Shining example of a 21st century 'granny' annex
Moving into a new log annex at the bottom of their daughter’s garden fulfils a lifestyle dream for John and Pearl Dier – and living so close to their family is just a part.
“We just love wooden buildings. Wood is tactile, it’s natural and there’s a fantastic atmosphere. I have always dreamt of owning a log cabin,” John said. An experienced chef, who has travelled all over the world working in the hospitality trade, John spent many years living in Switzerland and Germany where wooden homes are commonplace. “We even stayed in them when we went on holiday to countries like Finland,” he added.
And this ambition has recently become reality thanks to a helping hand from Norwegian Log Buildings – and all without planning permission.
The Diers owned a Grade 2 listed home in Dursley but it was proving expensive to run, and John wanted to switch to part time working and put an end to his exhausting commute to Bristol. After researching their options, they realised an annex in their daughter Yvette’s rural garden would be the perfect solution, and when she agreed they set about making it happen.
They visited Norwegian Log’s Reading show home in March and, with the help of the firm’s expert team, were able to secure a stunning garden 'granny annex' without the need for planning permission. The transportable building was ordered in September, build started in November and the Diers moved into their dream home in early January.
“Thanks to Norwegian Log we were able to obtain a Certificate of Lawful Use, confirming that planning permission was not required, for siting the log cabin within the legal garden for the exclusive use of a family member. We were thrilled that the process seemed so simple,” John said. “And when the building was being constructed, people kept on stopping on our local road and asking for more information as they were so interested.”
Their welcoming home is a shining example of a 21st century ‘granny annex’, stylishly furnished with a mix of classic and funky mid-century pieces. Pride of place in their open plan kitchen/living room is a bright orange Everhot range cooker, that provides a pop of colour amongst the contemporary grey units. Opting for a bespoke design, the Diers have a bathroom, master bedroom, spare double bedroom plus a useful dressing room. Their outdoor decking overlooks the neighbouring fields with views across the garden to their daughter’s home.
Their move has also meant a welcome change of lifestyle. “It’s just been fantastic and is very easy living. Everyone who visits says it’s amazing,” said Pearl. “John has a new part time job locally so can pick up our grandchildren from school. We can sit down and help them with their homework, and also be there if they are ever ill, as our daughter works. We also now have money in the bank, a little nest egg.”
“The product is phenomenal and the people at Norwegian Log are lovely,” said John. “Our overall experience has been very good. There’s also no decorating to do which is a real bonus!”