Which Home Improvements Add the Most Value?

The last 8 weeks in lockdown has seen Brits tackle numerous outstanding DIY jobs that they haven’t been able to turn a blind eye to; with many small to medium sized projects being accomplished. Whilst being confined to your home 24/7, you may also have been dreaming about the areas of your home you don’t actually like or feel don’t work; and how you would love more family space via an extension, loft conversion or remodelling of your existing space.  The current COVID-19 working situation has also brought a new problem to many households as more people have been working from home and will continue to do so for the considerable future. This means homeowners potentially needing an area to work from or potentially freeing up a bedroom for this use.

DIY Lockdown Projects
A study of 2,000 adults conducted by Ronseal during the lockdown found that more than half surveyed have noticed faults which need fixing or cosmetic damage around their house that they previously had ignored. 56% got busy with DIY projects with an average of four jobs being completed. The research also found that the kitchen was considered the room which needs the most improvement, followed by the garden and bathroom.

Bigger Home Improvements
However, when it comes down to the bigger projects where you involve professionals, you probably have no idea where to even start or which would be the best option for your family and/or bank balance.  Now that the government are starting to relax restrictions and are allowing more people back to work, the construction industry is springing back into life after building sites and house builds were abandoned up and down the country as brickie’s and plasterers laid down their tools.  After being stuck at home for weeks these trades along with architectural practices are now expecting to get very busy as households spring into action with the ideas and plans they have for their homes; but just what is the best option and value for money if you are hoping to add more space to your home?

Identifying the Current Issues
Firstly, you need to identify what the current issue is – do you need more downstairs living space or do you need an extra bedroom? These are all of course questions that an architectural practice like Building Tectonics will ask you but we thought we would help by giving you some advice on how much value the differing building works tend to add to your home.

Upsize or Improve?
With more people staying put due to the cost of upsizing to a bigger house and the extra stamp duty and moving costs it also incurs, homeowners are now looking at how to increase their existing house space the most cost-effectively.  Families with children also realise that they are now less likely to move out in their 20’s-30’s due to not being able to afford a deposit so are therefore, staying at home longer. This is especially a problem if you live in an average semi-detached house with 3 bedrooms as the small bedroom or box room is just not big enough for a young adult.  Alternatively you may need more living space downstairs; as the whole family is crammed into one small lounge or eating in a small dining room and would love an open-plan living space with zoned areas; but also one you can enjoy time in together.  

Loft Conversion – Potential Value Added: 15%
Everywhere you look loft conversions are springing up as people realise the benefit of converting their room space. This usually gives you the option of a master bedroom with an en-suite or office upstairs or alternatively two extra bedrooms upstairs.  Other uses include creating an extra lounge space or playroom/games room for your children or a bigger office space.

A loft conversion can be completed fairly quickly (5-8 weeks on average) and is not that disruptive as most of the actual work is done in the loft. The majority of lofts can be converted, but it’s worth measuring the loft space to ensure it meets building regulations; as you need a minimum height of 2.1 metres over 50% of the room after the new floor has been put in. You also need to check your landing can handle the extra staircase.

If you are looking to potentially go down this route, you’ll need to speak to an architect and a builder to look at the types of conversions available and what would work best for your home.  Options range from a roof light conversion, which needs the least amount of structural work and so is the most cost-effective, to a more expensive mansard conversion. This is where one or both slopes of the roof are replaced with a new structure with steeper sides and an almost flat roof.

Mansard conversions generally need planning permission, but the majority of loft conversions are included in your permitted development rights.  You may want to check with your local planning department as the rules can vary from one area to another; but generally if your neighbours have completed the work you should be fine.

Side or Rear Extension – Potential Value Added: 15%
There are several options when it comes to house extensions if you are looking to carry out a single or double storey extension. If you live in a typical terraced or semi-detached house a side return extension is often a cheaper solution.  A side return is usually classed as permitted development and is a narrow alley that runs adjacent to the kitchen and by extending the kitchen into the side return and to the full width of the rest of the house means you gain valuable space and can also improve the layout.  However, you could lose windows and the light they’d normally bring in but roof lights will fix this, or you could install a partially or fully glazed roof to keep the space light and airy.  

