We were offered an opportunity to work with a client who had a choice of either buying an additional property or expanding their existing property to meet their future needs.
The property is a three-bedroom semi-detached home about one hundred years old, located near Heathrow Airport, West London in area where property values are at a premium. The properties in this location sell almost immediately when they come onto the market
Upon meeting the client, we assessed their needs in terms of what their ultimate aims were and what they wanted for the long and the short term.
It was quickly understood that their main focus was for a project for the long term that would address their needs as well as being able to accommodate their adult son and daughter, where each was to have their reasonably sized spaces well as to main a larger garden, a generous internal floor areas in the kitchen and the living room.
This boiled down to a requirement of a space of two large extended bedrooms, one ensuite, the ease of access to the existing first floor bathroom, the conversion of the bedrooms into a guest bedroom and the enlargement of the remaining bedroom to meet the needs of their daughter.
In addition to this, a complete revamp and design of the ground floor living areas to and the kitchen and ground floor bathroom.
The whole house to be upgraded to a smart home, with underfloor heating and modern facilities such as a cinematic room and exercise rooms.
The ground floor area to be completely revamped with the existing kitchen being demolished with a new one being built.
It was estimated that we would require a kitchen extension increasing from 3.5 metres to 6.5 metres. This would provide an additional floor space of thirty square metres and a vaulted ceiling to give a flair for grandeur.
A new bedroom was proposed for construction in the loft space with the gable end being extended and the removal of the roof pitch. This would be a an ensuite bedroom and meet the needs of the son. The design of the staircase and the repositioning of the walls in the first-floor staircase landing would ensure that the area did not become cramped and provided a continuous generous flow to the top floor and the first-floor bath and bedrooms. This conversion of the loft into a bedroom would provide a further additional space of thirty square metres.
To extend the family living space area and to meet the needs of a exercise room and cinema it was proposed that a garden basement be constructed since the garden had a generous space thus enabling the family to still enjoy and maintain the garden.
The basement living space would provide an additional space of 70m2 (seventy square metres).
The proposed scheme would give and increase the existing house and garden space by 140m2 (one hundred forty square metres).
This is now became a grand design scheme and one that met all the client’s needs.
As with these grand design scheme we first advised that due to the nature of the construction of the basement that it would be best that a technical ground soil investigation should take place so as to ascertain the realistic buildability and funding of the project. The client agreed and we commissioned a ground soil report from which we ascertained that the soil was in a very good condition with no issues related to ground water levels and flooding.
Through our own in house team of structural engineers and architects we prepared the planning application for submission and advised that the client that the application be done in stages since this scheme was novel in the local authority and may find it difficult to comprehend the scheme.
At the initial stage the basement was refused for planning by the local authority on the basis that they thought that the basement would be used as an additional separate accommodation, basically a flat that could be rented out.
We overcame this challenge by demonstrating that the entrance for the basement led from the main house and that there was no external entrance. We achieved this success at the appeal stage.
The application for the ground floor extension was also refused at the first stage however this was later approved since the impact on neighboring properties was not as previously thought. We achieved this success at independent appeal stage.
The application for loft conversion proceeded on permitted development basis.
The client crossed the first hurdle in the respect that they obtained all the necessary permissions to build and realise the dreams.
They eventually decided that it was cost effective for them to extend the house rather than seek to buy another property since it allowed them to maintain local connections and also ease of access to close public transport services whilst keeping the family together with each person having their own private space. Furthermore, the purchase of a new property was far more excessive.
The scheme is schedule for construction in autumn 2020.