I wanted a beautiful home that could also generate income
Based in London, Jason Bold runs the successful creative agency HarrimanSteel. Jason and his wife Sarah, originally from Australia, had a dream of building a home on the remote north west of Skye.
How did you hear about HebHomes?
We already know about the architecture of Dualchas Building Design through various newspaper and magazine articles. Through this we discovered that a sister company had been set up which supplied their beautiful designs as kit packages. When a site became available in Glendale, a part of Skye we loved, we decided to press the start button.
How easy was the process to get your house on site?
It is important that you have a professional agent who will take you through the planning and building warrant process. We used Dualchas Building Design who had to overcome problems such as limited water supply in the area and a difficult access. Difficulties with the public water supply caused delays but our patience saved us from the huge expense of a private borehole.
How helpful were HebHomes?
We wanted a standard LH402 SIP clad in larch but with minor modifications. Our site enjoys Jurassic landscape views (The Land that Time Forgot was filmed in north Skye) so we wanted bigger windows in our downstairs bedrooms. HebHomes were happy to amend the design to our needs and responded to any queries quickly. We were particularly impressed with the working drawings which were amended to meet our particular requirements.
How did the erection of the kit progress?
After the foundations and slab were prepared the erection of the kit went quickly, despite our site being difficult because of the steep access road. Unfortunately, completing the house was not plain sailing. The economic slump came and the main contractor was forced to go into liquidation. This could have been disastrous if we hadn’t been using a Scottish Minor Works contract. This means a contractor is only paid for the work carried out. A third party contractor was brought in and the house completed
How are you enjoying your HebHomes house?
We hope that as a family we will one day move permanently to Skye. In the meantime we spend as much time as possible on the island when we get a break from our busy London lives. We greatly enjoy the peacefulness of the area and the warmth of the house – as well as the incredible views. The glazing frames sea, cliff and waterfalls that more often that not travel up the way rather than down! The contrast with London could hardly be greater. We love our house and feel very lucky.
You rent out your house. Is it popular?
I set up a website www.skyewoodhouse.co.uk. People who stay in our HebHomes are very complimentary and we find they want to return. There are not many high quality, modern, architecturally inspiring houses for rent in the Highlands of Scotland so we are very well placed. Our HebHome house has become a very successful business for us and makes the financial commitment to building a modern home much more manageable.
Is there anything you would have done differently?
The final cost of a house depends a lot on the site you buy. I would maybe have found a site which was less problematic. I would also urge caution on the contractor that is chosen. Many smaller contractors are going out of business due to the continuing downturn and you have to make sure that a building professional or QS is involved during the construction phase so that you are not left too exposed.
What advice do you have for anyone building a new home?
It is important that you are realistic about construction costs from the start – especially if you are building in a remote location. Plan in a contingency of 10% because there are always unknowns such as difficult site conditions or servicing that may not appear until well down the whole process. But my main advice is to keep remembering what you will have at the end – a magnificent architect designed house which you can enjoy and that could generate a substantial return. And also remember, the better the views, the better your house.
April 05, 2017
Free Tickets To The Glasgow Homebuilding and Renovating Show
Come along to Stand B104 to discuss your project with Architects from both HebHomes and Dualchas Architects. Click Here for 2 Free Tickets ...