For sale: this award winning and cheap to run self-build home has sensational rural views
Plus, thanks to the great British weather, you are unlikely to tire of the scenery, which will vary wildly, often from day to day.
The exceptional views over the Broomhead and More Hall reservoirs were the driving force when Simon Wells spotted a south-facing plot of land for sale via auction on the aptly named Sunny Bank Road, the most coveted area in the sought-after village of Bolsterstone near Sheffield.
He says: “There was no planning permission to build on the land but it did have a shack on it and so I took a gamble.”
Simon’s bid was accepted and he had also managed to convince his wife Nicola that tackling a self-build and moving from their barn conversion was a good idea.
“I showed her the plot and the amazing view and she was happy to support my journey,” he says.
James Norton, who then worked for Robin Ashley Architects, designed the property.
However, knowing that everything hung on gaining planning permission to build it, Simon also hired a planning consultant to add extra heft to his case and that was a decision that paid off.
He says: “It was well worth the expense and I highly recommend it. The planning consultant helped me get 98 per cent of what I wanted and he also helped me understand the rules and regulations.”
The first job after getting planning approval was to lay the foundations, which proved to be a difficult task thanks to the need to dig into solid rock.
It was more than worthwhile as there is no doubt that the property’s foundations are on very solid ground but Simon ended up with 130 truck loads of excavated stone, which he couldn’t give away.#“I ended up paying to have it removed, which wasn’t in the budget,” he says.
Architect James project managed the property’s construction though Simon had a huge amount of input in the process which took almost three years from the planning stage to completion.
Simon, who has a keen interest in design, was happy with the robust steel and concrete block structure and it was his idea to have stone cladding on the bulk of the property’s exterior. He also opted for oak fascias and soffits and for a living sedum roof.
He says: “The house sits low in the valley and I didn’t want it to stick out like a sore thumb. The stone facade, which looks like a dry stone wall, means it melds into the countryside.
“I got the stone from a farmer in Bradfield and stonemason Simon Harrington cut and finished it all by hand.”
Large areas of glazing to make the most of the views and high levels of insulation were also on his “must have” list.
The property, which is off mains gas, is inexpensive to run thanks to the insulation, solar gain, underfloor heating, an air source heat pump, a wood-burning stove and a mechanical ventilation and heat recovery system.
“I have an electricity bill of about £165 a month and a water bill for £50 per month and that’s it except for the council tax,” says Simon, who adds: “The MVHR unit is a Godsend because you have constantly clean air and no condensation. In other houses we have had flaking paint and cracks because of condensation but not here.”
The thought, effort and expense that went into this house was rewarded at the Sheffield Design Awards, where Dam View won the best residential property award.
The Wells family moved into their new home in 2016 and have loved living there but Simon and Nicola are now selling to downsize and spend more time travelling.
“We have loved living here. It’s fantastic, peaceful, south facing and those views are incredible.”
Dam View, which is on a 0.25 acre plot with gated entrance, is on the market with Saxton Mee for £950,000
On the ground floor is a halll, a large utility room and a plant room.
Also on this level are the main bedroom with ensuite wet room and walk-in wardrobe plus patio doors onto a private decked area.
A second double bedroom has a walk-in wardrobe and scope for an en-suite shower room with plumbing in situ. Bedroom three is used as a home office and there is also a large bathroom with a free-standing bath.
A staircase with a spine wall of exposed stone masonry leads up to the open plan hub of the home and the best vantage point to drink in the views.
There is a large living area with multi-fuel stove, a dining area, a W.C. and a contemporary kitchen with high-spec integrated appliances.
Outside is a wrap-around south-facing terrace and the property sits quarter of an acre and has an electric gated driveway, off-street parking, a double garage plus a decked area with seating and a bar. The property has a mains electric connection and there is a CAT6 internet connection.
Dam View, Bolsterstone is on the market for £950,000 with Saxton Mee, Sheffield, tel:0114 268 3241
Bolsterstone village sits on the border of the Peak District National Park and has easy access to the M1, Fox Valley Shopping Centre and Sheffield.