Before and After: From Bland Dormer Bungalow to Modern Accessible Home

 an accessible home clad in timber
(Image credit: Lu Jeffery)

Up and down the land are thousands of perfectly sound properties waiting for the right person to breathe new life into them. For one nondescript 1920s dormer bungalow in rural Derbyshire, those people were Martin and Gill Sutcliffe, who set out to enlarge the property, create light-filled open-plan spaces, and make a lifetime home that was accessible for their adult son Henry, who uses a wheelchair.

What makes their story so remarkable is that they’d previously lived in the same bungalow for 20 years. They sold it to a good friend when they relocated to Bristol for Martin’s work, before retiring back to the area a few years later. In a neat turn of fate, it happened that their friend was ready to sell the bungalow back to them.

Alison Wall

Alison Wall is an experienced homes journalist, and former chief sub editor of Homebuilding & Renovating. She has interviewed countless self-builders and renovators regarding their projects, and has a special interest in eco builds. She is also renovating her 1970s home and garden, and has a particular interest in making her own home greener, having recently added solar panels, an EV chargepoint and a solar battery system.