The finished house includes two double garages, a home office, open plan kitchen, dining and sitting area, a TV room terrace and a roof garden, spread over three floors. So was it all worth it?

Their contemporary hillside home in North Wales, situated on a spectacular site – elevated and quiet, with 10-mile views over the coast to the right and Snowdonia to the left – has been designed to fully take advantage of its surroundings. Whilst the acquisition of the plot was relatively straightforward, the same cannot be said for the building process itself.

Difficulty with some of the tradesmen on site, coupled with spiralling building costs and the economic downturn culminated in a high-stress period. The increasing cost of the build was largely due to the couple’s commitment to using the very best materials, regardless of price or availability. The windows had to be imported from Denmark whilst the stone cladding is from Scotland. The Copelands’ new home is certainly high spec.

Despite these problems, the build was completed successfully. In no small part, this was due to the help of longtime family friend Jonathan Day whose building company, PassivHaus Ltd, finished off the original builders’ shell and fully understood the exacting requirements of this complex build. The end result has been worth it though, as shown by the house’s current value.

“It has been difficult and stressful, no question,” says Marcus. “I think if we had any idea of what lay ahead for us when we started, I doubt we would have gone ahead — but, that said, I’m glad we did. We’ve settled into a brilliant family home in a great spot that looks amazing and is a huge asset (having spent the best part of £1million on the project – plot included – the house has been valued at £1.9m). We’re immensely proud to have built a truly amazing home.”

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