Building extensions to peoples homes can be a difficult and stressful process,
particularly for an owner who has not experienced a building site before. It can be a nasty shock to come home from work only to find the ceiling missing and the kitchen in a skip. Then there are cost increases and project overruns, the construction industry has the remarkable ability to give time and money a terrifying elastic quality.
Given all of this I am delighted every time a previous client asks me to carry out more work for them or recommends me to someone they know. This happens ever more frequently as the number of past clients increase every year.
This project started as a recommendation from a past client but it was unusual, as the project was in the next doors neighbours property. I designed a contemporary garden room for the previous client in 2013 and they were delighted by it. This was the first opportunity to build next to one of my own designs.
The new client had very different needs to their neighbour. Their young family needed more space, the existing kitchen was too small and not well connected to the rest of the house.
The new space is a hub for family life and incorporates the existing front room of the house, which makes it seem larger. The external corner of the house was taken down and a large pair of sliding doors installed to connect the new space to the garden.
The new floor is two steps lower than the floor of the existing house which allows one to walk straight outside uninterrupted.
Any well laid out home should have a clear distinction between the private and public spaces. The extension sits in the driveway and forms a new entrance to the house.
By creating a new entrance directly into the new kitchen / living / dining area the client can keep guests separate from the more intimate parts of their home. It also makes it very easy to pack the groceries away, lets call it the Tesco Test.
Like all well designed open plan spaces, this one is not a simple square but divides the rooms between its uses. I usually advise anyone thinking of an open plan space to create an L - shaped layout. This project was the first time I created a staggered rectangular layout and it works really well.
A significant element of the design is an integrated bike store at the rear of the extension, this has a full height doorway clad in the same decking as outside the sliding doors. The neighbours extension is totally open, an extrovert, but this design is much more imitate.
More details are available here.