Grand Design – Live Magazines

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A renovation project that began in the new year has resulted in the transformation of a luxury home in the heart of the Ribble Valley. Photography: Kirsten Platt

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When Gary and Joanne Jones decided to move from one end of Brockhall Village to the other in December last year, they were looking forward to taking on an ambitious renovation project.

“We moved because this house is slightly bigger and, more importantly, we have a beautiful view now and a bigger garden,” explains Gary.

“We were only able to have one viewing of the property – we knew we had a project on our hands, but we loved it.”

The large, detached property, built in 1999, needed new windows and doors throughout and had an old ‘lantern’ style conservatory attached to the kitchen at the rear.

“My goodness that conservatory was cold! It was 21 years old and it leaked,” recall Gary and Joanne, who knew they needed a reliable, professional company to help them with their extensive home renovation.

Keen to use local tradesmen, Gary and Joanne turned to Whalley Home Improvements, which was co-founded one year ago by Emma Hodgkinson and partner Graham Fielden of long-established Frank Fielden and Son Joiners.

“I knew then that Whalley Home Improvements had really nailed the brief we had given them. They have been incredible.”

“We read about Whalley Home Improvements in Live Ribble Valley magazine. We got in touch with Emma and Graham who came round to the house and they could see how cold it was as we were there in woolly hats and gloves! Some of the hinges were broken on the windows and straight away Graham started to carry out some temporary fixes which, to us, showed they had initiative. They were so professional,” adds Gary.

“Emma talked us through all the options for replacing all the windows and doors and then explained the options for the new extension. It was a seamless process.”

Once it was established what Gary and Joanne wanted to achieve, work began in earnest in the new year.

“We replaced all the windows in the property – a total of 17 – plus three doors,” recalls Joanne.

The couple chose Rockdoor for the replacement doors – renowned for being solid and secure. However, while carrying out an initial survey to replace the doors, Graham noticed a structural problem around the stonework surrounding the front door.

“It was good that he spotted it,” says Gary. “We were able to get contractors in to fix the problem before the door was fitted.

“We love our new flush fitted windows and so glad we stuck to traditional white and the Rockdoors are excellent. The quality is perfect and we love the Agate grey colour.”

With the old conservatory demolished, work also began on a new extension to the rear of the property opening up the kitchen, which was replaced by Kitchen Design Centre, who worked in tandem with the team from Whalley Home Improvements.

“The two teams were working around each other on the kitchen and extension and while it sounds difficult it worked extremely well,” adds Gary.

“The extension design was a combination of Joanne and Emma. The brief for the extension was that we wanted minimal walls so we could enjoy views of the garden, the 150-year-old oak tree and the landscape beyond, lots of glass so light comes into the kitchen and it needed to be warm!”

Joanne adds: “It was a challenge because we wanted it to be as bright as possible but well insulated so it was a fine balance. But Whalley Home Improvements achieved it perfectly.”

Gary and Joanne have kept the extension minimal with neat floor to ceiling, slimline Loggia corner radiators that are thermostatically controlled via a remote.

With downlighters on dimmers to match those on the exterior, the extension now blends seamlessly with the gloss Cashmere kitchen with its central island and light ceramic tiled floor which runs throughout.

The view of the newly landscaped, contemporary garden, with Pendle and the Forest of Bowland beyond, forms a stunning backdrop to this beautifully renovated home.

Gary adds: “The extension is our ‘go-to’ place every single day. I recently watched the sun rise early one morning, the light flowed in and it was beautifully dappled by the oak tree. I knew then that Whalley Home Improvements had really nailed the brief we had given them. They have been incredible.”

Joanne and Gary agree: “One of the main things with Whalley Home Improvements is their open communication. We had constant updates so we knew what was happening and when.

“They have been lovely to work with and have done everything they said they were going to do. Ultimately professional, Emma always has a smile and Graham is a really knowledgeable, joiner and carpenter.

“We have already recommended Whalley Home Improvements to several people.”

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