Although adding an extension involves adding extra square footage to the side or back of the house, it does come at a cost to your garden. Generally, the most popular room for extending is the kitchen, and converting a small galley-style kitchen into a much bigger one with dining space can make your living space much more flexible. You also have the option of building upwards as the same time to give you an extra bedroom which will add more value. If this is something you are considering bear in mind it is more cost effective to do at the same time as a single-storey as otherwise you may need to upgrade your foundations at a later date to take the extra weight. You will also already have the builders on site and machinery hire costs which means you will have this cost the next time.

Open Plan Living/Re-modelling Layout – Potential Value Added: 3 to 5%
Open plan living is still one of the most popular home improvement projects undertaken to maximise family space. You can save on the cost of an extension by knocking down the wall between the kitchen and living room which gives you a bigger area to eat and live together in whilst still creating zones for time on your own.

Some homeowners may have the skills to undertake this but, in most cases, it is best to call in the professionals as it all depends on whether the wall is load bearing. If it is, taking it down yourself could prove disastrous. Alternatively, you could consider a rear or side extension instead as although this can be costly and time-consuming, it’ll give you exactly the space you want as well as adding potential value to your home.

Garage Conversion – Potential Value Added: 15%
If your garage isn’t being used for your car (as most are filled with junk), it can make sense to convert it into a living space; especially if you have parking space outside. Converting the garage into another room and then expanding upwards to include another bedroom can be a very good way of adding value to your home. Your first step is to check it is suitable for conversion and whether you need planning permission as although it is normally classed as permitted development, it is always best to check with your local planning authority.

Which is the best solution for you?
Whether you know you definitely require more downstairs living space or it’s an extra bedroom you need; the next step is to speak to a professional to see what your options are.  Building Tectonics has 35 years’ experience of re-designing, altering and extending houses across Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire; and we endeavour to exceed the aspirations and desires of our clients by generating innovative and intelligent ideas that often achieve much more than the original brief.

 To make sure that you have considered all possible options we provide a high-quality architectural design led by a careful feasibility planning process to make clients projects a reality, without suffering the pitfalls that many owners of properties face.

If you are ready to take the first step towards improving your home living space, please just either give us a call on 07548 884645, email us at email@building-tectonics.co.uk or message us via Facebook.

Building Tectonics Awarded ‘Best of Service 2020’ by Houzz

BUILDING TECTONICS LTD of MILTON KEYNES 

Awarded Best Of Houzz 2020

The Annual People’s Choice Award from the Houzz Community Highlights Home Renovation and Design Professionals with Most Popular Designs and Top Ratings

MILTON KEYNES, UK, 17 April, 2020Building Tectonics Ltd of Milton Keynes has won a “Best Of Houzz” award for Customer Service on Houzz®, the leading platform for home renovation and design. The 35-year old Architectural Practice was chosen by the millions of homeowners that comprise the Houzz community from among more than 2.5 million active home building, renovation and design industry professionals.

The Best Of Houzz badge is awarded annually, in three categories: Design, Customer Service and Photography. Design awards honour professionals whose work was the most popular among the Houzz community. Customer Service honours are based on several factors, including a pro’s overall rating on Houzz and client reviews submitted in 2019. Architecture and interior design photographers whose images were most popular are recognised with the Photography award.

A “Best Of Houzz 2020” badge will appear on winners’ profiles as a sign of their commitment to excellence. These badges help homeowners identify popular and top-rated home professionals in every metro area on Houzz.

Tony Keller, owner of Building Tectonics Ltd said “We are very pleased to receive this award again. We take customer service very seriously and will endeavour to continue to give our customers our very best. No sitting on our laurels here“.

“This year’s Best Of Houzz awards go to an incredibly talented and service-oriented group of home renovation and design professionals, and we’re proud to highlight the winners on the Houzz website and app,” said Inés Cid, Managing Director for Houzz UK. “This award is particularly meaningful as it reflects the sentiment of the millions of homeowners in the Houzz community who are hiring home professionals for their projects across the UK and around the world.”

