TV house: Converted bungalow in Merseyside

This couple transformed a dull bungalow into their dream home, all the while living on site.

By Beth Murton | 28 September 2020

Rosie and Stuart Treasurer, who appeared on Grand Designs in 2016, took the unusual approach of living on site while reimagining a bungalow in Wirral.

Grand designs TV house - converted bungalow in the Wirral Merseyside

Image: The house was enlarged on the first floor by extending out to the side. Photo: Joel Knight 

When he was young, Stuart Treasurer remembers being obsessed with wanting to live in a converted factory or a warehouse. “In the eighties, the coolest thing in the world were those big, open Manhattan loft apartments, with hooks and cranes and concrete floors,” he says.

Stuart’s desire to live in an industrial space might go back a long way, but five years ago, the reality was a bit different: he and wife Rosie, who have children Mollie, 11, and Ben, 9, owned a sixties dormer bungalow on the Wirral in Merseyside. “It was a bit unloved, but was crying out for something to be done with it,” says Stuart. “We knew we would eventually extend it.”

Watch the episode: Wirral, 2016

Grand designs TV house - converted bungalow in the Wirral Merseyside

Image: A love of industrial aesthetic and the need for space inspired Rosie and Stuart to take on the project. Photo: Joel Knight

Plan of action

At first the couple’s plans were to extend the dormers and increase the floorplan of the ground floor, but as Rosie says: “It was always going to look like an extended dormer bungalow that hadn’t been done well. We took a step back and decided we needed to do the build properly.”

They hired local architect Stephen Bromilow of Bromilow Architects and came up with a more radical plan to rip out the first floor and add a new, boxed version that would appear to cantilever out towards the roadside. Kevin McCloud called it a ‘wooden wonder box’ on the TV show, and that’s as good a description as any. Its square form and flat roof gave the couple the modern look they wanted, but it was also highly efficient, offering maximum volume with minimal cost while retaining the same ridge height as the existing house. The ‘floating’ first floor is not actually a cantilever, but a budget-friendly alternative, with slim steel supports tucked next to the perimeter wall.