It’s not every day you get asked to make a television show for Channel 4 – but back in 2020, we were, as we undertook an extensive Oast House restoration project in the heart of Kent.
We were asked by 79-year old Hazel who had been living in her farmhouse in Kent since 1962 to build the home she had always dreamed of. Never one to shy away from a challenge Hazel decided she wanted to embrace moving house for the first time in over 50 years.
Channel 4’s Charlie Luxton followed the move of a lifetime for Hazel, as well as her beloved dog Lucy, as she made the brave decision to turn an old disused oast house in Kent into her dream forever home. She wasn’t moving far though – only around 50 steps away – but it was certainly going to be a tough build.
Hazel’s oast house wasn’t designed to be lived in and has seen years of neglect so turning it into a modern practical home was not an easy task. The 146-year-old brickwork was crumbling and the building was far from habitable.
Armed with a budget of £270,000 Hazel along with long-term friend Glyn, has bold plans for the old oast house. The plan was to strip out the entire interior of the building and add two new floors to the cooling barn – one housing the living and kitchen area, the second a bedroom and office. The roundels would house stairs to the upper floor and a lounge and a spare bedroom.
With the Early Bird’s team alongside our friends at Dude and Arnette who worked on the Oast Cowl, we embarked on the restoration.
Hampered by the oast house’s dilapidated state, not to mention a string of bad weather and trying to fit squared good into round structures, Stu and our team were tasked with thinking outside the box to turn this classic round shaped building into Hazel’s dream home.
Early Bird’s Stuart said “It was one of the most challenging, yet brilliant jobs we have worked on. Everything had to be questioned, worked out and reworked out to ensure it was best for the building and exactly the home Hazel had her heart set upon. It called on our passion as well as our knowledge and expertise, but the result was even greater than we could have imagined.”
Being asked to take on an Oast House renovation and to restore this little piece of Kent’s heritage was truly a privilege for our team.
You can currently watch the episode here: https://www.channel4.com/programmes/great-british-home-restoration/on-demand/68431-001