Originally from Pudsey, it was the stunning countryside views on offer that saw the couple gravitate towards Alwoodley. They purchased a detached 1950s property in Lakeland Drive which boasted five bedrooms and stunning views over the Eccup Reservoir.
However, it wasn’t long until the couple began spotting the potential to modernise their new home and they began exploring the idea of renovation. “We decided we wanted to unleash its potential and, in the process, took on much more than we’d bargained, or budgeted, for”, Mark laughed.
In total, the build took just under two years, during which the couple moved in with Mark’s parents and gave birth to their first son Robin, who is now three. They finally moved into their home in March 2020.
Mark, 39, said: “I said to my wife we'd only be with my parents for 10 months but we were there for 21. We had our first child during that period, ran out of money a few times, and had to go redo our mortgage. Honestly, it was very much like the stories you see on Grand Designs.
“The house backs onto the Eccup Reservoir but it wasn't maximising the views at the back, the views are incredible but the light in the back was poor, there weren't really any windows except the bathroom. We spoke to a few architects and at the time we just wanted to extend what we had but in a way where it didn’t just look like an extension.
“Our architect sent over some sketches of a bigger design he’d drawn up while me and my wife were on holiday at a pals wedding, so we'd had a couple of drinks, and we were like, 'oh my god, this is amazing, right up our street, let's do it'”.
The property has been completely transformed and renovated throughout, a process which Mark, who works in finance, documented on his Instagram account The Swell Dwell.
Now the home is a modern oasis, with more than 4900 square feet of family living space and complete with modern additions such as the impressive vaulted ceiling, stunning feature staircase, Woodpecker Chevron Oak flooring throughout and underfloor heating. There’s even an additional two bedrooms on the second floor, where a galleried landing can be found with a large electric Roof Maker window to enjoy the views to the rear.
As well as maximising the rural views, the pair have also added a feature sedum green roof which sits across two-thirds of the first floor, creating an infinity view into the fields behind, with wildflowers throughout all seasons.
Despite the long timescales and the amount of hard work that went into renovating the property, Mark, who comes from a family of joiners and has worked on renovation projects in Rodley before, said he relished the challenge and wants to do it all over again.
Mark, a former quantity surveyor, said: “It ended up being a lot, lot, lot more involved and then we thought it would be and cost a lot more money than we thought do but we got a really nice house at the end of it.
“I've thoroughly enjoyed the challenge of it and I’m proud of what we’ve achieved.”
And what is his favourite thing about the house? “Everything”, he laughed. "Everything has been really thought of. A lot of planning has gone into everything and it's taken a long time. We've not cut corners anywhere, we've paid for quality. But I must say, I do love the main en-suite and family bathroom - the views are unbelievable.”
The property is on the market with Fine & Country for an asking price of £1,900,000.