Sarah Pepworth has transformed a dated bungalow into a spacious new home by adding a whole storey.

When it comes to building projects Sarah is no novice. In addition to remodelling previous homes, she also project managed an ambitious self-build after her marriage broke down, somehow combining work and raising two children with creating a luxurious contemporary home for herself and daughters Morgan, now 12, and Freya, nine.

Only a few months after moving into the house, Sarah found that she was missing the excitement and activity surrounding a project. “People thought I was crazy to think about leaving our lovely new home, but you definitely get the bug and I had itchy feet quite quickly,” she recalls. “The girls did take some persuading when I first showed them the two-bed bungalow I’d found – it was hard for them to visualise how it could look – but I promised them their own en suites, which helped!”

Transforming the building

Sarah had been impressed by the views from the secluded village plot, located down a quiet country lane in north Somerset, and made an offer for the full asking price before even setting foot inside. “There were other offers on the table, so I couldn’t afford to hang around,” she says.

This time, instead of a total new build, Sarah planned to work with the existing building — doubling its size by taking off the roof and extending upwards to transform the 1980s single storey bungalow into a spacious 225m2 two storey home.

Five bedrooms and four bathrooms feature in the new upper storey. The master and girls’ bedrooms also include dressing rooms adjacent to the en suites. Flexibility was an important factor: the ground floor gym may be easily converted into a guest bedroom for elderly relatives, with the neighbouring study offering potential for an en suite if required.

Glazing the entire front gable has introduced wow factor, bringing light into the vaulted master bedroom and the dining area below. Both rooms now enjoy far-reaching views to Portishead and the sea.

Building work

During the build, Sarah, Morgan and Freya were able to remain living in their previous home, but when this sold there was only a short time left in which to complete the project before moving in. “Having a firm deadline did make me crack the whip,” says Sarah. “My decorator couldn’t stop laughing when I showed him around because he didn’t believe everything would be finished in time, but I proved him wrong. Within six months the whole house had been totally redesigned.”

“My goal was to be mortgage-free by the time I reached 40, and this house will enable me to achieve this,” Sarah explains. “I’d love to think that my story might inspire other people to take up the challenge and create their own dream home.”

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