Couple transform shed on George Clarke's Remarkable Renovations

Couple transform 120-year-old cattle shed and milking parlour built during the Agricultural Revolution into a stunning contemporary home on George Clarke’s Remarkable Renovations

  • Gordon and Lisa live 10 miles south of Greater Manchester on the area which was once Three Ways Farm
  • Initial budget was £180,000 but after adding £9,000 aluminium and timber cladding ended up going over
  • Revealed remarkable makeover on George Clarke’s Remarkable Renovations which airs tonight on Channel 4

A couple who vowed to transform their 120-year-old cattle shed and milking parlour into their first home reveal the remarkable makeover on George Clarke’s Remarkable Renovations tonight. 

Gordon and Lisa live 10 miles south of Greater Manchester on the area which was once Three Ways Farm, a 30-acre site which was originally used at the end of 19th century to cater for an increasing demand for meat and dairy during the Agricultural Revolution. 

But when supermarkets came along in the 1970s, undercutting prices, and a decline in profits meant in 2012 the farm was no longer a viable business, the couple decided to transform the property with a budget of £180,000.  

A couple who vowed to transform their 120-year-old cattle shed and milking parlour into their first home together reveal the remarkable make-over on George Clarke’s Remarkable Renovations tonight. The indoor pen was made-over into a stylish, duel aspect living room with access through to their brand new extension

The old milking parlour was transformed from a drab barn into a modern, Scandinavian-style kitchen with chic aluminium cladding on the entire exterior of the building 

Host George visited the couple in December 2019, with ex-pub landlord Gordon revealing that the property was originally purchased by his grandfather in 1952. He had worked there from 1965 for almost 30 years, before returning in Christmas 2018.   

The couple, who met in 2011, moved back to the farm 18 months ago to care for his mother Doreen but sadly she passed away not long after, and Gordon said he was determined to finish what he started.  

George was stunned when he saw the state of the building once inside, but Gordon said he ‘likes a challenge’, adding: ‘I like being busy.’

The cattle shed was originally built at the end of 19th century, but from the 1960s onwards Gordon and his dad modified the place to cope with their growing levels of cows, 600 pigs and 5,000 hens.

Upstairs, the old hay loft swapped a rotten wooden floor for a landing and two bedrooms with bespoke windows flooding the room with natural light 

The storeroom is just one of three identical rooms on the ground floor, including the indoor pen and farmers workshop; beyond that is the indoor pen. Meanwhile a tractor shed and stables lie parallel to the milking parlour.

He said: ‘This is where we used to milk the cows. And it’s going to be our kitchen.’

The staircase led up to three even spaces that once homed chickens, which mirrored the ground floor. The couple planned to make the space their bedroom, but having not been used for seven years, it was a little worse for wear. 

Gordon said: ‘I used to spend all summer filling this with shavings, we want to keep the pitch [roof]. Lisa added: ‘We want to keep as many features as we can.’

The couple were also keen to add a timber extension to the house, which George insisted would provide a series of openings off the entrance hall, allowing them to have views through the whole house. 

The ground floor of the home, which once homed a workshop, was transformed from a series of gloomy disconnected rooms to a stunning light hallway offering views throughout the property 

Their first challenge came in February 2020 when they tried to break up the concrete floor, laid by Gordon and his father 30 years ago. 

After ripping up the rotten first floor and creating a series of openings for the windows, Gordon hit a brick wall with the new entrance. The original plan was to have a simple front door, but Gordon started to have doubts about his initial idea. 

However, after seeking help from George, the plan was soon back underway, and the host said the build was ‘flying’ – with the couple planning to add in some skylights upstairs for additional light.  

But just four weeks later, the pandemic struck and shut down the building site.

‘Obviously we’re dealing with the Covid virus at the minute’, said Lisa. ‘So it has meant things have changed a lot’. 

Gordon added: ‘Three of the lads, they’re not coming in now. We’ve got two lads, and they’re a family. It might slow things down but we’re still healthy and that’s all that matters at the minute.’

However George is pleasantly surprised on his visit to find that Gordon and his sons had given the milking parlour a striking new make-over, choosing £9,000 aluminium cladding to cover the entire building.  

The building was originally built as a cattle shed and milking parlour for an increasing demand for meat and dairy during the Agricultural Revolution but has now been transformed into a stylish, modern home

Things began to take shape, and Gordon and Lisa used around 100 bags of plaster to create the effect of rough timber on their pitch roof, spending £5,000 on specialist artisans. 

Upstairs Gordon and Lisa had plastered their walls – but said that there was only £5,000 left in their original budget to finish the build by the end of June 2020. 

By the end of the project, due to the increase in aluminium for the milking parlour and adding a new timber clad extension, they had increased the living space by a third.  

The ground floor of the home, which once homed a workshop, was transformed from a series of gloomy disconnected rooms to a stunning light hallway offering views throughout the property. Upstairs, the old hay loft swapped a rotten wooden floor for a landing and two bedrooms with bespoke windows flooding the room with natural light. 

Meanwhile, the indoor pen was made-over into a stylish, duel aspect living room with access through to the brand new extension, and the old milking parlour was transformed into a modern, Scandinavian-style kitchen. 

George Clarke’s Remarkable Renovations airs tonight at 9pm on Channel 4 

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