A former factory worker sold almost everything he owned to buy an abandoned water tower and turn it into a fancy home. He wants to sell it next year, but he won’t settle for less than $2.4 million. – Elinformelocal.in

After the picture of the outside of the water tank.Robert Hunt

  • Robert Hunt spent two and a half years converting a water tower into a four-bedroom house.

  • Hunt estimates that he spent £750,000 on the project, including the cost of buying the property.

  • He has been living in the house since May, but plans to sell the property in the summer.

A water tower is an unlikely place to make a home, but Robert Hunt was determined to make it work.

Previous image of the exterior of the water tank.Robert Hunt

Hunt, who used to work in a factory in the filtration industry, was looking through real estate listings when he came across an old water tower. He had been looking for a property to fix up and was immediately intrigued by the listing.

“It was 20 miles from where I lived, basically local. I could see there was an opportunity with it and the price was pretty good for the size of the property and the land that came with it,” Hunt said.

Those close to him, however, were not so convinced.

“Everybody probably thought it wasn’t going to happen or that he was mad for thinking about it,” Hunt told Insider about the reactions from his friends and family. “But if it was easy, everyone would do it, right?”

He ended up buying the property, located in Cloverly Cross, in November 2019 for £150,000, per property records.

The water tower, which was dismantled in the early 2000s, had been empty for years, Hunt said. Inside the tower was a large empty space with no rooms, no interior walls, and no windows.

What the interiors of the water tower looked like when Hunt first bought it.Robert Hunt

The interiors were mostly bare, save for a few electrical panels and water pipes from its early days.

“When I first saw it, it was hard to describe. No windows or stairs: you had to climb a ladder in the center of the tower to get to the top of the tank,” Hunt said.

The lack of windows also meant she had to guess what the views would be like, she added.

“I pretty much envisioned the design, which is not too far from what it is today, pretty quickly after at least a couple of visits,” Hunt said.

Hunt began work on the water tower in December 2019. Over the next two and a half years, he worked with architects and builders to transform the property into a home.

Openings were added to the water tower to create windows.Robert Hunt

Initially, Hunt juggled his full-time factory job while working on the house with a builder friend.

“I kept working full time for the first six months and then I sold my house, quit my job and have been working full time ever since,” Hunt said.

Hunt moved into a mobile home at the site in July 2020, alternating between living there and at his girlfriend’s house about 10 miles away.

Hunt helped in any way he could throughout the conversion, he said, “Basically, I’ve been like a worker, making bits and pieces and managing projects.”

Hunting posing with the water tank at home. The outside of the tank is covered by a tarpaulin.Robert Hunt

“I had three rental properties before, rented to tenants, and I was doing painting, decorating, helping with kitchens and bathrooms, but I’m not in a trade,” Hunt said.

Although he has some general DIY experience, Hunt admits that this project “was another couple of levels above” anything he’d done before.

“Basically you just pick up a few skills along the way I guess. And that is where I am now,” she added.

Hunt estimates that he spent around £600,000 on the entire conversion. He moved into the water tower in May 2022 when the renovation was completed.

After the picture of the outside of the water tank.Robert Hunt

Hunt turned the abandoned water tower into an elegant three-story house. Instead of keeping the exposed concrete exterior, he covered the tower in black siding and painted the base of the house white for a contrasting look.

Windows now run the length of the building, offering panoramic views of the surrounding English countryside.

“The black cladding on the outside, the white plaster on the bottom, the interior design, the windows and other things were all my ideas. There was an architect involved, but they only drew 90%, 95% of what I envisioned,” Hunt said.

The house has a circular plan, with elegant white interior walls and doors.

A collage showing the main entrance to Hunt’s water tower house (left) and its second-story corridor (right).Robert Hunt

The first floor is where Hunt’s engine rooms and wardrobes are located. There is also an extra bedroom and bathroom, she said.

Hunt designed the bathroom to be at the center of the circular space, in a room that was once part of the original water tower manhole.