Follow Building Tectonics Ltd on Houzz https://www.houzz.co.uk/pro/tonykeller/building-tectonics-ltd

About Building Tectonics Ltd

We are an architectural practice, with 35-years’ experience of re-designing, altering and extending houses across Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire. We endeavour to exceed the aspirations and desires of our clients, and do this by generating innovative and intelligent ideas that often achieve much more than the original brief.

About Houzz

Houzz is the leading platform for home renovation and design, providing people with everything they need to improve their homes from start to finish – online or from a mobile device. From decorating a small room to building a custom home and everything in between, Houzz connects millions of homeowners, home design enthusiasts and home improvement professionals across the country and around the world. With the largest residential design database in the world and a vibrant community empowered by technology, Houzz is the easiest way for people to find inspiration, get advice, discover products and hire the professionals they need to help turn their ideas into reality. Headquartered in Palo Alto, Calif., Houzz also has international offices in London, Berlin, Sydney, Moscow, Tel Aviv and Tokyo. Houzz is a registered trademark of Houzz Inc. worldwide. For more information, visit houzz.co.uk.

Home improvements to do whilst self-isolating

Today marks a new period of uncertainty for the nation with many people now working from home due to the threat of COVID-19; along with the first day of school closures across England. As we are all advised to socially distance ourselves with the threat of lockdown on the horizon; it’s not surprising people are wondering what they will do in the upcoming weeks or months if they are stuck at home so, we thought we would help by sharing some ideas for home improvements.

However, worrying it is and with many people now having to also home school, being restricted to staying at home is also an opportunity to get all those jobs completed that that you started – but never quite got around to finishing. If you have kids at home it is good to get into a routine of home schooling (alongside potentially working from home if you are able to) and in-between and at weekends you can try and fit in those jobs that you never get the chance to do. It’s also a great way to get the kids more involved with household chores and projects to give then a different type of ‘learning’ experience alongside their academic work.

Painting
Whether you love painting your home or dread it; most people have a room in their house (or maybe the whole house) that could do with updating.  It is so simple to transform a room with a new lick of paint or sometimes even just painting a feature wall or chimney breast can freshen a room up. Be quick though as paint is flying off the shelves at the moment; as people up and down the country are deciding to make the most of their time self-isolating.

Start that DIY job you’ve been putting off
Everybody has a list of home improvements that we’ve been meaning to do and just never quite got around to doing. It may be simple jobs like replacing light bulbs or putting shelves up or bigger jobs like repainting the skirting boards or decluttering the garage or loft. Whatever the jobs are, big or small, start them now whilst you have the opportunity.

Upcycle
If you have always thought of starting an upcycling project, now is the time. You may have a chest of drawers you would like to renovate by repainting them or would maybe like to make a new seating area in the garden out of wooden pallets. Either way upcycling is a great way to repurpose something no longer fit or used for its original purpose and save it ending up in landfill.

Get cleaning
Again this is a task that you either love or hate but it is even more essential at this moment in time. Draw yourself up a daily schedule and try and clean a room a day giving it a really deep clean. It not only keeps the germs away but is great for your mental health; so, get on top of your cleaning schedule whilst you have the chance and get the kids involved too.

Get organised
We are now in the first few days of Spring and the weather is already improving, therefore, take this opportunity to organise your wardrobe (and the kid’s wardrobes).  Go through outfits and see if any are no longer worn or are outgrown and take them to the charity shops. Do the same with the kids toys and go through them to see which ones they have grown out of or no longer play with; and either sell them or donate them.

Tidy the garden
Although we are being advised to avoid public places this doesn’t mean our gardens are off limits. Whilst it’s warm get outside and start clearing up and getting ready for Summer. Cut the grass, tidy the flowerbeds and pressure wash any decking and paving so you are ready to make the most of being at home spending time together in the garden.

Grow some plants or start a vegetable garden
With more time on your hands you could try growing your own plants from cuttings from your existing plants. Find some jars and pop the cuttings in water, place them on your window sill and once the roots begin to sprout you can plant them in soil filled pots. The kids will love learning about and growing their own plants and vegetables and you could make it into a competition.

Rearrange a room
If you have a room at home that needs a refresh, just try moving the furniture around. It can give it a new lease of life and make you feel like you have a new room to enjoy spending time in when you are bored of looking at the same 4 walls.

