What a start to the year, January has definitely been a challenge!!
The Chalfont St Peter project is going very well and we are currently 3 weeks ahead of schedule. Of course now I’ve said it….
Brickwork is on the go slow due to the cold snap, but that is the beauty of timber frame. Windows are in one of the houses, with the other following next week, and internally we are first fixed and boarded on the first floors. A great achievement.
Shinfield seems to be the opposite. From the initial project plan, we should be wrapping the project up now, but all the drainage and underpinning issues set us behind from the start. Now a last minute change of window supplier by the client before Christmas, has left the rear of the building open to the elements. With the freezing conditions, progress is slowing!
On the flip side, the front is looking great, with some beautiful detail around the front door of which I must get a photo to share. I’m looking forward to seeing those windows and pushing on to finish!
A new project is in the pipeline with the refurbishment and extension of 380 sq/m house in Shiplake followed by two new build houses, then a new block of flats. Design for the existing house is currently underway with a mix of traditional and contemporary elements but all in, this will be a 3 year design and management project! Always good to have in the pipeline.
In other news, I am now working towards attaining Chartered Architectural Technologist (MCIAT) status and have become a Parent Governor for my local Primary School.
Nothing like making life easy for yourself!!
So I’m back in Arborfied Road for the 4th time. Planning and Building Control approvals have been got and work on site is finally coming out of the ground.
To date, construction wise, this has been one of the hardest and slowest builds to get out of the ground. Firstly the shared drain ran directly through the corner of the proposed foundations, so had to be moved but kept live each night. Next the existing soil pipe was cracked, so had to be replaced section by section to again keep it live every night, only to find it dropping to over a metre in depth and surrounded in concrete. Next up, the water main had been replaced at some point in the past and was now running the entire length directly where we wanted to run our new foundations, so had to be cut and moved temporarily.
Once we got over those hurdles, we reduced the levels to ready the ground floor slab only to find the existing house had zero foundations and so had to be underpinned!
The shame of all this is the time, effort and cost invested in the project to date will all be buried in the ground and never seen again.
Of course all of this has lead to delays on site, but the brick layers got the wall up quickly so lets see if we can get the roof closed in before Christmas!
Until recently, I considered the only was to retrofit UFH to an existing concrete floor was to use a microbore system laid in polystyrene tray. Not so, JK floorheating have come up with an innovative idea which cuts groves into your existing concrete floor to the layout designed by the UFH supplier.
This means no more worrying about increased floor heights.
See http://www.jk-gb.com for more details.
Landmark day today as both timber frames are signed off and handed over to the roofers. Plot 1 is already felt and battened, with Plot 2 to follow next week. Roof tiles have been delivered, so we’re looking good to be sealed from above before Christmas.
Meanwhile, the insides will have service voids battened out and the ducting for the MVHR (mechanical ventilation with heat recovery) installed. Windows are in manufacturing and set for installation in Jan alongside the plumbing and electrical first fix.
I’ve just been sent a few images and received a glowing review on Google for a project I worked on last year in Lower Earley. The project involved a full ground floor reconfiguration including the addition of a single storey extension.
Originally a kitchen diner was positioned in the front of the house with the lounge to the rear. With a growing family, a separate snug, study area and downstairs cloakroom was required and the couple also wanted a new kitchen diner overlooking their garden. To replace the light lost from the extension, the original lounge was given a new window to the side.
I was involved in the design and planning aspect for this project, then the client sourced contractors and managed themselves and are very happy with the results.
Ground has been well and truly broken on our new site in Chalfont St Peter.
Plot 1 foundations are now cast with the footings ready to start. Plot 2 has been delayed a little to give the fencers time to clear the boundary and construct the new acoustic fence.
Chalfont St Peter is a lovely village, although with a population of over 12,000 its one of the largest villages in the country. Voted the best kept village in Buckinghamshire, the pressure is on to provide two new houses worthy of their surroundings!
For our last project we introduced Porcelanosa to supply the bathroom suites and tiles including the kitchen, family and dining room areas. This was not planned at the outset as their showrooms indicate expensive products. However we were pleasantly surprised.
The designs were soon underway and orders finalised. Customer care was clear from the outset and continued throughout the build and beyond.
On completion I was invited to visit the Porcelanosa factory in Spain and apart from the factories being cleaner than you could have ever imagined, the sheer scale of the operation and extent of the products available was mind blowing.
Known mainly for their tiles, the extent of style type and make up was endless. To support the full bathroom design, they offer a multitude of bathroom suites fittings and fixtures. Needless to say, we are sold on their design, quality and customer care.
The next surprise was the range of kitchens. UK showrooms only include a small sample of their full range, but for our next development we have ordered one contemporary kitchen and one traditional shaker style. Once they are in, I’ll report back to confirm if they meet the high standards met so far.
I highly recommend Porcelanosa and recommend a visit to one of their showrooms. They look a little intimidating, but well worth a visit.
I had the opportunity to meet with a client today who is part way through their self build. Its a real privilege to be able to see a design take shape and witness the excitement of the client as things progress.
This was a two bedroom tired bungalow which is currently being replaced by their dream house; A 4 bedroom detached house, with vaulted ceilings, home office, snug and open plan kitchen and family room.
Its still a long way off, but the timber frame is up and the roof is now being completed.
The garden is steeply raked, so the kitchen window is wide and shallow but includes a glazed sloping roof.
The Master bedroom has a vaulted ceiling and large picture window.
I’ve been following their blog with interest and can’t wait to see the finished building. You can follow progress via the client own blog; https://140kidmoreend.wordpress.com/
Following a recent survey by Savills estate agents on behalf of BBC news, it looks like moving home is becoming a rarity with more people choosing to extend and renovate. This is not only due to the rise in house prices, but also the cost of moving and availability of suitable property.
According to Savills, before 2008 the average family moved 3.6 times after buying their first property which has now fallen to 1.8 times over their lifetime. This is certainty true form my family. We have remained in the same property for 21 years, extending and improving over the years as our requirements change.
If you are thinking of a new start, why not consider extending, renovating or redesigning your current home. For a free initial consultation, please get in touch. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or Tel: 07971177573.
To read the full BBC article: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-43541990
As I was in the area, I thought I’d drop in on a client just in the throws of completing their build.
The house started as a 3 bedroom brick house with a large garage atop of a lane of traditional brick and clad houses. We designed the house to include 2 new bedrooms with Ensuite facilities, a new family room, utility and shower room for the growing family. For kerb appeal, we emulated the traditional houses in the street with a contemporary twist. With brickwork painted on the lower half, the upper floor was clad in a dark composite board. I think the results are starting to speak for themselves.