This project was completed under Permitted Development rights, so not needing Planning Permission. It shows what can be achieved with a relatively small extension, and clever use of internal planning. A few internal walls were removed, and a wc formed in what was an old doorway, with new laundry closet ‘squaring’ the room. Detailed planning stage drawings were completed including kitchen layouts and dimensions. The builders then constructed the shell and fit-out based on these drawings and outline specification created by Tom Spriggs Architect and the clients.

Originally the scheme had higher ambitions for the external materials, with the clients wanting to push the boat out and use contemporary materials such as zinc or steel roofing and cladding. However with the target of wanting to achieve the scheme under Permitted Development and keeping costs at a sensible level, the external shell of the building was ‘value engineered’ after initial consultation with the chosen builders. Good teamwork between the architect, builder and owners allowed careful compromises to be made and balanced to reduce the overall cost, without reducing the impact or wow factor qualities too greatly. The resulting construction is a traditional cavity block with external render and artificial slates. Swapping the roof construction to a slate roof, with vaulted interior enabled more affordable rooflights (as the pitch is steeper), and more standard guttering and secondary elements to be used, reducing time on site and overall capital expenditure.

This allowed more time, effort and money to be given to the interior. The owners have a growing collection of mid century furniture, and artwork (more to go on the walls at the time of the photographs!) and wanted the space to accommodate these and show it off. An engineered oak floor throughout is a practical luxury that helps bring both warmth and texture to the rooms. Following the same logic as keeping the construction simple to keep hold of costs, the heating is traditional radiators, rather than underfloor heating, and use of MDF skirting boards is quick and simple, yet remains effective. Money saved in these areas allowed items like the woodburning stove and fire-resisting paint to be paid for within the budget.

  • Service: Up to planning/PD approval
  • Budget: £2250/m2 (2017)
  • Scale: Rear extension and part of ground floor
Before Photos
Project Drawings

The new steel beams have been treated with a fire-resisting intumescent paint coating and then left exposed and painted black. This semi-industrial feel accents the old furniture and colour scheme well. From the design outset the kitchen layout was kept simple, avoiding complicated cabinetry, gimmicks and corners that all add to the costs. The resulting kitchen is compact, but very well stocked and efficient. Having a separate laundry/utility cupboard with plumbing just off the hallway behind the sliding kitchen door maintains the kitchen as clutter free.

Two large Velux rooflights (160cm x 95cm) flood the space with sunlight and natural light, as well as providing good high level ventilation without blowing the budget. The gap between them above the island allows for some pendant lights to further help delineate between kitchen and dining spaces.

The new downstairs wc is a real benefit to the 3 bed house, and we were pleased to achieve a position that didn’t interrupt the view of the garden. Its position forms a recessed casual seating area off the kitchen, and creates a new view of the garden from the hallway that used to be a dark unwelcoming space. The wc is small, but perfectly functional, and in time will include high level shelving for additional cloakroom storage.

A sliding pocket door has been built into the kitchen wall to be able to close off the kitchen without a door swing getting in the way. Most of the time it is pushed out of the way going unnoticed, but it gives flexibility to be able to close of cooking smells, shut the cat downstairs or make a bit of noise on early mornings.