The owners of this smallholding and farmhouse wanted to update the dilapidated building and make the most of the view. An existing sub-standard extension planned to be removed formed the main footprint for the new works. A new design was developed to re-use the foundations of this former extension. This new design included a wrap-around section of new-build round the building to form a new side entrance and office.

Extensive internal alterations allow for a more efficient layout, and better use of the site, including a new entrance, segregated home office and utility rooms. Additionally a plant room was included with space for a woodchip/log heating system with thermal store.

The commanding views from the building are some of the best in the Exe valley, and so a fundamental aspect of the brief had to be to make the most of these. As a working smallholding the layout and building had to perform both aesthetically and in function. Large overhangs, porches, space for wellies and tools were all considered. A large balcony around the building offers outdoor dining, views, and a set of steps down to the veg garden down on the sloped ground below. (This balcony is not yet complete)

The axis of the extension is orientated towards the evening sun and wrapping round as many large windows to make the most of the expansive views from as many areas as possible. A lighter-weight organic shaped balcony structure wraps around the building allowing for sheltered external social and dining space.

The existing entrance was poorly arranged on the sloping site, and with the desire to create a segregated office area, a new front door has been provided allowing business visitors to access the office, without having to go through the house. A timber and glass greenhouse replaces the tired flat roofed old extension and further expands upon the grow-your-own capacity of the grounds. A new roof, timber cladding and render over dated 1970s stonework below not only brings the building up-to-date but also harmonises with the agricultural buildings on the site.


  • Service: Up to planning approval
  • Budget: undisclosed
  • Scale: 60m2 new construction + internal alterations
Before Photos
Project Drawings

Expenditure on the exposed timber frame and large areas of glazing, and making use of more basic fittings elsewhere kept the budget under control. Much of the joinery was by the skilled client, including using coppiced timber from their land to construct the cabinetry (still ongoing).

Costs were focussed on practical spaces and the dining room area which give the wow factor. Full planning permission was secured and a local oak frame joiner created the exposed oak frame.

The build is a long-term project with the greenhouse, balcony and steps all still awaiting construction and other farmyard improvements in the works.