The Potting Sheds, Linton Park Estate
“Linton Park was previously The Cornwallis country estate which was split up at the end of the 1970s. The mansion house has been owned by our company since 1985 and we acquired the remaining land and properties when they were sold in 2015. There were a number of barns and outbuildings which we wanted to develop and let out as rental properties. They came with planning permission but as we progressed, we lost confidence in the architects that had drawn them up, as well as the builder we were planning to use.
“I first came across Vernacular Homes when I saw an advert in the Wealden Times. We needed a company that specialised in barn conversions and vernacular housing, which is exactly what they do. After looking at their website, I discussed them with our chairman, who was impressed with what he saw so we got in touch.
“On our first meeting, we took them around what is now The Potting Sheds. It was a range of buildings that were linked but open. We wanted them to be turned into a unique two-bedroom house but designed differently to the current plans. Although we were working to a budget, we really wanted the property to have a high standard of finish. As well as this property, we originally appointed them to work on two others: Home Farm and The Tractor Shed. We really loved the re-worked designs.
“Part of our company ethos is ‘looking after things for the future’ and that’s something they really understood. They worked with us on all the ideas, and any changes we suggested, keeping within budget but also being sympathetic to the building.
“Once work started on The Potting Sheds, there were a few challenges; one of which was to find bricks that looked similar to the originals, as well as Kent peg tiles to go with the existing ones, and they matched them all really well.
“The next was that they also had to bring in water supplies because the water board instructed that each property had to have its own supply. They also had to install drainage linked to the main drainage of the house but because this property was slightly lower, it had to have a small pumping station to create suitable pressure.
“They’ve created a beautiful property; I particularly love the windows they made to fit the arch openings in the building. Each is slightly different to fit the gap perfectly; it enhances these original features and they look lovely. They also replicated some intricate Victorian barge boards on the roof as some were rotten – it was a really authentic restoration.
“It really felt like we worked on the whole project together. They came up with some very good ideas, but they were also amenable to our suggestions. I cannot praise them enough!”
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