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A dark and dingy house in Hanover gets a bright new future with a complete facelift inside and out.

This three storey end-of-terrace house with four bedrooms and a sun trap garden is a real gem but was decorated inside and out in dark Mediterranean colours that made it look tired and out-of-date. Adding to this depressing scene, some of the walls were suffering from damp. Like many Georgian and Victorian properties in Brighton, the house is built from Bungeroosh, a mixture of beach pebbles, flint and mortar poured into a wooden framework, often made from railway sleepers. Despite its unusual construction the property was sound, apart from some external cracks, which were letting in water, creating damp areas in the internal walls. The cracks needed chasing out, repairing and re-enforcing before being rendered. The whole house was then treated to a makeover, the dark green windows and terracotta walls redecorated with a fresh marshmallow pink and white scheme, with an attractive grey for the front door. The original sash windows all underwent a complete refurbishment including specialist draught proofing. Sophie was delighted at how this added to the warmth and cosiness of the house.

Inside Ark were instructed to redecorate throughout; preparing the previously damp walls, all wood work and hanging designer wallpaper from Cole and Son . Sophie chose to keep the bathroom suite but updated the look with new tiles, paint and flooring. The budget didn’t stretch to replacing the existing kitchen so Ark suggested painting the cabinets and replacing the tiles around the splashback and a whole new look was achieved for a remarkably small outlay. Sophie chose paint from Little Greene then added a personal touch by pasting collections of wallpaper samples to the inner panels of the kitchen cabinets, all sealed with a few coats of varnish. The original parquet floor in the kitchen was sanded back and resealed. Considering that most of the work carried out was purely cosmetic the transformation was astounding.

At a later date Ark were invited back to makeover the city garden. Sophie chose large slate paving throughout with a feature of beach pebbles at one end. Ark built the summer house and raised flower beds from reclaimed timber. The curved seating was made from an old slate water tank, removed from an earlier renovation.

What Sophie thought...

I found Tom Pike and his team of Ark builders to be rigorous, conscientious and a pleasure to have working in a property I ‘d bought which needed total renovation. Toms approach was very different of previous builders I’d contracted. He was helpful, polite, punctual and clear about timings and budget throughout the whole process, which made a daunting experience almost enjoyable! I found Ark builders very professional, they deliver what they promise and I have no qualms strongly recommending them.