Robert Hunt of North Devon, England, simply accomplished what quantities to an uncommon and impressive water tower conversion mission.
In 2019, Hunt bought all the things he owned to buy a redundant Nineteen Forties water tower, which was decommissioned within the early 2000s, and determined to transform it right into a four-bedroom house.
He spent roughly $905,000 on the two-and-a-half-year mission, which incorporates the price of shopping for the property, which amounted to round $181,000.
A former manufacturing facility employee within the filtration business, Hunt has by no means undertaken such a mission earlier than. He mentioned, “I haven’t accomplished something like this earlier than, I used to have a few leases and accomplished the odd home reno however all fairly customary stuff.”
He shared that he was trying via actual property listings and had been pondering of getting a bit of property to repair up when the weird itemizing attracted his consideration.
Hunt mentioned, “It was inside 20 miles of the place I lived, so mainly native. I might see there was a possibility with it and the worth was fairly good for the dimensions of the property and the land that got here with it.”
Family and friends, nonetheless, had been skeptical. Hunt shared, “They most likely all thought it was both not going to occur or that I used to be simply mad to even give it some thought. But when it was straightforward then everybody would do it, wouldn’t they?”
Earlier than its makeover into a contemporary four-bedroom house, the water tower was merely a big, empty area with no rooms, inside partitions, or home windows.
The interiors had been virtually naked, apart from a couple of electrical panels and water pipes. “Once I first considered it, it was arduous to explain. No home windows, and no stairs — you needed to go up a ladder within the heart of the tower to get to the highest of the tank,” Hunt mentioned.
Since there have been no home windows, he additionally needed to guess what the views would appear to be. “I virtually imagined the structure, which isn’t far off what it’s in the present day, fairly shortly after a few viewings not less than,” he added.
Hunt initially juggled his full-time manufacturing facility job whereas engaged on the home with a builder pal of his. He mentioned, “I carried on working full-time for the primary six months, after which bought my home, give up my job, and I’ve been on it full-time since.”
He moved right into a cellular house on-site in July 2020 and helped wherever he might all through the complete conversion. “I’ve mainly been like a laborer, doing bits and items, and project-managing it,” Hunt mentioned.
Hunt had some DIY expertise, however actually the trouble of revamping a water tower right into a four-bedroom house was on one other degree altogether.
He mentioned, “I had three property leases earlier than, rented out to tenants, and I’d do the odd DIY portray, adorning, helped with kitchens and bogs however I’m not in a commerce. Principally, you simply choose up a couple of expertise on the best way I suppose. And that’s the place I’m at now.”
Hunt labored carefully with architects and builders to rework the derelict water tower right into a three-story four-bedroom house. He lined the uncovered concrete exterior in black cladding and painted the bottom of the home white for a contrasting look.
Openings had been added to the water tower to create home windows that now go across the constructing, providing panoramic views of the encircling English countryside.
He mentioned, “The black cladding on the surface, the white render on the underside, the structure inside, the home windows, and different issues had been all my concepts. There was an architect concerned, however they simply drew up 90%, 95% of what I envisaged.”
The home has a round flooring plan, with smooth white inside partitions and doorways. Underfloor heating was inbuilt to maintain the property heat and comfy all 12 months spherical.
The primary flooring contains Hunt’s plant rooms and cloakrooms, together with a spare bed room and a rest room.
The lavatory was constructed within the heart of the round area in what was once a part of the unique entry shaft of the water tower.
The second flooring has the main bedroom and two different bedrooms. The main bedroom is all black, together with the ground tiles and partitions.
Its toilet has a double bathe and a double basin, and a black freestanding bathtub that stands in entrance of a big window that overlooks the outside panorama.
Hunt mentioned. “I’m pleased with that as a result of it’s fairly a daring factor. Folks suppose it’s going to be too darkish or a bit like a cave however you bought large home windows, large views, and it’s labored out very well.”
The highest flooring covers the open area major residing space, eating room, and kitchen, with home windows that go throughout the partitions. The eating space was constructed over the unique water tower entry shaft, which might nonetheless be considered via a glass panel in the course of the desk.
“Once you look down contained in the eating desk on the highest flooring and in case you lookup from the bottom flooring toilet, you possibly can see the unique entry shaft with the ladder nonetheless inside it,” Hunt mentioned.
The ladder has been shortened and was a characteristic for folks to take a look at via the glass however stays practical. “I’ve been down there within the shaft, nevertheless it’s not like a day-to-day factor. It’s just for like if you wish to clear it,” he added.
Hunt additionally opted for an all-black kitchen, just like the grasp toilet, and used black counter tops, home equipment, and cupboards.
Hunt stored among the authentic uncovered concrete within the interiors, together with the ceiling and on the base of the eating desk.
“As a result of I needed to maintain the unique ceiling uncovered on the within, all of the insulation on the roof and the partitions needed to be accomplished on the surface of the unique concrete construction. The insulation was then lined up by the black exterior cladding,” he mentioned.
Though changing the worn-down water tower into a completely practical four-bedroom house was satisfying, the mission was not with out challenges. A significant headache was ensuring the fixtures match the curved partitions of the water tower.
“It’s what you don’t see behind the partitions which might be troublesome, like curving the plasterboard, the timber, and the plywood on the surface earlier than the cladding, ” Hunt mentioned. “Nothing’s kind of meant to be spherical — it’s all bespoke items.”
The cruel climate throughout winter additionally made it troublesome to finish even the best duties. “Once I was within the cellular house on-site, in the course of winter, the climate may be fairly draining when it’s per week of wind and rain,” Hunt mentioned.
After years of engaged on the transformation, Hunt suggested folks pondering of distinctive house transformation initiatives to suppose twice as arduous, and think about that the preliminary value could finally double.
“I used to be most likely a bit naive going into it, however I wasn’t a builder or something like that so it’s arduous to know precisely all the things that’s concerned.” Hunt added that having his builder pal on the mission was very useful.
“His information of the constructing commerce has been invaluable, so to have somebody like that as a pal or as an advisor is basically helpful,” he shared.
Nonetheless, Hunt thinks all the trouble has been price it. He shared, “I might undoubtedly say to go for it. Something property-wise is price doing if there’s a possible for a revenue on the finish or even when it’s simply someplace you wish to dwell for the remainder of your life.”
Hunt says he plans to promote the home and use the earnings to repay loans for the water tower mission, and possibly begin a brand new one.
The home is situated in Clovelly Cross in Devon, which is quarter-hour away from the closest city of Bideford.