Get the kids involved
If you do have kids at home and have to home school; make some of these tasks part of their daily learning to mix up their day and give them a break from their academic work. It also teaches them new skills that will better equip them for the future.

Whatever your situation put your family and their safety first and spend time together through this uncertain period, whilst using the time to make your home as comfortable and beautiful as possible. We all want to make the most of the outdoors once we can go out again and if you get all the jobs completed now; it means you can enjoy every minute of freedom once we have the opportunity again.

Please be safe everyone, stay at home and we will get through this!

3 MMC inspired ideas for designing a sustainable loft conversion

As architects, Building Tectonics are always looking for more sustainable construction methods to suggest to our clients. Here are some tips from David Knight from Roof Windows 4 You for designing a Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) inspired loft conversion.

Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) has fast become a more common way to build. The construction industry is steering away from traditional methods and towards options that reduce delivery times, costs, and energy consumption. And, a lot of the principles of MMC can be applied to a loft conversion to produce a more sustainable design.

Not only are greener home improvements better for the planet, but they can also add value to your home and make it more desirable. Below, I’ll take you through three of the ways you can design a more sustainable loft conversion inspired by MMC.

Use sustainably sourced materials
If your loft conversion requires bricks, look for environmentally friendly alternatives to concrete and clay that are sourced responsibly. Some common options are made from ground-down waste that would otherwise be sent to landfill, such as glass or scrap.

You can also use sustainably sourced wood from low-impact logging companies in your building work, as well as reclaimed or recycled metal. Even roof insulation, which will help your loft conversion conserve heat, can be made from recycled materials for a more sustainable loft design.

Embrace green energy
Incorporating solar panels into your loft design is a tried and tested way to keep energy consumption (and bills) as low as possible, but there are other things you can do to save energy.

For example, roof windows are a must for an attractive loft space, as they can let in a lot of mood-boosting natural light, as well as provide you with the best views in the house. And, if you choose double, triple, or even quadruple glazing for your roof windows, you can minimise heat loss and increase the energy efficiency of your loft even further.

Consider a green roof
Green or living cladding not only looks good, but it can also help protect homes from potentially damaging solar heat in the summer. It can minimise heat loss in winter just like insulation, too, so it’s worth considering if you want to create a more self-regulating home.

A green roof also deals with storms and heavy rain better than other types of roofing, as it retains more water. This reduces and cleans run-off that might otherwise put a strain on nearby drains and sewers. And, as the waterproofing tends to last longer than average roofing, it can be more cost effective too.

If you’re looking for ways to create a more sustainable loft conversion, the tips in this guide can help. By using MMC as inspiration, you can reduce the environmental impact of your design and make it more efficient.

How to Improve the Kerb Appeal of your Home

Do you swell with pride when you drive up to your home or does the sight of it fill you with dread? Whilst many of us love our house interiors and have decorated them to our specific tastes, the same cannot always be said for the exterior of our homes and their kerb appeal. However, a not so attractive exterior is easily fixed and Building Tectonics has helped many homeowners in and around Milton Keynes to improve the exterior of their properties. We can help you learn to love the outside of your house as much as the inside whatever issues you may have.

With a recent HomeOwners Alliance study by YouGov finding 68% of homeowners felt that kerb appeal was important in their choice of home, it can often make the difference between buyers purchasing one house or another. The study found that the most important features for kerb appeal were windows and a roof that were both in good condition followed by a well-maintained front garden, pathways, fences and house frontage. Other features identified included clean gutters, concealed wheelie bins and a brightly-lit exterior.

However, whilst many of these features are fairly easy to change, many home owners don’t realise that there is so much more you can do to improve your home’s overall look and help you to start loving and not loathing your house exterior. With more and more people now staying put in their homes due to the cost of moving; it definitely pays to improve not move and in the majority of cases it will also add value to your home.

It is often the case that a homeowner will say that they didn’t buy their house for its exterior as it is dated or unattractive; but they tried to see past it to see the great potential inside. Whereas others are put off by an ugly exterior and would not even consider a house that wasn’t attractive on the outside. The good news is that there is plenty you can do to improve the kerb appeal of your home whilst keeping the benefits of the interior space.

