Lesley and Guy Mace had spent 25 years on Scotland’s west coast before moving to a picturesque village near Fife — where they have painstakingly rebuilt and extended a listed steading to create a stunning home right beside a loch.
The Maces already knew of the former steading, and approached the owner when they decided to relocate from the west to the east coast. After a couple of false starts they purchased the overgrown one-acre plot in 2006, complete with a line of derelict stone agricultural buildings.
Rebuilding and restoring the existing structure was a priority, but Lesley and Guy also wanted to extend out towards the water to create additional space within a new wing. They approached The Pollock Hammond Partnership, a practice with an award-winning reputation. “It took a year before our plans were finally approved,” says Lesley. “We’re in a Conservation Area in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, bordering a Site of Special Scientific Interest, and only a fairly traditional structure was permitted.”
The Maces employed a small family-run building company, recommended to them by a friend. “In the end we paid our builder weekly to undertake the main building contract, and he was fantastic — arriving with a small team at 7:30 every morning and leaving at 4:30 in the afternoon” says Guy.
Services were brought to the site and work to the existing structure began in July 2007. By this point all the roofing had been completely removed, but the existing stone walls proved relatively stable and no underpinning was required.
The internal animal stalls had been made from sandstone, and demolishing these partitions generated almost all of the stone needed to clad the highly insulated blockwork extension. Stone quoins, cills and surrounds were made to order, and these dressings add the finishing touches to the building, which has been dry-lined and plastered internally.
Folding sliding doors in the kitchen open out onto an extensive decked area, and the gable of the first floor sitting room has been fully glazed. This leads onto a large balcony with glass balustrades, creating the perfect vantage point from which to enjoy spectacular views over the water. Underfloor heating has been laid throughout the four bedroom house, with a contemporary gas fire in the ground floor sitting room.
“Our eldest son was getting married, and the reception was due to be held in a marquee on our lawn, which meant that we had a very specific date by which to finish,” Guy reflects. “It was a challenge, and certainly helped to focus our minds and spur us on working against the clock. The landscaping was completed just in time, and everyone enjoyed being able to relax beside the water.”