Purveyor of Bollocks to the Crowned Heads of Europe
Friday, 14 November 2014
Yours for 200K
The proud (not to say smug) bloke standing in front of this half-timbered house built it himself for a total cost of £200,000, including the land it stands on. I think it is wonderful, but I don't think the planners would allow it in Bath.
Living in a 21st century, Tudor-style house might go against the grain for many of you young go-getters, but it wouldn't bother me at all - especially given my self-confessed liking for good pastiche, or even pastiche which verges on fantasy. Bad pastiche is rotten, but the really good stuff is, well, really good.
I expect that he has been forced to water-down aspects of it to do with energy-saving, which probably explains the dead-flat and boring glass in the windows. Details like this are very important, I think, although looking to the outside through optically imperfect ribbon glass or lead diamonds could get a bit tiresome in a modern house.
It just goes to show how much money successful builders make, though. It was valued at £600,000 as soon as it was finished.
I have a friend who builds cob-houses with green oak timber-work, and it takes about a month for him to finish one. The roofs are made of turf, so the whole thing is very eco-sound in terms of energy efficiency. One of his clients even grows an edible crop on his roof.
The trouble with cob-houses is that it is very difficult to prevent them from looking like something that a Hobbit would dwell in, what with round windows in thick walls to get rid of the need for lintols, etc.
The trouble with good mock Tudor is that it is very difficult to prevent them from looking like something from Harry Potter, but I know which I would prefer. You can divide the world into two sets of people - the ones which hate Harry Potter films and books, and the ones which hate anything to do with Lord of the Rings. Now I come to think of it, the ones which love the Tolkien stuff often hanker to live in New Zealand, which says a lot about them, I think. No offence, Kiwis.
I am just about to do some work for a genuine Tudor house in Oxfordshire, but they paid a fair bit more than £200,000 for it.