This is often the case when it comes to older properties; and we are not talking your Victorian or Edwardian properties but more your 1950’s – 1980’s properties. Whilst this age of house benefit from larger rooms and have great potential to extend due to decent size gardens (unlike newer builds); they often don’t look the best from the front and can date very quickly.

Building Tectonics has helped many clients transform the exterior of their homes from smaller jobs like adding a welcoming porch; through to adding wood cladding and transforming bungalows into houses. It is very important though that any house facelift is carried out carefully and sympathetically in line with the existing house and its age; as inappropriate exterior finishes or out of place features can also ruin an older house.

Repainting or cladding your home exterior

There are a number of ways to change the look of your home from basic cosmetic changes like repainting it or adding cladding; through to changing the roof structure and replacing windows which can make a big architectural difference to the look of your home.

If your home has 1970s or 1980s stone cladding, pebbledash, mismatching bricks or a mixture of different external materials, you can remove or cover them with a different material to create a completely new look. The cheapest option is to simply paint the exterior of the house using masonry paint in a neutral shade such as white, to help unify the different materials.

Rendering and repainting can be a better option if the original brickwork has been damaged or alternatively if you want to give your home a brand new, contemporary appearance, cladding the exterior will make a dramatic difference.

Our clients in Milton Keynes engaged Building Tectonics to give their home a makeover to improve the outside appearance of their cottage. Having done the inside under a previous Building Tectonics scheme, they had a superb house but it was lacking in kerb appeal. The house also lacked an entrance hall space near the front door, big enough to accommodate shoes and coats. They were delighted with the finished result which gave them “Convenience, light, saleability, beauty all in one hit”.

Replacing your Roof or adding an Extension

Subject to planning permission, it may be possible to add a second storey to a bungalow, transforming it into a house, or to replace a flat roof to improve the exterior look of your property. Many smaller extensions can be added under permitted development rights (PDRs), without applying for planning permission, especially those at the back and sides of a property. 

This was the case for our clients in Luton who wanted to enlarge their bungalow to create space for their growing family. They wanted a house that was on two levels, with at least three bedrooms, a family bathroom upstairs and a large kitchen family room downstairs with a study and separate lounge to give the full range of rooms required in a family home.

Home Refurbishment

Sometimes a house just needs an overall makeover inside and outside to bring it up-to-date and to improve its overall efficiency. Our clients who owned this family home in Milton Keynes wanted to completely refurbish it to give them the space they wanted and to also create a brand new, fresher look externally. The ground floor was extended to provide more space and wrap the old 1970’s exterior with much better insulated, modern cavity walls. Cedar cladding was added upstairs not only to give the house a new appearance but to camouflage the new insulation applied to the exterior. A new sprocket roof with new roof tiles was also added. The triple glazing and whole house ventilation with heat recovery has also helped to reduce the energy costs to a much lower amount than the smaller, older house. The latest valuation has suggested that the cost of the refurbishment would be recovered if the house was sold.

For many home owners whether you are looking to potentially sell your home in the future or looking to stay long-term, kerb appeal is very important as to how you feel about your home. However, as we have shown there are many solutions out there from simple options like repainting, rendering and cladding through to refurbishment or remodelling of your property. Whichever route you decide to take it is always advisable to contact a professional to let you know what is and isn’t feasible before you start any work and be sure you get a few quotes before starting work.

If Building Tectonics can help you with any ideas of what could work for you and your property; please do not hesitate to contact us on 01908 366000.

Open-Plan Living Brings the Family Together at Christmas

Celebrating with the family at Christmas is when open-plan living really comes into its own, as the space lends itself to many layout options and allows for a big table to be the centrepiece of the celebrations. Our happy clients in Luton have just put the finishing touches to their open-plan living/breakfast/dining/kitchen area; created by a rear extension and are looking forward to celebrating Christmas in their new space.

Although our clients originally had lots of ideas, they needed us to help them decide what was economically feasible given their lifestyle, family needs and what was a sensible spend on their particular house. The scheme they chose resulted in a rear extension to create a stunning open-plan kitchen/breakfast/dining/living area that the whole family could “live” in, but also has individual zones to work unhindered. 