While the transformation was successful, Hunt admits that the project was challenging in multiple ways.

The master suite is on the second floor with two other bedrooms.Robert Hunt

In addition to mundane and time-consuming tasks like screwing or fixing things hundreds of times, inclement weather during the winter made it difficult to complete even the simplest of tasks, Hunt said.

“When I was in the mobile home on site, in the dead of winter, the weather can be pretty tiring when it’s a week of wind and rain,” Hunt said.

The master bathroom, which is on the second floor, is Hunt’s favorite place in the house.

The master bedroom and en-suite bathroom are on the second floor. There are two other free bedrooms on this floor.Robert Hunt

Everything in the master bathroom is black, including the floor and wall tiles. In addition to a double shower and double sinks, there’s also a black freestanding bathtub in front of a large window that looks out onto the landscape outside, Hunt said.

“I’m happy with that because it’s pretty bold stuff,” he added. “People think it’s going to be too dark or a bit cave-like, but you’ve got big windows, big views, and it worked really well.”

The main room, dining room and kitchen are on the top floor. The space has an open floor plan with windows running around its walls.

The finished top floor has an open floor plan. The main living room, dining room and kitchen are on this floor.Robert Hunt

Hunt retained some of the original exposed concrete in the interiors, including the ceiling and the base of the dining room table.

“Because I wanted to keep the original exposed roof on the inside, all the insulation in the roof and walls had to be done on the outside of the original concrete structure,” Hunt said. The insulation was then covered with the black outer cladding, he added.

The dining room is located in the center of the highest floor. It was built over the original manhole to the water tower, which can still be seen through a glass panel in the center of the table.

The dinner room.Robert Hunt

“When you look down inside the upstairs dining table and if you look up from the downstairs bathroom, you can see the original access shaft with the ladder still inside it,” Hunt said.

While the staircase was shortened and made into a feature for people to look through the glass, Hunt says it still works.

“I’ve been down there in the well, but it’s not like a day-to-day thing. It’s just to like if you want to clean it up,” she added.

One of the most difficult parts of the project was making sure the accessories would fit the curved walls of the water tower.

Like the master bathroom, Hunt opted for an all-black kitchen, with black countertops, appliances, and cabinets.Robert Hunt

“It’s what you don’t see behind the walls that’s difficult, like bending the sheetrock, wood and plywood on the exterior before siding,” Hunt said. “Nothing is meant to be round, they are all custom made pieces.”

Hunt has some advice for those who want to do the same: it will take twice as long and cost twice as much as he initially expected.

The house seen from the door.Robert Hunt

“I was probably a bit naive going into this, but I wasn’t a builder or anything, so it’s hard to know exactly what’s involved,” Hunt said.

Despite that, it was helpful for him to be able to work and consult his builder friend about the conversion.

“Her knowledge of the construction trade has been invaluable, so having someone like that as a friend or advisor is really helpful,” Hunt said.

And while the renovations took longer and cost more than she expected, Hunt says she thinks it was worth it in the end.

“I would definitely say go for it. Anything related to the property is worth doing if there’s a chance of a profit at the end or even if it’s a place you want to live in for the rest of your life,” Hunt added.

Hunt says he plans to sell the house next summer, but isn’t ready to take just any offer.

The exterior of the completed water tower house.Robert Hunt

To finance this project, Hunt sold his original house and its rents and borrowed money from his parents. He plans to use the proceeds from the sale of the water tower house to pay off his parents and start a new project, he added.

“It could be anything, again, something with potential. I like that it’s a little different, but I’ll never really match this one. This is a big, big project,” Hunt said.

The house is located at Clovelly Cross in Devon. The nearest town, Bideford, is a 15-minute drive away. google maps.

Hunt hopes the buyer will be a city person looking to move to the country or someone looking for a second home.

While he says the property has been valued by two independent agents at more than £1.8m, he is looking for more.

“I really wouldn’t want to sell it for less than £2 million, to be honest,” he added.

Read the original article at Well-informed person

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