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Room with a view: Couple demolish Devon bungalow and turn it into incredible self-build home

When David and Carol Simpson decided to move back to Devon to reconnect with their roots, little did they realise they would need to embark on their second self-build project in 20 years.

The Simpsons were not new to self-building – they completed their last project in Marlow – a mock Tudor dwelling – and were not looking to build from the ground up again.

However, after only a few months of living in their two-bedroom Devon bungalow, they discovered that the layout simply did not work for them and extending was not going to resolve the main issue which was the windows. They were not positioned in a way that enabled David and Carol to enjoy the fabulous panoramic views of the coast.

So the couple sketched out a plan of the type of ‘future proof’ house they wanted and took it to a self-build show. There they met representatives from Hanse Haus, builders of pre-manufactured, energy efficient houses.

The Simpsons were keen for a quick turnaround, so hired the German house builder to fully project manage the scheme. Their sketches were turned into architectural plans on the basis of which, planning permission was received. Work began on demolishing the bungalow and digging in of new footings for the concrete blockwork.

With all the hard work that was going to be involved, both David, 69, and Carol, 67 were adamant that they did not want to move again. Therefore it was imperative for them to ‘future proof’ their new home, and installing a domestic lift was the perfect way achieve this.

Additionally, the plan was for Carol’s elderly mother who is in her nineties, to move in once the build was complete. Adding a home lift had obvious benefits for her too.

Although Carol’s mother did not use a wheelchair the Simpson’s decided on a Stiltz Duo Lift as part of their future proofing. The lift, which is a great alternative to a stairlift, travels on a unique dual rail system and worked perfectly with the couple’s original sketched ideas.

Additionally, the domestic lift has an integrated drive system and simply plugs straight into the wall, using a normal 13 amp power socket so there was no need to worry about making space for a separate machine room.

To compliment the streamlined and modern interior, the Simpsons installed their Stiltz Lift behind contemporary wooden doors in the hallway and upstairs on the landing to match the doors throughout the rest of the house.

Mr Simpson said: “We decided, even before we started our initial drawings, that we wanted a home lift for two reasons. The first was to ‘future proof’ our home for when we eventually get too old to use the stairs properly and secondly for Carol’s elderly mother. We came across Stiltz online and found the company to be very helpful and very positive.

“They provided us with a floor template so we knew exactly how much space we needed for the lift and and this made it easy for us to include the lift in the sketches and plans which we handed over to Hanse Haus.

“We did consider a stairlift but our stairs bend halfway up. Stairlifts also take up a lot of space in the stairwell and are a bit of an eyesore, so we were very happy with our decision to go with a Stiltz Lift. It sits behind a door in the hall and goes up to the first floor landing just perfectly.

“The Stiltz Lift is very neat, extremely practical and sensibly priced. We are very impressed with it – mostly because of its ease of use. We’d happily recommend Stiltz Lifts to anybody looking for a home lift.”

The Simpson case study appeared in the July, 2016 edition of Build It magazine. Click on the link to view full range of Stiltz Home Lifts here.


We are very happy with our decision to go with a Stiltz Lift. It sits behind a door in the hall and goes up to the first floor landing just perfectly.


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