Extending a welcome

Forget the house that Jack built. This is the house John extended ... and extended ... and extended ... resulting in a very impressive bungalow.

John Hendry has lived here for 20 years, although as an engineer, he spent long periods of time working abroad. Returning home regularly, he worked on the house as a hobby and over the years it grew ... and grew.

The property has been extended several times

The property has been extended several times

Originally, it was a farm steading, the foundations of which date back to 1676 as John discovered when he found an old marriage lintel bearing the date when he embarked on one of his projects.

While the house may have changed, it still enjoys a lovely rural setting, perfect for horse riders in particular. A stream running through the garden provides a pleasant background noise to summer nights spent sitting on the large decking area.

“It has all the benefits of country life, but it is just a short drive to Falkirk High station,” said John.

The large kitchen is surprisingly modern for someone who confesses to being “handy with a microwave”. His friends, though, might be less surprised by the basement he added at the same time, fully kitted out as a machine engineer’s workshop.

John is a ‘gadget freak’, so as well as the lounge’s amazing home entertainment system – clevery concealed in the ceiling – he also has a body drier in the master bedroom’s en-suite, although he admits he never uses it.

“That room has mirrors so I don’t go near it,” he chuckles. Nor does he use the adjoining dressing room.

But while seldom used, these rooms are far from neglected – the standard of finish and decor shows no detail has escaped him.

The elegant lounge may be state of the art but it has a traditional feel, thanks in part to the beautiful Charrara marble fireplace, a memento of his time spent working in Italy, containing a wood burning stove.

One room he does use is his home office, which stopped him drowning in paperwork. Another place you’ll often find him is in the well insulated double garage.

He built this with a small lounge at the back – until he needed the space for his pride and joy, an old steamboat which takes all his engineering skills to maintain. “I’ll restore the dividing wall when I move out,” he said.

And he’s often found in the garden. With 1.25 acres, he “took a field and turned it into a garden”, which he has landscaped and where he now grows an abundance of fruit and vegetables – he even has a vine with grapes growing in the greenhouse.