When Joe and Rachel Nicol started searching for the property that would become their first family home, the pair simply could not find anything that ticked all the boxes.
Remaining close to relatives and a mainline station was very important, especially as Rachel was expecting their first child.
Then while taking a drive one Sunday, the couple stumbled upon a property on the outskirts of Etchingham in East Sussex that they could see met a number of their needs.
When they went to view it, however, they found that while it did lie within a mile of the nearest station and was situated close to the couple’s relatives, the house on Burgh Hill simply wasn’t cut out for family living. Plus, despite being modern for its time, the 1960s property was beginning to show its age.
The internal walls were knocked through on both storeys and repositioned to alleviate the linear footprint of the home and open up more useable space.
Elsewhere, on the first floor, a separate WC and bathroom arrangement was not practical for family life, so plans were drawn up to create a large bathroom and extend the main bedroom to accommodate an adjoining ensuite.
Downstairs, a cluster of small zones at one end of the house, including a WC, shower, boiler room and bulky cupboards, offered huge potential to create something more accommodating for a large family and guests.
At the opposite end of the ground floor, a small kitchen and separate dining room were crying out for expansion. Joe had envisaged extending the back of the property so that a new open-plan living/dining area would sit flush with the existing reception zones.
“We have custom built our first family home,” says Joe. “And there’s not a single aspect that hasn’t been geared towards our household’s needs. This is what has made the experience all worthwhile.”
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