During the festive period, although more formal dining is popular; open-plan dining is still the preference year-round of most homeowners; as separate dining rooms have yet to make a real comeback.  Whilst some people still prefer the dining room set-up, if you have a big family it can be challenging to try and fit your own family around the table, let alone grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. Therefore, an open-plan living/dining/kitchen space has this advantage.

In houses that still have separate dining rooms but also enjoy an open plan kitchen/diner/living area, it is often the case that the old dining room has been converted into a snug, playroom, office or sometimes even a downstairs guest bedroom.

Although homes with open floor plans offer great light and views (often across the garden) and are very sociable for entertaining and bringing family and friends together; they can sometimes be tricky to decorate at Christmas. The high ceilings and minimal walls can make it hard to define areas, create transitions and get the scale right and can sometimes make the Christmas tree look too small for the area.

Therefore, whether you prefer a fresh-cut tree or an artificial version, buy the tallest and fullest tree that will fit comfortably in the spot you choose and upsize your Christmas decorations so you can see them from anywhere; making sure your tree lights are bright enough to make it dazzle as part of the overall décor. When your living room, dining room and kitchen are all one big space, it helps to pick a spot to be the focal point of the decorations which could be the fireplace if you still have one?

Whilst it is great to have all this space, it can sometimes not feel very cosy, which is why it is important to structure the space to give defined areas for eating, socialising and quiet time thereby, making it much more functional and useable. This is indeed what our clients have created by having a dining/breakfast area, kitchen space and then a cosy area with sofas so, all of the family can be together but they don’t need to be on top of each other all the time.

In properties where the original dining room is now being used as a playroom or office, if you came to sell, the agents would more than likely still refer to it as a dining room in the marketing literature. However, by giving it an alternative description, such as calling it a dining/family room, it shows potential buyers the flexibility of the space and how it could work best for them.

All houses need to continuously evolve over time to suit the changing needs of their owners let alone a new buyer, so the use of the dining room will probably change a few times over the years. Although open-plan gives more options, it needs to be clear where people could easily put their table and chairs. The trend for staying in more and hosting dinner parties or gatherings in your home, does mean that open-plan living is a bonus, as it makes it more informal and guests can socialise with the host in the kitchen whilst they cook.

Whatever your preference; be it modern, open-plan dining or the traditional dining room for family get-togethers, the beautifully decorated dining table will always be the centre piece of your social gatherings over the Christmas and New Year period and where all your memories are made.

If you would love to have the benefit of an open-plan living space for next Christmas with your family; please do contact Building Tectonics Ltd to see how we can help you with ideas for how to achieve it.

We would like to wish all our clients (past, present and future) a wonderful and prosperous Christmas and New Year!

Open-Plan Living in Luton

Our client found us on the website called Houzz and, after reading all the positive reviews we had received from previous clients, contacted us regarding their 4-bedroom detached property in Luton. They had lots of ideas for potentially extending or remodelling their home including creating an open-plan living area; but needed our help to turn the ideas into workable schemes. Having read about our Feasibility Scheme on our website; they rightly assumed that this would be the way forward.

Our Feasibility Scheme involves us visiting a client, listening to what they feel is lacking in their current house or what they wish to achieve and then carrying out a survey of their property. We are then in a position to formulate workable ideas which we typically send to clients 3 to 5 weeks after our visit.

They were not short of ideas for what they hoped to achieve and the ideas ranged from an open-plan dining/breakfast/kitchen/living space which would become the ‘hub’ of their home to possibly adding another bedroom.

Discussions also revolved around a better designed kitchen, a utility room to hide away some of their appliances and the washing when it was drying indoors. Their existing dining room was also quite dark so they were looking at possible solutions to provide an area for working from home or for the kids to study in.

Once the process got going it was clear that they really only needed a single storey extension; which meant demolishing their current conservatory and then remodeling some of their existing space. Other ideas that had been considered included the possibility of a Loft Conversion but we soon established this would involve a new roof as the ridge was too low. 

They needed us to help them decide what was economically feasible given their lifestyle, family needs and what was a sensible spend on their particular house. The scheme they chose resulted in a rear extension, creating a stunning open-plan kitchen/breakfast/dining/living area that the whole family could “live” in, but also has individual zones to work unhindered. 

