Home untouched since 1960s is transformed for modern life

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A Victorian terraced home, untouched since the mid-1960s, has been given a new lease of life.

Property developer Craig Winter has brought the Carlisle house, which dates from the late 1800s, into the 21st century with an up-to-the-minute makeover.

It now combines original features, which were found hidden behind panelling, with the layout and fittings that today's families demand.

Craig, who runs Winter Homes with a London-based silent partner, said: "This house in Scotland Road is the first property we’ve done in the guise of Winter Homes but over the years we’ve bought and sold other properties. Everyone who has seen this one has been amazed at the transformation we’ve done."

He bought the house late last year for between £100,000 and £150,000 and has spent more than £50,000 on the refurbishment. It is now for sale at £227,500.

Attention to detail is evident throughout the three-bedroom house which had a traditional layout of bay-windowed sitting room at the front of the property and dining room and kitchen at the back.

"We opened up the dining room to the kitchen, and now it's open plan with room for a sofa and big table," said Craig.

"We sorted out damp and leaking roofs, put oak flooring throughout the ground floor and went right back to the walls. We re-plastered and put in new electrics and plumbing and heating systems - basically we ripped everything out and started again."

He was keen to use local suppliers so Cumbrian Builders were involved, the kitchen came from Andersons and the oak flooring from Origin Direct.

"We always want to do a high-spec job and leave the house so that whoever buys it just has to unbox their possessions and they’re living in it with nothing else to do.

"Here we left them with a brand new home with period character. The beauty of it was that all the balustrades and original doors were panelled in so although it was pretty grim-looking, we knew there were some interesting architectural features behind there.

"We’ve now got some exposed wood panelling in the hallway and the hallway itself is fairly unusual – it’s certainly the only one I’ve seen in Stanwix shaped like this."

When the original features were lost or could not be saved, reproductions were sourced - the cornicing from Carlisle artisan Gordon Reardon and architraves and skirting boards from Andersons.

The overgrown gardens have been tamed and at the back there is now a patio area and artificial turf. Craig project-managed all the work at the property alongside his other job as a hairdresser with a salon at the Halston Aparthotel in Carlisle.

The work at the Scotland Road house has been a reminder of a little bit of local history, he said.

"The previous owner was Winnie Leighton, a well-known character in Stanwix. I was born and raised here and she was known as a bit of a local eccentric. She would stand at the gate and talk to anyone, a real old character.

"We’ve done a Facebook page for the house and Winnie’s granddaughter who lives in London got in touch and said she used to come up for holidays in the 1960s and picked some of the wallpaper.

"And someone who looked after Winnie in a care home said all she used to talk about was Scotland Road, she used to love the house. It’s been really nice to trace this local history."

The house in Scotland Road, Carlisle, is for sale at £227,500 from BPK Estate Agents, tel. (01228) 888999.

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