Project Description

Refurbishing a 17th Century listed building

Dock Farm is a 17th Century listed building bought by owners who had always lived in old houses and always loved old houses. They loved the fact that the building hadn’t been messed about with and retained many of its original features – they felt this building just had ‘such a great feel about it.’

A Long Term Dream from a Difficult Beginning

Dock Farm was HNB Construction’s very first client. When the original contractor went bust Anthony, Director at HNB, met with the owners of Dock Farm and suggested he and his new business take on the project. The client’s agreed, so they could keep the people who had been working with them onsite, and this solution offered a way forward for the project.

Their plan was to live four days in London and three days at Dock Farm in the Winter and vice versa in the summer. During COVID it became ‘Covid-Corner’ their own little retreat.

We worked very closely with the clients to ensure we were able to realise their vision for the property and find reclaimed materials that would be suitable or would match the existing. Our site team really adopted this approach and personally scoured local reclamation yards and kept a tally of what each yard had that they might utilise on this renovation.

Looking at the stars

Enjoying a glass of wine, in the bath, looking at the stars

One of the highlights of the renovation for the owners is the roof light in the guest bathroom that allows them to look at the stars while in the bath. One of the only other internal structural changes allowed them to open the dining room to the TV room and create a unique and lager space to relax in.

The Scary moments in listed building renovation

Sometimes there are concerning moments in builds such as this; to complete the renovations, we made some external repairs being very careful to match the materials. One of the external walls had to be propped up and so a deep trench had to be dug next to an external wall to prop it up. It seems like sometimes there is so much destruction and disruption that the client worries we will never be able to put it all back together – but that is where the professionalism of our site managers comes in, knowing the sequence of all events and ensuring everything is done as safely and smoothly as possible.

Award Winning Results

The result is a beautifully renovated building that, apart from the electrics, finishes and furniture, structurally looks like it would have done 200 years ago when it was two lots of two room and the winders. Chris and Annie fell in love with the building when they first saw it, and thought it was magical and we were able to keep and enhance that magic to turn it into a quintessential English countryside retreat. “The Brits real need to go on holiday – I don’t feel that need”.

This project won ‘Highly Commended’ at the Chiltern’s Buildings Design Awards in 2019, with judges making special mention of the development for its ‘rigour and restraint, and for the meticulous care with which the works were carried out.’

‘The farmhouse has retained all of its simple character, telling its long history through the exposed elm timber-frame, multi-phase brick infill, and many internal features that have been carefully conserved.’ Chilterns Buildings Design Awards

Return to Dock Farm

To celebrate HNB Construction Services Ltd’s fifth year, we return to some of our favourite construction projects. Their first project was this 18th century farm house restoration that was in disrepair when Chris and Ali bought it.

Additional Article

Contact us

If you are considering an extension or alterations to your home, please do give us a call. It is never too early to speak to us about your project as our experience will often enable us to save you time and budget by identifying possible problems and the solutions early in the project. Our portfolio is testament to the quality of our work and the types of projects we excel in. If you’ve a home of character, or that presents a unique challenge, do give us a call for a no-obligation chat.

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