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* CLICKING PICTURES BELOW OPENS A LARGER VERSION *

January 2016 – We went back to see a project that finished 6 months ago, so that we could “snag” it and issue a works list to the contractor – once done the final retention monies will be released. The work comprised a complete internal re-modelling / re-furbishment of an Edwardian town house, together with replacing a 90’s conservatory with a single-storey extension.

Petersfield extension

Mid December 2015 – The house in Hindhead is coming along well and we had a look around today. The project is ready for installation of the new purpose made powder coated aluminium windows / doors, however the supplier has let things down and failed to supply on time – blaming industry shortages. Progress to date is more or less on programme but this is now holding up fitting out the interior as, although plastering can be done, bringing the oak doors and staircase  to site for fitting would not be a sensible idea as they would warp or be stolen. 

Mid November 2015- Although we have no jobs on-site where we are acting as Contract Administrator, there are two being built which we designed and got all the consents for. One is a new double fronted house in Henley-on-Thames that is now nearing completion and is shown below, however elements of the window design / layout has been changed by the client during construction taking it away from our concept. The site originally contained a timber framed bungalow which has been knocked down and replaced by this house which is around double the size which, in planning terms, was a relatively simple application to get approved because we know exactly what we are doing. The other project is nearer to home in Hindhead, and is, again, another double fronted design which effectively also a new house, is actually a very large re-modelling of an existing house which we hope to be able to put some pictures of here soon.

Mid October 2015 – Six months after a project ends we usually return to carry out the “snagging” and issue a list to the contractor to put right before the retention monies are released. This week we went back to a project in Guildford – shown as no.4 in the August 2014 post below which was having issues at that time – and were very pleased at what we saw. The project involved replacing a conservatory with a contemporary single storey extension and new hard landscaping – the original intention had been to paint the new and existing brickwork white but, currently, the client has decided against that. There is actually very little snagging to be done as the contractor was great, we paid our usual attention to getting the project right.1

1IN EARLY OCTOBER 2015 THE SERVER HOSTING OUR WEBSITE FAILED, LOSING ALL UPDATES ACROSS THE SITE SINCE AUGUST 2014. WE HAVE RESTORED THE MAIN PAGES  BUT ENTRIES HERE BETWEEN THOSE DATES HAVE BEEN PERMANENTLY LOST.

August 2014 – It’s been a busy few months and we have four projects on site, and lots on the drawing-board at various stages.

1) We are coming to the end of the project in Haslemere which we have been featuring in previous posts, with the outsides of the front and back extensions almost completed. Work is progressing well on the internal fit-out which involves a new kitchen (see above) from Rural Living  – a local company we work with. As you can see the whole project is now becoming “real” as the rooms are handed over to the client.

2) Two months ago another started a project on Liss Forest that creates a new single-storey wing and replacement double garage on a nice house in a semi-rural position (above). This one is going fantastically well, and a great deal of effort has been put in by the contractor and ourselves to find the exact match for brickwork and roof tiles.

3) Around the same time, we had a smaller single-story extension start on site in Haslemere that is a single “garden-room” with a wall of glazed bi-folding doors (above). Once again brick matching was important and the contractor sourced some which are a very good match, and it is now moving close to completion.

4)  The final project “on-site” one is a single-storey extension in Guildford which we all thought would be a nice, simple project (above). However the project had to stop almost the moment it started as, once the demolition was done and foundations dug out, the Council’s Building Inspector wasn’t happy with the ground-conditions so foundations have had to be re-designed as piles with a reinforced concrete raft as the floor and we are now waiting the piling contractor.

May 2014 – Some projects are just fated! Having got over the issue with the raft and with the contractor desperate to make progress, we then ran into the wettest January for 250 years and a February that wasn’t far behind it! However the roof has been on for  a while now so work is continuing internally and completion is looming. Overall it’s a project that is going to over-run the programme and we don’t often have these, and this has put pressure on the contractor and elongated the time in which the client has had to live on a building site in all the mess that entails – however they have been great but are really looking forward to getting their home back all to themselves!

