When you have spent time, effort and money building your own home from scratch, eventually selling it to a new owner is bound to elicit mixed emotions. After spending 10 years in his first self build, Bryan Sharp had no hesitation about moving on to a second project. He did, however, want to preserve the memory of his home, The Warren, in an interactive and accurate way.
Bryan’s first self build - created 10 years ago together with his wife – was an immense success, yielding just over 3,000 square feet of living space set over three floors and a garage/annex in Great Ouseburn, York.
“As my family grew, with the addition of two children, I found myself wanting to build a new home that would be shaped and influenced by the whole family,” comments Bryan. “We enjoyed The Warren’s construction journey and it gave us confidence to repeat the process.”
Armed with his iPhone and the free Matterport Capture app, Bryan set about scanning the entirety of The Warren – all five bedrooms, three bathrooms, cloakroom, utility area, living spaces and garden. Creating a digital twin of the property served a number of purposes, as Bryan explains: “Initially the Matterport scan was to help sell the property but we also wanted to record a completed, tidy and clean home, especially as we moved in while we were still finishing off works and before long, our first child arrived, followed by our second.”
Bryan adds that their children will probably be too young to have clear memories of The Warren, so his scan will serve as a wonderful reminder that they can look back on together. “We loved the idea of preserving memories for the children. When viewing a Matterport virtual tour, you can get up close to details and navigate around in a way that isn’t possible with static photos and even videos,” adds Bryan.
As well as a marketing asset for his real estate agent and a ‘posterity’ scan for future reminiscing, there was a third reason why a detailed Matterport was Bryan’s chosen documentation method: “With our next self-build project in motion, we wanted to go back and recall the things we did really well in The Warren - the dimensions, the models, the makes and the colours. With a new family settled in our old home, it will be impractical to revisit so our digital twin is a great resource to go back to at any time and from anywhere.”
Bryan and his wife particularly appreciated the Dollhouse aspect of the scan as it’s a way to comfortably view the property, but were unable to find elsewhere. They also saw value in the ability to digitally measure from within the scan. “Having the ability to check widths and dimensions of anything from doorways and downpipes to sofas and plug socket heights will help us cross over from our old property to the new,” adds Bryan.
Bryan is one of a growing number of residential self builders who are thinking more like professionals in terms of documenting the construction progress as well as the finished home. “I started a blog that charted the construction of The Warren and I’m already considering upgrading the diarisation of our next self build, using a combination Matterport scans and drone photography.”
The Warren is currently for sale using Bryan’s full Matterport virtual tour as a promotional tool, and it has already opened the property up to a wider audience. “A third of the people who have viewed our property online have been from outside of the York area. Our changing work, commuter and lifestyle habits means we are seeing interest from families hundreds of miles away – those who are now able to move to a new home further afield. Potential buyers can’t always hop in a car to nip to a viewing - due to distance or travel restrictions, perhaps – so my Matterport virtual tour is providing an informed, precise first step for many house hunters who may have discounted our property before,” adds Bryan.
Home movers are enjoying exploring The Warren from wherever they are in the UK, with Bryan pleased his time investment in scanning his home is paying off. “Most real estate agents are using a crude walkthrough tour created with poor lighting and poor framing, while pre-recorded videos tend to be too fast and prescriptive, so users can’t navigate at their own pace or with their own agenda. Matterport offers much better technology, usability and engagement. I love the fact I have access to Matterport’s powerful AI platform. It has performed all the processing, stitching and smoothing for me, leaving me with a simple URL that I can keep, share and access whenever I need to,” concludes Bryan.