It used to be that you were either a “new house” kind of person or you weren’t.
If you liked modern fixtures and the smell of fresh mortar, then you were. You probably saw property as being like cars, clothes and food – you were much more comfortable being its first owner.
If, on the other hand, you preferred a bit of characterful wear and tear and the quaintness of redundant features, then you weren’t, and Britain’s serried rows of Victorian terraces were your oyster.
Now, though, the lines have been blurred. Developers have clearly picked up on the fact that more people like old-looking brick and period detailing than don’t, and many now routinely build “character” into their new properties.
Some, most famously in Prince Charles’s model village of Poundbury, even build in some of those redundant features – such as “bricked up” windows, to ape those of Georgian window-tax-dodgers.
Most, fortunately, avoid such twee artifice, opting instead for good-quality materials, solid design, and an interesting blend of old and new ideas.
The following four properties are all brand-new – at least one hasn’t even been finished yet – and are all currently on the maket in our area.
Salcombe House is a new family home on a cul-de-sac in Collingham. Built of irregular stone and using plenty of wood, it might initially be hard to decide if it’s old, but refurbished, or brand-new.
A glance at the specs dispels all doubt; it has CAT 5 cabling to most rooms, routed back to a ground-floor understair hub, as well as wet underfloor heating throughout the ground floor, backed up by a mechanical ventilation and heat-recovery system to all floors.
Designed by an award-winning Yorkshire architectural practice, its heart is the large, open-plan living kitchen, which looks like a modern extension on an old house.
In all, it has 2,600 sq ft of living space over three floors, including five or six bedrooms, and has scope for the creation of a self-contained suite on the upper level.
In Wetherby, Plot 9, Hallfield Grange is one of nine homes built directly opposite St James CE Primary School (Good, Ofsted 2012).
It has three bedrooms, views over the school playing fields, and large French windows leading out onto the lawned back garden.
On legal completiton it will also be issued with a ten-year NHBC warranty.
Oak House in Lower Dunsforth, near Boroughbridge, is a conspicuously new home, but with an ancient twist, in that it has beautiful solid green oak beams, as well as oak flooring and exposed brick walls.
It has four en-suite bedrooms, open-plan living accommodation on the ground floor, gardens and an air-source heat-pump. Its double garage is cedar-clad – continuing the wooden theme outdoors – and the space above could be used as a games room or home office.
Finally, Plot 6, Park Corner Farm is one of six new homes built around a courtyard at Old Scriven, on the northern edge of Knaresborough.
Scheduled for completion by early 2015, it has been designed to complement the existing barn conversions, but also be well suited to modern lifestyles, and so will have four bedrooms, a garden, double garage, multimedia wiring and ten-year NHBC guarantee.