The original house was built on this site in the 1930s and was my parent’s home from 1976. It is situated in a one acre plot on the Kingswear side of the River Dart overlooking Dartmouth and the Royal Naval College.
My parents came to have a look, saw the view and fell in love. At the time the house was divided into 2 dwellings, the main part being our home (Tides) and the flat below (Low Tides). We decided to knock it down and make one house for us to retire to!
It was an emotional journey but the original house was in a rather sad state and realistically the only option was to start again. The old house was demolished in January 2012 and the rebuilding started. It was much more stressful than we had imagined but we had some very positive memories of going down to Dartmouth where the children have grown up crabbing, fishing for mackerel and mucking around on boats to sustain us through our journey.
We spent many months planning and spoke in detail to the planners who had strong views on what they would allow as the site is very visible from the river and from Dartmouth. Our approach worked and we hope that we eventually achieved something that they, and we, are happy with. In April 2014 we moved in to the completed project… well, nearly complete. The builders remained for another month and it took a further year to complete some of the landscaping with many months of hard work to come.
As in all Grand Designs the landscaping budget was subsumed by the house budget!
The green credentials are a success with air source heat pumps providing all the heating and hot water.
The photovoltaic panels offset the electricity cost and are hidden from the river view behind the butterfly roof.
A mechanical heat recovery system circulates the air round the house and works in conjunction with the air source heat pump extracting energy from the outgoing warm air.
The highly insulated construction panels mean that we retain a large amount of heat during the winter months and together with the solar gain from the large windows combines to significantly reduce our electricity bill.