Pete and Angela Tanner are no novices when it comes to self building houses: through successive projects (and lots of hard work) they’ve managed to generate enough equity to retire from their respective jobs. Here, we discover how their new striking home, which lies on the edge of the South Downs National Park and a few miles to the east of Winchester in Hampshire, came to life. This mid-century modern house features an 8m x 8m kitchen with vast slimline sliding doors.
We found this 1.7-acre plot when the first lockdown ended in July 2020. It had a scrappy, uninsulated chalet bungalow which was built in 1937 standing right by the lane. While we’re part of a village, we’re surrounded on all four sides by fields so we took the opportunity to take that down and build something a little different.
My husband is an avid collector of mid-century design so it seemed appropriate to have a house in the same aesthetic so that it would accommodate all these pieces. We worked with the architect Nick Hebden of Chichester-based Hebden Design Studio to come up with the plans and by December 2020 we’d received permission from the planners to go ahead—it was so quick, we were very lucky.
We aren’t professional property developers but we have built four homes from scratch over the past 20 years and also completed big renovation projects on several more. It’s been a lot of hard work but we saw it as a way of gaining our independence from our respective jobs; we are both now retired.
Our house is 3,700 sq ft and is designed to have five bedrooms. Externally, it’s is clad on the bottom half in a mix of Danish Petersen brick slithers and Portland stone. The second level is in cedar planks which we have oiled extensively so that they retain their rich orange colour. The rest, including the mono pitch roof on the kitchen (meaning it only has one angle) is in zinc.
We knew from the outset that we wanted slimline sliding doors to make the most of the rural views on three sides. At first the architect suggested more glazing but we’re pleased with what we’ve got—half the kitchen is glazed and it looks fantastic. We’ve deliberately kept one elevation as fixed panes while the other two open on both sides meaning we can spill out onto the terrace which is especially lovely when we are spending time with friends.
Initially we sent off for quotes for slimline sliding doors to three other companies but couldn’t believe the figures that came back. We thought there was no way we were going to be able to have the design we had in mind until we were recommended to speak to Minima Sliding. I had a chat with Dan and James and they were quick to come up with some suggestions and at a price that we thought we could manage.
They were great in delivering the best value product for the price we were prepared to pay. Not only that but they conducted site visits and gave us plenty of useful information about footings which aren’t at all straightforward and came back before the doors were installed to ensure that everything was in good order. It was a smooth process.
The connection to the countryside. We have so many birds that come and feed in the garden and one of the nicest things to do is sit with a cup of tea in the morning and listen to all the squabbling that goes on in the trees just a few metres beyond the sliding doors.
Absolutely, in fact we already have recommended them and if we ever found ourselves doing another project requiring slimline sliding doors they are definitely the company we’d look at again.
Do your homework. When you’re planning on having slimline sliding doors, you really need to have decent quality drawings to show to the manufacturers in order for them to be able to give you an accurate quote. It’s not worth winging it otherwise you might end up spending a lot more than you expected.
Need help with your extension or garden room project? Contact us now to find out more about Minima Sliding’s award-winning, slimline sliding doors.