08.02.2022

Industrial Revelation

Ella and George have used steel beams, exposed brickwork and parquet flooring to great effect in their extended kitchen

BEFORE

Feature   Debbie Jeffrey
Photography   Liane Ryan
Project   Plus Rooms 

MEET THE RENOVATORS

Ella, who works in advertising, lives with her husband George, who works in finance, and their baby son Jude, in this five-bedroom, three-storey Victorian terrace in south-east London. 

BUILD BRIEF

To extend out into the garden and across into the rear side return to create a spacious kitchen / dining / family room, a new utility room, and a WC. 

WHAT DID YOU WANT TO CHANGE IN THE HOUSE? 

Living in a small two-bedroom flat, we wanted a larger home where we could start a family, and as my parents have tackled several renovations, I was excited to take on a project – and this terraced house needed plenty of work. Although the property had a larger than average garden, its small galley kitchen was north-east facing and dark, and the rest was falling apart and inhabited by mice, so we were keen to make a start – although the project was delayed by the pandemic.  George loves cooking so he took charge of the kitchen while I focused on the interior design. 

HOW DID YOU FIND YOUR BUILDER? 

Plus Rooms’ fixed-price design and build service really appealed, and after submitting their design for planning permission they were happy for us to stay living in the house throughout the build, creating a temporary kitchen for us.  As I was heavily pregnant by the end of the project, we moved out while the decorators were painting to avoid the fumes, but living in the house was made even more difficult when we caught Covid, so the builders had to access the extension via the rear garden gate so that we could isolate.  As well as the extension, they remodelled the back garden with a larger terrace reached through Crittall-style doors, which has completely changed the outlook and the way we use the space. 

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE EXPOSED BRICKWORK? 

We used brick slips for the internal wall, which take up a fraction of the space while still looking authentic.  We both loved the pared-back, industrial look so tried to match the aged appearance of the exterior brickwork, and the glass roof brings in so much additional light – it couldn’t have been more different from the cramped, dark kitchen we first inherited. 

PROJECT COSTS

Kitchen building work & materials £47,770
Glass roof £18,630
Sliding doors £8,514
Plumbing £5,990
Electrics £4,050

TOTAL SPEND

£84,594

DROP IT DOWN

Building the extension with a combination of flat and pitched roofing means that privacy and views from windows were protected, while creating maximum head height in the main space

MIX MATERIALS

With brick slips creating their desired industrial-style aesthetic, and marble worktops on the DeVol cabinets, Ella and George chose a wooden counter for the island alongside parquet flooring over underfloor heating to warm the scheme up

NEED-TO-KNOW*  Choosing Builders

ASK FOR RECOMMENDATIONS

Never just employ someone who comes knocking on your door – contact friends and neighbours who’ve had similar work completed in recent months and ask about their experience.  Trade associations such as the Federation of Master Builders (fmb.org.uk) can also provide names of tradespeople in your area.

CHECK CREDENTIALS

There’s no legal obligation for the major building trades to undertake any training – anyone can call themselves a builder, bricklayer or carpenter – so it’s up to you to research them and follow up references.

GET QUOTES

Aim to obtain several written quotes for the work you’re planning, find out how long the job is going to take, and get all the necessary details in writing.  A good general builder should be able to manage your project by coordinating material deliveries, subcontractors, plant hire, building inspectors, and all other aspects of the build. 

‘The glass roof brings in so much additional light now that we’ve installed blinds for summer shade’

BEAM ME UP

Instead of boxing in the structural beams, they’ve been made into a feature by exposing the steelwork

KEY CONTACTS

Glass roof & sliding doors, Integral by Plus Rooms, Brick slips, brickslips.co.uk, Shaker kitchen, DeVol, Parquet flooring, Floors of Stone.  For similar bar stools, try Cult Furniture.  For similar dining chairs, try Barker and Stonehouse.  For a similar dining table, try Beliani.  For similar metal pendants, try Industville