they could from the existing site including rafters, slate and granite. Major challenges that were overcome included fixing the levelling of the kitchen floor, which was 45mm off level, installing a land drain to prevent localised flooding and repairing the byre roof, which was in terrible condition. To keep costs down, the team treated the healthier rafters for woodworm and repurposed them to build a new roof.

The timber and glass extension gives a bright and open feel to this contemporary home.

To bring more natural light into the property, openings were carved into the granite walls to make way for expansive glazing, illuminating the property and capitalising on the spectacular surrounding views of the pine forest. Bespoke cabinetry, custom build by Coldwells, runs the length of the entrance hallways to maximise the space available whilst providing vital storage.

The independent judges were impressed by the seamless blend of old and new, and the way the property complements its natural surroundings. They recognised the impressive range of technical skills, bespoke joinery work, and the reclamation of existing rafters and slate tiles, as well as the company’s mindfulness to find creative solutions to meet their client's budget without compromising quality. The team also pulled out all the stops to complete the renovations before the arrival of a new baby.

The builders have combined excellent technical skill with a determination to deliver exactly what the client was looking for. Their commitment to making savings on the budget throughout was commendable.”

From the national judges


The 2021 Master Builder awards concluded in September. Could one of your current projects win an award in the next competition? Nominations for the next awards will be opening in Autumn 2022, read more about it on our awards pages or contact [email protected] for more information.

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