The build was finished this Summer and now they have just put the finishing touches to the interior; so it is now all ready for Christmas. Early in the new year they will also lay a patio area outside the new bi-fold doors; ready to make the most of the outdoors in the Summer. In the meantime they can also enjoy the view during the colder winter months.

Our clients said “You worked up many ideas before we chose one for our extension; which was at the end of last year and we finished the build late this Summer.  Many thanks for the great variety of designs that really helped us get to where we wanted along with the help guiding us to what was structurally sensible, the Planning Process and Building Regulations too, of course. Thank you as it looks great and we are really pleased with the end result”.

Kitchen Extension in Caldecott, Milton Keynes

Many of our clients contact us on recommendation from a builder; as was the case with this side extension project in Caldecott, Milton Keynes to create a new kitchen space, utility room and enlarged garage.

The builder had in turn also been highly recommended by friends of theirs. The design brief was relatively simple; but what set this project apart was the attention to detail and the finish achieved in the execution of this extension project.

Our goal with any house scheme we produce is to give the client what they want; but without any unnecessary complications. We achieve this by carefully listening to the clients wishes, interpreting these points and bringing into the discussion other aspects that they would not necessarily think about. This means we can produce the best possible scheme using our expert technical knowledge.

Once we had produced the kitchen extension schemes, obtained planning permission and building regulation approval, we handed the project data over to the client.  We were therefore, delighted 7 months later to be invited back to see the finished result and to be met by very happy clients and a proud builder.

If a project starts off on the right footing (no pun intended); then it can progress to fruition without any drama for the client, subject to them also appointing a good builder of course.

House Remodelling in Bedfordshire

Our clients in Bedfordshire asked us to look at their modest 3 bedroom bungalow to see if it would benefit from remodelling. Although the bungalow had been previously extended a few times to give more space and to create a beautiful kitchen; they felt the layout still had outstanding issues that needed resolving.

Its main entrance was tucked away up a long path bounded on one side by the bedroom wing. This was awkward and far from an impressive visual introduction to the house. The lounge worked well as a cosy snug, but as a main lounge it was too small. Externally, the house did not connect with the garden and the garden itself being adjacent to a busy road, suffered from noise and a lack of privacy.

The key innovation we brought to the problem was switching the lounge to the bedroom wing and the bedrooms to where the lounge had been. Our plan recreated the bedrooms as a two storey wing to ensure no bedroom capacity was lost.

Bringing the lounge to the front of the site meant that a beautiful and spacious entrance lobby adjacent to the car spaces could be added. Remodelling the layout meant that it worked as a house should in terms of approach and connectivity with the garden and the interconnection of the rooms. The garage was moved and rebuild to act as a screen between the garden and the road. This created a private and beautiful lawn space that the lounge and bedrooms could overlook.

It must be noted that during the construction phase the builder and the client also had their own moments of inspiration. This not only enhanced our general concept but helped create a house and home that is a delight to live in.

Remodelling and Extension of House in the Country

At first glance, this superb house in the rolling hills of Buckinghamshire appears to have it all – a character building with generous rooms and plenty of land around it, perfect for a growing family. However, even a big house with lots of room and green space can still have its issues and need remodelling to make it work more efficiently for the people occupying it.

When our clients bought their current home; it suffered with some major problematical issues with the layout and headroom in certain rooms.  Alongside this they desired a wow factor kitchen which you would normally come to expect in this size of house. Unfortunately, the existing kitchen space was just not suitable to make this a reality which was a shame.

Our first stage in visiting a client is normally to conduct a feasibility study to see just what is viable with the house. During this step we identified some old outbuildings that could potentially be connected to the house via a new extension.

Having shown our clients how this could work as an option for their new kitchen; they decided to take this opportunity to also look at other aspects of their house that they didn’t like. They left no stone unturned in their desire to create their perfect home.

Our clients possessed great attention to detail and working with us on the project resulted in the stairs being relocated. This created a beautiful spacious entrance hallway and corridors.

The overall end result is stunning and has given them a much more useable layout, along with the big kitchen they longed for. We think you will agree the new extension looks fantastic and blends seamlessly with the existing house.