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Property Renovation: Talk about a fixer-upper

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From terrifying derelict ‘dungeon’ to dreamy Georgian home.

Jamie Barrow, a professional snowboarder looking for something to do in the summer months took quickly to property development. After renovating a handful of small properties in Bath, he came across and basement and sub-basement property that was only for the brave.

Fear at first sight

Part of a Georgian townhouse in an iconic terrace built in 1768, Barrow said the property “had been left completely derelict, it was like a creepy old dungeon.”

He added, “I can’t really put into words just how much work needed to be done. I didn’t want to go down there alone at night, it was genuinely quite scary. I should have leased it out to some Hollywood film company to make a horror movie, it was that bad; really eerie. I imagine that’s why no-one wanted to touch it.”

But believing in its potential, Barrow negotiated for the property and then spent £110,000 and four years bringing it back to life.

A little more than a lick of paint

Barrow knew that the property was completely uninhabitable and so added water, electric and gas to his long “to do” list.

As the part of a Grade-I listed building, even the plastering had to be well thought out. Lime plaster with horsehair was used to be in keeping with the history of the property and to be more breathable and natural in finish.

The garden took days to cut back. Barrow said, “It was honestly like Jurassic Park out there, like a big rainforest.” But he was delighted to discover how spacious the garden really was.

A beautiful home in Bath

Barrow’s work paid off. The property is beautiful and the before and after pictures are extreme.

The two-bedroom apartment with storage vaults and stone-walled garden is now available to buy and is on the market for £475,000.

Barrow said, “I want this home to be lived in for another 100 years to come. I could have cut corners and found easier and cheaper ways to do things, but that’s not what it’s about. I’m just happy that I’ve restored a piece of history in Bath. Knowing it will be used for a very long time is a great feeling.”