Ever wished you could move house but take it with you? Well Alan Bark moved his house brick by brick and rebuilt it on exactly the same plot of land but 6ft higher. Read how and why he did it...
One couple from Whiston near Rotherham took their 600 year old cottage apart stone by stone and rebuilt it 6ft higher.
Delt Cottage is unfortunately in the valley of Whiston and was badly affected by the floods in June 2007.
Alan Bark who owns the cottage came into BBC Radio Sheffield to speak to us about the project he took on to lift his home by 6ft.
“The ground floor disappeared in our house when the floods struck, it was 6ft under water. Basically we dried out the house after it was under water for four days.
“The insurance company appointed an architect to look after the project. They came up with some ideas for flood defences but the logical conclusion was - if you lift it 6ft higher it’s not going to get wet again and that’s what we decided."
Lifting a house doesn’t sound easy and of course lifting a house means escalating costs.
“To lift it has cost a considerable amount but at least now I can sleep at night. The total costs have just ran away with itself. The figure has disappeared, it’s running past £200,000 pounds. The downstairs had considerable damage because it was sat under water for four days. They estimated £85,000 – we’ve used that and I’ve put the rest of money together.”
During the flood
One last problem is obviously getting the council on your side, what with planning restrictions on such an old cottage and necessary permissions.
“We were just lucky and went for the sympathy vote from the flooding. The council insisted as long as it went back up the same way it came down they would give us permission. It was a mammoth project, it meant taking lots of photos and we managed to do that.
“The builder took it down very very slowly and labelled every bit that he took down, including timber, bricks, windows, doors everything just had labels everywhere and it was all piled up.
“We’ve estimated that we used around about 80% of the original materials from the original house.”
Alan jokingly said there’s obviously a few bits left over that are gathering dust in the back garden. He sounded reminiscent of someone who had just fixed together a DIY piece of furniture and has some remaining screws left over!
“We had the drive to have it finished within a year of it happening. We promised ourselves we’d have moved in before 24th June 2008 and we have!”
last updated: 20/06/2008 at 13:24