Design Buy Build Nov 2018

Location and inspiration

What inspired you to take on this project?
When we moved into this house we wanted to do an extension because the existing extension was always too small.

Had you always wanted to pursue your own project?
We wanted the work done, but didn’t want to project management ourselves – life’s too busy.

How and why did you choose this property to renovate?
It had potential, was detached, liked the features and garden, and the location is great. Great public spaces, easy access into central London and great transport links. We like West Norwood area.


What style and age is the original building?
Victorian detached property 1900’s.

How did you combine the original building’s style with the extension?
We liked the exterior of the property and kept the lines of the original building, hence the L shape extension. Other than that we reconfigured a lot of the interior. Although the extension is contemporary, it is done sympathetically with the rest of the house. Its double fronted, we put the bathroom on the side to ensure the front room wasn’t shut off. Carefully zoned the areas.

What was the vision and inspiration behind your new home?
We always intended to do an extension from the time we originally moved in, the timing seemed right as we approached Plus Rooms. Our inspiration from friends and the platform Houzz.

How did you approach finalising your design brief?
We had it pretty clear in our head but our original plans refused by the council, but in a way this was a good thing as it made us consider more carefully options and we’re delighted with the results.

How long did it take to gain planning permission?
It was 8 weeks initially, but when we resubmitted the plans the response came back quickly so about 3 months in total.

The build

Were there any challenging aspects to the project and build?
We lived at the home through the project which wasn’t too bad as Plus Rooms protected everything and made efforts to protect us with a temporary kitchen arrangement. But during a cold spell it was very hard to keep the house at temperature so rather uncomfortable, but this lasted less than 2 weeks.

Did you project manage the build yourself?
Plus Rooms handled the whole thing impeccably from end to end, Alex was simply marvellous! He kept us in the loop but helped smooth the way and proposed solutions all the time.

Did you work with an architect at any point in the process?
Not directly, Plus Rooms liaised with their architect to get the plans drawn as agreed with them, surveying happened but we weren’t involved in the day to day.

How did you approach material and product specification?
Braverman Kitchens made things very easy. They, like Plus Rooms, were introduced to us through friends who had done a very large project which we loved. Again, we knew what we wanted so it was great to see the plans come about. Other items such as door handles, doors, light fittings were all chosen either online or through seeing them at friends property. We checked everything with Alex to ensure the spec’s matched. The floor tiles came from Kettering and we visited, we’d originally had seen them The Grand Design’s Show in Docklands.

Are there any particular materials that you would recommend to others looking to renovate or self build?
We really love those floor tiles from Tiles To You, in Kettering. They are porcelain 1.2m. The underfloor heating was a definite must.

How long did the project take and was it the timeframe that you originally predicted?
It took 12 weeks for the build, but the finishing which included the kitchen install, décor and floors took quite a bit longer. We went away for Christmas and we didn’t want the work being done while we were away, so things were put on hold briefly hence the slightly longer timeline.

When was it completed and how long before you moved in?
We lived through the whole thing made easier by the temporary kitchen and sealing of works area that Plus Rooms did for us, to ensure the dust didn’t travel throughout the house.

Did you remain within the original budget and if not what were the unexpected costs?
We had to pay more as we had to dig down deeper at foundation level and secure ground before the build could happen – this added another £18,000 to the overall cost. But there was nothing else unforeseen.

Your new home

Please provide an overview of both the interior and exterior finished space:

• Open plan between the original kitchen and the back dining room creating a large kitchen, dining and living space
• Good example of a broken plan configuration where elements of structure have intentionally been left in to give subtle division to zone space
• Having a staggered back wall is another example of how you can help distinguish different part of zones
• Big sliding doors that slide away from a corner which create an impressive feeling in the dining room looking out onto the garden
• The beams in the celling help to create character and interest, a far cry from the usual rectangular open space.  The large glass panels help various sections of each room you are in, in particular the garden, to bring the inside out

How does the building respond to its surrounding landscape?
Its an urban and fits in well with the neighboring buildings.

What does the local community think of the refurbishment?
They all love it and think its great.

Is the finished space everything that you hoped it would be?
Its made a huge difference to our lives, it’s the warmest part of the house and we simply life there day to day. Its everything we ever wanted from the build.

Plus Rooms enquiries www.plusrooms.com, Tel 0800 917 7127.
www.plusrooms.com