When Stephen Byram chiselled his first stone to help his dad build a dry-stone wall, aged just 13, he perhaps didn’t realise this was the start of SB Homes’ story.
More than six generations of the Byram family, going back more than two hundred years, hail from Marsden – and they have all been experts in the craft of dry-stone walling.
This legacy influences our homes today.
Because as a family, we have lived in Marsden and the Colne Valley for centuries; it is home to us. We care about the area more than most.
We also believe in the significance of its traditions – such as dry-stone walling. We carry them on through the homes we build, and we hope to do so for six more generations to come.
Our homes fit in, effortlessly, within their environment, and are built by our family for yours.
It was 1997, and by now, Stephen – aged 31 – had already had a varied career. 18 years after building his first dry-stone wall, he’d now spent five years as an engineer and then went on to successfully found a construction firm, eponymously named Byram Construction, building house extensions – winning a Federation of Master Builders Award for his work.
But the property industry was booming, and Stephen was being approached by clients to build homes. He brought in his brother Wayne to run the construction jobs, whilst he took on housebuilding work.
Eventually it became impossible to do both, and Wayne took over the construction business for Stephen to concentrate on building new homes. Byram Construction is still thriving and growing today.
Our first mill project
With a few years of building new homes under his belt, Stephen took on his biggest challenge yet in 1999, aged just 33 when he purchased Bailly Ancion mills in Marsden.
It was a ginormous project and a huge risk, but he knew that if he didn’t take the opportunity, someone else would.
He bought the abandoned mill and worked relentlessly day and night, over four years to see the project through.
With a family to provide for – wife, Rachael, and three daughters, Sophie, Amy, and Hannah – there was no option to fail. He pulled the mill down by hand alongside a skilled team and machinery.
Clough Lea completed
Clough Lea, a legacy development of 80 homes was a success and, almost 25 years down the line, it’s still a development we’re incredibly proud of.
Clough Lea had proven the model, and we went on to build Packhorse Court, The Coach House and Ancion Court – an energy-efficient scheme for over 55s – in Marsden.
Deer Hill Drive
By 2003, Marsden was becoming a bustling, thriving village, and homes were in-demand by local families and people moving into the area. They couldn’t be built quick enough.
Stephen purchased his next big 80-home development, Deer Hill, built between 2003-07.
At one point, we were completing on one house per week.
Our first logo
Up until this point, SB Homes didn’t even have a logo. It had built such a reputation, that it hadn’t needed one.
But a very kind client was a designer and offered to create a logo for free – it stayed with us until 2023 and holds a special place in our heart.
The Global Recession
The Global Recession arrived.
Many housebuilders tragically went bust. We managed to ride out the -rough – storm.
We diversified into the commercial property and rental market, to reduce our reliance on house sales and spread risk.
We expanded our portfolio into shops, rental homes and retail units.
Sophie joins the business
SB Homes then became a true family business, when Stephen’s eldest daughter, Sophie joined the business in 2012. Straight from university, with a law degree, Sophie was determined to make a success of her role.
Old Bank Works
We purchased the former joiner’s workshop, Old Bank Works in Slaithwaite, and turned it into 11 apartments and 2 houses. It was a true reflection of our ability to take an old building and secure its future for generations to come, whilst respecting its history.
Show home success
Old Bank Works wasn’t our first show home but it was the first time we showed people what we were capable of.
We reserved 10 houses in our first show home open weekend.
Empire Works: LABC development of the year
Our next landmark development was Empire Works in Slaithwaite, a 70-home site. Next to the canal, this site solidified our reputation as Colne Valley’s premium housebuilder. We created a unique site that suits the area and keeps its distinctiveness. It won LABC’s best development of the year in 2019.
Amy supports the business
Sophie had developed in her career and was now a director, supporting the growth of the business and handling a multitude of areas, from planning to sales. It was also at this point that daughter Amy became involved in the business, alongside her own endeavours, working in the show home and taking care of our marketing.
In 2019, we were proud to transform the former Swan pub in Marsden. It had been boarded up and become an eyesore for the village. We turned it into a hub of thriving businesses and holiday lets.
We’re proud to name some amazing businesses as our tenants, including Sass Coffee & Wellbing, Arcade Marsden, Mozzarellas, The Village Green, Wine Slaithwaite and Oi Dumplings, to name a few.
We build quality, long-term relationships with our commercial partners and are proud that they improve our communities.
Hannah joins the business
Following years of pursuing her passion of teaching sport to children, Hannah entered the family business as head of rentals. Managing our growing portfolio of rental properties, she launched Station House – our second build-to-rent scheme in Marsden.
In 2020, we bought Slaithwaite’s Old Town Hall and Amy spearheaded the launch of the area’s first business members’ club, Empire House. We simultaneously took the opportunity to move our offices, and we are now based at Empire House in Slaithwaite.
Hollin Gate & Lingards Fold
In 2023, we are now building a range of quality homes in Linthwaite and will next be developing a 42-home development in Slaithwaite.
Stephen is still managing director/custodian of the business, and you might catch him on-site in a JCB or building a dry-stone wall – a skill he still has, 44 years later.
A family business
Today, we truly are a family business. Sophie is operations and finance director, Amy is sales director and Hannah is head of rentals, working together to drive the business forward. With Stephen being one of nine siblings, we have a large extended family, and two of his brothers and several nephews also work in the business.
Sophie and Hannah’s partners are also involved, and we all share the same vision of passing it to the next generation.
The Colne Valley is part of our DNA and will always be, and as a family, we promise to uphold the intricacies that make it different from the next valley.
SB Homes is part of the Byram Property Group.