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The Jewson Self Build Service Challenge – Congratulations Claire Whitehorn!

When Claire Whitehorn picked up her June edition of the Countryside magazine, she didn’t think she would be picking up a £1000 prize to spend on building materials at her local Jewson branch. However, upon seeing ‘The Jewson challenge’ a competition for the most innovative self build projects, she decided to respond with a 300 word explanation of the ambitious project she was working on. “I couldn’t believe it when the Jewson self build team contacted me and gave me the news, this is going to help me so much with my project!”

Claire is now on her second self build, upon completing a successful renovation of a bungalow, Claire was ready for an even more ambitious project. When most people saw this 160 year old property they ran, Claire however saw the potential, and knew this was where she wanted to raise her family. Claire has now been living in a mobile home on site for 4 months, but the property is really starting to take shape and she quotes “It has been an experience living like this for 4 months, but as I see the property develop, I know that ultimately in the end it will all be worthwhile”.

See below for Claire’s winning entry;

Last July we bought our dream home in the New Forest – to many they would run a mile but to us it was perfect! A one acre plot with a 4 bedroom semi detached farm workers cottage (dated 1851) situated in the beautiful hamlet of Bank just outside Lyndhurst in the New Forest. The property had issues and the garden was completely overgrown, my son called it the ‘jungle house’

You literally didn’t know it was there – in fact many people looked in astonishment as we started to open the property up and delicately clear it rather than getting the site completely cleared!

The main aim was to keep the character of the garden with its many, many species of beautiful trees which to our delight we uncovered! – Acers, a Handkerchief tree, Indian bean trees and many more.

We immediately submitted plans to make the house into our dream home – it had a wonderful feel in the original part of the cottage but a 50 yr old extension was an ugly addition… which did the house no justice.

After several plans and negotiations with the National Park we have finally received permission to start the alterations.

We have totally demolished the ugly extension and have pretty much gutted the house. Our plan is to have a 4 bedroom home keeping the character of the new forest – reinstalling the sash windows which sadly had been replaced with PVC double glazing. Restoring the floor boards and bringing the house back to its former glory.

We are currently living on site in a mobile home and ground works have begun. If we could win this competition the £1000 would be a fantastic help!!!

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