BuildStore - self build, renovation & home improvement

A Corner of heaven in London

A Corner of heaven in LondonDennis Marinakis and Dimitri Kontozisis were looking for a plot under 150,000 in central London for many months. When they spotted one on BuildStore's PlotSearch website in Denmark Hill, for 125,000, they thought it was a mistake. The site came with planning permission for a 2-bedroom, 2-bathroom detached eco-home bungalow with a grass roof and secluded back garden. As they drove up Camberwell Grove with its elegant million pound Georgian terraces, their excitement grew. Dennis said: "We looked at each other and made the decision to buy on the spot. We didn't even have financing in place - just a 10,000 deposit!"

Dennis continues: "We scraped together another 75,000. The rest we borrowed, through BuildStore's Accelerator self build mortgage scheme, with Birmingham Midshires. I had a restaurant job, which was perfect for self building. It allowed me to spend my days on site: supervising, ordering, mucking in as needed, and then head off to my "real" job in the evening. It helped that Dimitri's dad was a builder in Greece, so the idea of building his own home wasn't daunting to him. I grew up in Canada where my mom was a property developer and self build is more common, so I wasn't put off either."

The planners would not allow the roof height to exceed the existing garden walls, and there were no windows on most of the exterior walls - they were essentially building a "Hobbit House", burrowed into the ground in what used to be a large rear garden. This meant digging down and removing 180 skips worth of soil, followed by underpinning the existing walls and building a complicated foundation system. To overcome the basement feeling, Dennis incorporated as many roof lights as possible to let in light, as well as floor-to ceiling folding sliding doors off the lounge and master bedroom.

Because they are below existing drainage levels, a specialist pumping system removes waste water with a battery back up to handle power cuts. They were sceptical about a sedum grass roof at first, but have grown to love it. Not only does it create a pleasing natural look for their neighbours, but it insulates heat and acts as natural soundproofing. Other features include underfloor heating, solid bleached oak floors, an en-suite wet room with rainforest shower, a modern fireplace, Garapa Brazilian hardwood decking and sunk a six-seat Calspa jacuzzi into the deck off the barbecue.

BuildStore helped these people create their dream homes – contact us now to find out how we can help you.

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Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.

For arranging self build and custom build mortgages, we charge a fee of 695. 95 is payable on application
and a further 600 on offer. For all other mortgages we charge a fee of 395 which is payable on offer.

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BuildStore Mortgage Services Limited. Registered Office: 8 Houstoun Interchange Business Park, Livingston, EH54 5DW. Registered in Scotland Number: SC448916

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