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Buy this photo » Giles House has lots of fruit trees
Buy this photo » The dining kitchen has a wide range of fitted units, range cooker and integrated appliances
Buy this photo » One of the bedrooms has exposed brickwork and roof windows
Buy this photo » The conservatory has a stone flagged floor and French doors to the rear garden
Home has a rich harvest
3:22pm Wednesday 27th July 2011
Very much into ‘the good life’, Jason and Helen Feather, owners of Giles House, keep a variety of animals including chickens, ducks and bees.
“We extracted four-and-a-half gallons of honey from our two beehives and when we ran out of jam jars we ended up storing it in pint glasses and vases,” says Jason.
When it comes to five-a-day, the family is spoilt for choice with fruit. As well as the original five apple trees, there are quinces, nectarines, peaches, two cherry trees, damsons, greengages, plums, two pear trees, mulberries and a medlar tree. Little is wasted, as they make wine, jelly or jam out of most of them.
Built around 1980 in the grounds of an orchard of an older property, Giles House attracted Jason and Helen for many reasons.
“It was the size of the rooms, the spacious garden and the private road, which is ideal for the children to play on without the risk of dangerous traffic,” says Jason.
That was seven years ago, since when Giles House has been transformed into a modern, five bedroom family home. Unusually, the house looks completely different from the front to the back – the rear having been rendered and painted, while the front is stone-built, with an attractive porch.
“Major renovations and refurbishment have been carried out throughout the house,” says Giles. “We arranged for the builders to put a beam in the kitchen, which made it much bigger and it is now a family-sized kitchen.”
They had a new kitchen and utility room installed, including a large range cooker, with a large condensing combination boiler fitted to save on gas bills.
Work continued with the removal of the second staircase from the utility room to the fifth bedroom.
“We had a corridor and door installed upstairs instead so we could access the fifth bedroom from the main house, which made it much more family-friendly,” says Jason.
Other work included fitting a Portuguese limestone fireplace with living flame gas fire in the lounge, constructing a cloakroom out of the old wood store, two new bathrooms – the en-suite being a five-piece with large walk-in shower, while the family bathroom is a four-piece with a wide, double-ended bath.
A lot of the work was carried out to reduce heating costs. The old windows were placed with specialist glass, a sectional and insulated automatic garage door was fitted and the loft has been insulated, as have wall cavities.
Giles House is a light and airy home with plenty of windows to bring in the sunshine all day long. For instance, the lounge has windows on two sides with views over the front and back gardens.
Also on the ground floor is a dining room, conservatory, cloakroom and utility room. Upstairs are five bedrooms. The master bedroom has built-in wardrobes and an en-suite bathroom, while another has four roof windows, exposed brickwork and ceiling beams, plus a walk-in cupboard and en-suite washroom.
The family has differing views on what constitutes their favourite room.
Jason says: “I love the fifth bedroom – for escape purposes. It’s huge and we have a sofa and big TV in there.”
For Helen, it is the conservatory. She says: “I can watch the children playing in the garden, and it’s warm, cosy and very spacious. In winter we can light the wood-burning stove and read a book or magazine away from the hustle and bustle of family life.”
Their two daughters, meanwhile, love the garden with its tree house, double swing and trampoline.
The family has done a great deal to the gardens which surround the house, from cutting down huge trees to building ponds, a greenhouse and pet pens, as well as a tree house and putting in new paths and patios.
Jason adds: “We like to walk in the old Milner Field grounds which are next-door. All of us enjoy exploring the old ruins of the house and woods. The canal is a short way away and great for bike rides to Saltaire, or the opposite way into Bingley.”
Giles House in Giles Walk, Bingley, is on the market for £449,000 with the Green Partnership, Bingley, tel (01274) 551552, web www.greenpartnership.com