I am proud to have been involved in the renovation of many varied buildings, some very old even having origins dating back to medieval times, (1400's and through the years to homes built from the mid 1900's).
There's something really special about renovation, the feeling of accomplishment, restoring something back to what it was, making it better maybe? Unwrapping years of history, sometimes layers and layers of previous renovations and alterations through the years. old building techniques and the odd newspaper, glass bottle or more recently a very old Marmite jar. ( love it or hate it? ) Read More
Please enjoy our portfolio, get some inspiration and hopefully some useful information and pointers to help you along with your next project.
SOME OF OUR PREVIOUS PROJECTS:
Marmite Jar: Found whilst
renovating Mouse Cottage,
Renovating a building
I am proud and fortunate to have been responsible the renovation of many and varied buildings, some very old, having origins dating back to medieval times, (1400's and through the years to perhaps from the mid 1900's). Each one unique and special in its own way, testament to the craftsmanship of years gone by, perhaps worn and tired but strong and resilient -so promising, waiting to be developed into its next role, a new home.
There's something truly special about renovating an old building, the feeling of accomplishment, restoring something back to what it was whilst uncovering years of history. Where possible we suggest trying to re-purpose any and all original architectural features and items into the scheme, timbers that maybe removed from the roof structure ( or any other part of the building) to recreate authentic aged timber lintels. to either bring it up to date or alter the living arrangements to better suit the needs.
Whatever your reason and whatever the building we would love to be involved in your next renovation project, here's some pointers to get you started.
A Renovation building project goes through several stages of building, which i have broken down below, with a few tips and pointers.
Its important to point out that in my experience renovation projects always throw surprise costs at people, whether that's due to a change of mind halfway through or finding something unexpected. Renovating an old property tends to involve a lot more work than a simple extension, yet for those who love a challenge it is the best way to either create their dream home or spruce up an outdated structure. Whatever the reasoning, i believe older buildings tend to have an inherent charm, character and warmth, features such as fireplaces and original floors, solid wood stairs, maybe sash windows, all things you just don't get as standard in a 'new build'.
If at all possible i suggest living in the property before starting any work, this enables you to get a feel of how the building layout currently works and makes the shortcomings obvious, do you need an additional toilet or perhaps you realise you have a dead space that could work much better?- Does the heating work, what about the electrics? things hopefully get spotted that might not otherwise get planned or considered into a renovation for budget reasons may well come back to bite!
You should aim to identify any structural problems with the property as early on in the project as possible — not only are they dangerous, especially if you are living on site, but they could cause further damage to the sound and stable areas of the house too. I will post more information on this topic soon.
Subsidence,underpinning, or piling work to the existing foundations can be a particular expense. If lateral spread has occurred in the walls and roof, steel ties might be needed. In extremely unstable house renovations, the insertion of steel props, beams or scaffold will prevent further collapse. ( Beehive Cottage (shown below)required a steel frame to the roof space as well as additional sheathing, in order to retain the gable wall which was itself heavily deflected)
The roof condition should always be evaluated as soon as possible, After all it is the only thing that will keep the rain out! The right choice of roof tiles/slates is essential to a great looking finish
We can design and build your renovation from plans to completion, guiding you through step by step in a clear and straight forward manner or you may choose to appoint an architect independently. Either way it makes sense to get a professional on board early to help with the evaluation of the properties current condition and the essential works that will be required, along with expected costs for each stage of the building process. Whichever course you decide its important to get all your ideas forward at the start, it could be a list or pictures - whatever medium you can find to portray what you like, these ideas will help to establish the best course of action on the design side, a change of mind or addition part way through a project can not only cost time but money.
Planning permission is not always necessary for a renovation project, however is almost certainly going to require building regulations approval, other conditions apply such as if you live in a listed building or conservation area. Check out our guide on planning permission.
Here the original oak frame was uncovered in the preparation for render, it was amazing to find and worth fighting to keep! it took a lot of negotiating with building control to be able to retain (we opted for a blanket foil insulation system internally, which lost us 100mm of space to the bedroom) and recreated the exact oak frame with new oak cut shaped and fitted over the original but the end result is sure to be Amazing,there was no shortage of passers by and neighbours intrigued and excited seeing the transformation take shape.
Always list out the costs for each element:There is no limit to what you could spend when completing a renovation!!
You should try to take every possible requirement into consideration, from the cost of the roof tiles to the light fitting and blinds you would like to finish, a budget is a budget and going over it is all too easy if the real cost of everything is not fully understood and appreciated at the outset.
Remember, working on old buildings is much more labour intensive than building an extension, things have to be taken apart before they are put back together! Once you have all the costs established you can compare to your budget- perhaps scaling back a little to ensure completion or maybe even stretching to that luxurious underfloor heating that was on your wish list!
Here the reproduction original oak frame panels where infilled using a traditional lime render, in keeping with the original.
Building regulations are the standards to which all construction projects must adhere and are essential for all building projects in the UK. Building Regulations are designed to ensure buildings are safe, structurally sound, and water and energy efficient. The application and inspection cost will vary depending on the size of the build and the type of work being carried out, but will typically be between £300 and £1000.
How long do home renovations take to complete?
The length of time it takes to renovate a building will obviously depend on the scale of the build, without even including any time spent drawing up plans and obtaining planning permission (which can take several months in and of themselves)(some clients have considered the project for years before undertaking). A rough time-frame would be between three and five months, although larger buildings may require years of work, from the start of the project - clearing the space and pulling down the old, through to adding the finishing touches, and dealing with any snags you encounter. Delays are common to the start dates, and are often due to clients adding more or changing their minds, work we don’t leave a job until its practical completion!
Structural openings must be considered at the planning stage, structural calculations will be required, and a significant amount of work may be involved, more so still if the beams are to be hidden and the joists need cutting in to the steel and set on hangers. Its worth having a good look at the existing structure before starting to find the existing joist direction.
Order of works:
Here is the common approach i take to any renovation schedule, although every project is different and you should always be flexible, sometimes you have to work with the building and adapt the process!
Ensure site is safe, arrange safety measures as necessary.
Remove and set aside all items that are to be re-used.
Strip Roof , walls, floors and timbers that require replacement or structural work.
Structural underpinning, structural pads, Steel columns
New drainage or alter existing
Preperation for scaffolding
Build new and rebuild old walls as required
New lintels above openings or steels if required.
New window/door openings?
Floor joists and boards
Wallplate(timber on top of the walls on which the roof is constructed)
Roof construction, tiling and guttering/fascias
Doors and windows
Electrics- run cables to back boxes set in position from fuse-board location
Plumbing- run pipework to required locations
Carpentry-Door linings, floor boards, joists, window boards
Plaster, dependent upon the type of renovation, this may need to be a traditional lime based render.
Skirting boards, doors, architrave
Electrical sockets and switches, light fittings and fuse board
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