This project involved a series of alterations, and two extensions. The first a relatively straightforward rear kitchen-diner extension. The second a more complex two storey side extension, built over existing drains, Party Walls and former structures.

A rear extension opened up the building to the garden, with a large dine-in kitchen. A chimney breast and existing window openings in the old kitchen were removed and altered to facilitate the layout and design. These alterations were combined with a new structural knock-through to provide a front-to-back route and view, sharing the daylight to the middle of the house.

Originally in the 1860s such houses were built with public-facing reception rooms and more private kitchen and service rooms to the rear. These would have been rarely seen by visitors and are often tucked away with smaller windows and reduced features. In this building the access to the kitchen space was via a ‘dogleg’ both physically and visually screening it from the reception room areas, so a front-to-back view was impossible. However due to the long shape of the building this made for a gloomy central portion. Nowadays modern society tends to have the kitchen as the heart of the home, and sometimes older houses have to be adapted to really make this functional and welcoming. Several sketch options were designed and evaluated to decide how to best remodel the home, but creating the front to back view and improving daylight were key goals in all options.

The side extension while the less glamorous of the two is the real enabler of the project. Part of the works increased the numbers of bedrooms to 6, which added significant demand on the existing single bathroom. The side extension therefore included a storage room at ground floor, a plant room-come-laundry at first floor, and a new shower room at the second storey. Working closely with the structural engineer, this was squeezed in between the half-landings of the original stair and over existing structures, drainage and the party boundary wall. Use of a good sized electric rooflight, simple layout and bold tiling enhance the small space.

  • Service: Planning and detailed construction design
  • Budget: Approx £250,000 excl. Fittings
  • Scale: Whole house refurbishment and extensions
Before Photos
Project Drawings

An existing conservatory structure was replaced with a new thermally insulated yet bright dining room, and effort was made to ensure a smooth transition between the spaces. Care was taken to bury structural steel frames within the walls, and make appropriate references to the original historic building in the architectural details.

The building lies within one of Exeter’s city Conservation Areas and the two-and-a-half storey side extension needed much detail and negotiations with the planning officer as this fell outside of their adopted householder design guidance policies. Accurate elevation drawings, over-sketch diagrams superimposed upon street-level and neighbour-window photos formed part of the information produced in-house to secure consent.

Following planning permission being granted a set of detailed construction drawings were developed. This involved co-ordination with the structural engineer and clients. Occasional sketches and amendments to the project during development and while on-site helped illustrate particular junctions or explain certain desired outcomes to the whole construction team.

The Client’s goal of a bright and colourful family home has been carried through the internal decoration scheme throughout with bold colours and patterns sitting comfortably against the Victorian details.