My son and his family live here now but we’ll swap homes when I get older
With 60 acres of paddock in prime Surrey countryside, a successful horse livery and two holiday lets, the Melcher family business is a busy one. No wonder Steve Melcher was keen his son Adam help take up the reins.
But with Adam, his wife Vicky and young daughter living in Yorkshire, the prospect of home county property prices was not a welcome one. “We were trying to find a way to move back down south but property prices being what they are, we would have only been able to afford a shed,” Adam laughs.
An old mobile home stood in the stable’s grounds and they realised if they could replace this with a 21st century log home, the solution was an easy one. “My Dad and I both independently found Norwegian Log online and visited Reading to meet Nick Forrester and see the show home,” explains Adam.
“Whilst there were set floor plans, we could adapt them,” says Vicky. “It was like building a new house, we could have exactly what we wanted, which was great.”
With their decision made, and with assistance from a planning consultant recommended by Norwegian Log, they obtained a certificate of lawful use from the local council. Norwegian Log started on site in April and by early July, Adam, Vicky and their daughter were able to move into their new home.
“The Norwegian Log staff were brilliant. They worked like trojans, we couldn’t fault them,” says Adam.
Their immaculate 20m x 6.8m three-bedroomed home has a contemporary kitchen/dining space, large sitting room, boot room, family bathroom plus a dressing room and en-suite off the master bedroom. “It’s exceeded expectations. When you first think of a cabin, you envisage a shed in the back garden but this is obviously completely different,” jokes Vicky. With views over the stable yard to the beautiful surrounding countryside, the building has its own large paved terrace and lawn area, an ideal spot for their young daughter to play.
And for Steve and his wife Mandy, the move has many benefits too. As well as now having their family living only yards away from their large farmhouse, the new log cabin can help them in their older years.
“When Adam’s family grows up, Mandy and I can move in here and they will move over into the main house. We will have support on our doorstep and won’t have to worry about moving or nursing homes, or any of that stuff,” says Steve. “I grew up in a log cabin in America so it seemed like a natural thing for me. I was approaching 70 and I thought, this just seemed like a sensible thing to do.”
A brilliantly practical and future-proof solution for the whole family…