This Grand Design for sale in Ripon was created by a super fit self builder who starred in Channel 4's ALONE series

Those who have self-built or tackled a major renovation and extension project will testify that it is almost always challenging and frustrating.

Rarely are first-timers prepared for just how punishing it can be and Javed Bhatti, who created this contemporary and energy-efficient six bedroom home, now for sale in Ripon, admits it was harder than he expected, not that it phased him.

Javed, a business coach and mentor, is tough with an incredible amount of stamina and he loves a challenge. His latest was taking part in the Channel 4 survival series ALONE, billed as “TV’s most epic, extreme and uncompromising survival experiment”.

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It followed him and ten other contestants who were dropped in the remote wilderness of the Dehcho region in north-west Canada. Each was alone and had to forage and fend for themselves while surviving the cold and the bears for as long as possible, equipped with just a handful of basic tools, including an axe and a knife.

The rear of the house, which has an eco-friendly driveThe rear of the house, which has an eco-friendly drive
The rear of the house, which has an eco-friendly drive

Javed is also an endurance athlete who loves extreme sports and completed the Montane Spine Race, a week-long 268-mile run along the full length of the Pennine Way. He then surprised everyone by turning round at the finish line to run it all again in reverse, the first time anyone has done two Pennine Ways back to back in winter.

Now 59, he believes he is at peak fitness, which certainly helped when he was carrying breeze blocks and going up and down ladders for the builders who helped him transform a single storey, 1950s flat roofed property into a 4,200 sq.ft energy efficient home with six bedrooms.

“Me and my family lived in Hampshire but my wife is from Ripon and we wanted to settle here in Yorkshire. We bought this house because of its great position. You can run and cycle from the door and listen to birdsong and the river and yet you’re just a short walk from Ripon centre,” says Javed, who politely declined a chance for the property project to star on Channel 4’s Grand Designs. “I just didn’t want the additional hassle,” he says.

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The project started in 2019 when the old house was virtually demolished and creating a new one began. The toughest part was being away from his family in Hampshire while he based himself in a campervan on site with his dog for company.

The kitchen/dining areaThe kitchen/dining area
The kitchen/dining area

His eye for detail and his willingness to muck in while overseeing the build was impressive. He mixed cement and estimates that he carried 4,000 breeze blocks and took most of the tiles up to the roof, boosting the size of his biceps.

The final result is a spectacular home but while Javed and his wife have loved living there, they are selling to downsize and the property on Borrage Lane is on the market with Strutt & Parker, Harrogate, for offers over £1.3m.

“The idea was that this would be a multi-generational house with space for my parents and our children but that hasn’t happened. My mother passed away and my father is happy where he is, one of my daughter’s has just bought her own home and the other has have moved to a different part of the country with work so the house is now too big for us,” says Javed, who has been captivated by Ripon, its amenities, access to countryside, the A1 and Harrogate.

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Extensively rebuilt, the house is named Canon’s House after the clergyman who commissioned the original property. It is set over three levels and has an “A” rating for energy efficiency. That is thanks to insulation, an air source heat pump, solar voltaic panels producing electricity and solar thermal panels for heating water.

The sitting area with beautiful views over the gardenThe sitting area with beautiful views over the garden
The sitting area with beautiful views over the garden

It is also future proofed with space for a lift, though since Javed and his wife have no need for one, he turned the shaft into a climbing wall with crash mats. You can climb up it then abseil back down if the fancy takes you. Some of the steel joists have also been fitted with climbing hooks and Olympic rings so you can strengthen your arms and abs with dips if you wish.

“I wanted the house to be fun as well as functional,” says Javed, whose fit-out includes CAT6 cabling to all rooms and a top security system plus zone controlled underfloor heating throughout.

Canon’s house has a reception hall, sitting room, study, 45ft living kitchen fit out by Roomroom, a dining room, utility room, boot room and cloakroom. There is also an ensuite bedroom with dressing room, a shower room, four additional bedrooms, three with ensuites, a gym/bedroom six with ensuite, a bathroom, double garage and parking.

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The garden is restocked with plants and mature trees and the eco drive is by Neil Hall Associates and has grass among the block paving to soak up rainwater so there is no surface run-off.

Solar voltaic and solar thermal panels deliver electricity and hot waterSolar voltaic and solar thermal panels deliver electricity and hot water
Solar voltaic and solar thermal panels deliver electricity and hot water

“The project took over my life. I didn’t see my family much and there was blood, sweat and tears but I love the result and being fit helped,” says Javed. “I still managed a run or a dog walk every day.”

For details contact Strutt & Parker, Harrogate. You can see ALONE on catch up on Channel 4.