homemaker featured property - 20 July 2013

As project managers of this luxurious new-build home, Jason and Susan Harvey have picked up more than a few tricks of the trade along the way


With their passion and flair for DIY, the couple, of The Wynde, Darras Hall, Northumberland, now plan to sell up and do it all again.

They have, of course, learned plenty of new skills since the build began in 2009, from decorative arts to plastering and plumbing.

With a touch of imagination they have brought  this spacious, detached property to life.

Jason, 40, who runs his own electrical contracting company, said: “We bought the land in 2009 and started building that year, but we hit a bad winter, so it took around a year- and-a-half to complete. The snow held things up a bit.

“I'm a tradesman, so I know builders and plumbers, and I did a lot of it myself anyway.” 

At their former 1940s home in Forest Hall, Newcastle, Jason and Susan, 39, were passionate about preserving its features, while adding modern touches.

Jason said: “Our first home was an end-terraced property in Forest Hall and needed completely gutting and renovating, so I learned a lot from that. We sold that to finance the new build. Building our own home was something we've always wanted to do.”

The family’s new home has a contemporary theme.

Jason added: “I always thought Darras Hall was out of my league, but there was a bit of land that we found on the internet and we put an offer in and got it. The only stressful time during the build was early on, always worrying about whether we were going to get it!”

The couple’s dream Darras Hall property is now an inviting, open-plan and comfortable space in which to entertain family and friends.

Accommodation comprises an entrance porch, and lounge with bi-fold doors leading out to a decked area at the back of the property. There is also a dining room.

Jason said: “One of the most important things for us was to flood the property with light. We’ve got three sets of bi-fold doors across the back to open the house up.”

A highlight of the property is the open-plan breakfasting kitchen with its stunning Pol Kefton cream high-gloss units and silestone topped central island incorporating a breakfast bar.

Jason said: “The house was designed around the kitchen really. We’d never had a big kitchen before in our old house, so it was lovely. As a family we now spend all our time in the kitchen and the family room.”

The property also has a sitting room and utility room to the ground floor.

To the first floor are five bedrooms, the master with en suite and dressing room and a family bathroom. The fourth bedroom also benefits from an en suite.

The property has plenty of green space too with its large gardens. There is also a double garage.

Jason said: “We have a nice big garden and often have barbecues with our family and friends. We had around 35 people here for my mum’s 60th birthday recently.”

The property is within easy reach of Newcastle International Airport and around a 20-minute drive into Newcastle. It is also close to Ponteland middle and high schools, which the couple’s two children, Megan, 14 and Lewis, 11 attend.

“I work locally, so it’s great for me, and the kids are able to walk to school. It only takes them around five minutes to get there,” said Jason.

Some people are sad to leave their old homes behind, but for Jason and Susan, they can hardly contain their excitement at another move.

Jason said: “I don’t want to get too excited until we sell this one, but I’m looking to buy a property that’s already there, by taking the outer skin off and then completely remodel it. I’ve got my eye on a few.

“We want to stay in the area as the kids are at school here, but we want the next property to be around the same size as this one.”


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