Small-scale and carefully considered

Cottage extension and alterations facilitate seamless family living.

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Our clients, along with their young daughter and Plank the dog, had long held a vision which would revolutionise family living in their end-of-terrace stone cottage.

Although the front of the cottage had retained its deep walls, low-beamed ceilings and character features, the rear section had been subject to various alterations over the years, including the addition of a rudimentary kitchen extension and a 1980s UPVC conservatory. Our clients were keen for the old part of the property to remain untouched, preserving its distinct character and original features. The rear of the property, however, would require some significant interventions if it was to become a functional living space. The foremost issues were the varying floor levels and disjointed flow resulting from a series of small spaces with poorly positioned openings.

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Our clients worked with IC Architects of Long Hanborough, West Oxfordshire, to develop their vision and achieve planning permissions. From there, the Barr Build Direct-to-Client team were trusted to take up the mantle, working closely with our clients to bring their new incarnation to life.

Works started with the removal of the conservatory and a significant part of the old kitchen extension, followed by a lot of digging – the old kitchen and terrace were lowered to the height of the centre of the house! The only route by which to exit the debris (bound for our trusted recycling depot), as well as the many tonnes of soil from the dig out, was via a narrow pathway between two old stone walls. Careful machine handling ensured that not a stone was damaged.

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A polished concrete floor butts precisely up against the old Cotswold flagstone tiles of the library, with matched replacement tiles added where the double-sided chimney breast was broken out. This creates the perfect bed space for Plank the dog, and a dual-aspect feature between the library and lounge. The existing, somewhat clunky kitchen entrance was blocked up, with newly enlarged openings created courtesy of a structural pillar.

Sliding doors are set for a flush threshold, creating a seamless transition from the main living space to the lower terrace. The terrace is supported by a 1.3-metre retaining wall and incorporates steps which lead to the lawned gardens and home office.

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Up above, the first-floor dormer window was reconfigured, and the sloping kitchen roof removed in readiness for a new flat roof with concealed gutters and large strategically placed roof lights. To the exterior, walls are rendered, painted, and capped with a deep zinc facia detail; an aesthetic which provides a clear distinction between the old and new sections of the property.

The result is a bright, modern, open-plan living space, effectively and sympathetically joining the old and new to create a delightfully functional family home. We thank our clients for allowing us to take photos, and Plank for being the perfect model!

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