March 2014 – Another new house we have designed has been merrily working its way through to completion and has gone pretty much without a hitch which is how our projects generally work. designed broadly in the Arts & Crafts style, the design of the feature chimneys had to be changed due to neighbour objections on their height which we think to be a great shame as the proportions of the “as built” chimneys have suffered as a result. Our client has now asked us to add an extension to the kitchen, so we are currently back in at planning to gain the consent. The main house will be finished in April, but the extension is more likely to be build at the end of the summer – not sure when the client will move in!

January 2014 – It has been a while since things have been updated as things were a little quiet on-site however, after some difficulties, the piling  project noted below has now moved on with piles in and the reinforced raft poured. Unfortunately the incorrect grade of concrete was delivered and used for the raft, so it had to be broken out and relaid which was delayed by weather conditions and rising ground-water levels. Now that we have a new, correctly constructed raft, the project is moving ahead – depending on weather still – and the walls are being built.

We have also just won an appeal made to the Planning Inspectorate against a planning decision made by Waverley Borough Council relating to some works proposed under the Permitted Development rules of the General Development Order. This was an important victory as it was based on interpretation of wording in the Act, and we were certain that the Council were not making the correct assessment. Having established that the Act does allow works of the nature proposed to be done without planning consent, we think this could well prove to become case-law in the future. It is fair to say that we have a happy client!

July 2013 – Big disappointement as our Waverley Design Award entry wasn’t shortlisted (the other projects must be pretty darn good!) but it was still great that someone thought highly enough of our work to recommend it! Anyway we are now concentrating on a project which has just gone on-site in Haslemere, where tricky ground conditions mean that the foundations will need to be piled and the floor needs to be a reinforced concrete raft which is a specialst solution. So far we have taken down a flat-roofed garage, utility and study – as you can see below – which will be replaced with a two-storey extension.

June 2013 – One of our projects has been entered into the Waverley Design Awards which is held every two years. There are a number of catagories and our entry is for Extensions and Alterations and we dont expect to win or  get placed, but it would be amazing if we did . The project is shown in the photo below which, if you click it, will open a larger version. There is also a “before and after” comparison in the “Remodelling and extension projects – Large” page on the drop down menu from the “Our Work” tab above.

May 2013 – Why haven’t we updated this blog for a while?!! Well I guess the answer is that we haven’t had a project on site which we are running for a while now, and have instead been working on schemes to get the necessary consents and going out to tender. Now is the time to build I think as contractors are still just giving good deals, but this is changing as life comes back into the market. With luck one of the projects we have recently put out to tender will soon be going to site, so we will be able to get some pics up here as it progresses and the Arts & Crafts inspired house is now just starting construction, but not being managed by ourselves.

December 2012 – Well as is always the case, the project below is now finished which in lots of ways is really great news – especially for the client –  but also it is a bit sad as we really enjoy the work on site and the whole management aspect to ensure that what we have designed is what is built! Everything below shows just how well the outside of the project was looking and we have now done the same process internally – photo’s to follow! This means that as we go into the New Year we don’t have a project on site, although in about 3 months another is going to be on-stream. In the meantime we are busy on some planning applications and getting working drawings etc ready for projects including a good sized remodelling project in Haslemere and a brand new Arts & Crafts style house in Westcott.

October 2012 – The outside structure of the house is now finished and work has moved inside. All the time and effort taken to match the materials has really paid off and it is probably the best match we have seen and it has been a real joy to behold as the scaffolding came down – in fact many people have been amazed that a “new” house can look so nice and are completely stunned to learn that it is, in fact, a 50 year old house with two newly built extensions! Internally the staircase adaptions have now been completed, a rather nice painted kitchen installed and work is now taking place laying ceramic tiles and bathrooms being fitted.  Outside a very interesting and imaginative landscaping project is underway, and we are hoping to persuade the client to install some feature exterior lighting to “wash” the front elevation which would look very dramatic – our fingers are crossed!

August 2012 – With a few weeks of decent weather  some good progress has been made on the project which we have on site. The original house is 60 years or so old, and the real challenge has been to match the materials as the house is so visible in one of the best roads in Haslemere. It’s a problem common to all projects of course and something we work very hard on, insisting on as many sample panels of materials as it takes to get the match – which can make us unpopular with the contractor! Previous posts covered the fact that the contractor found a really good new brick to match  the main walls, darker corners (quoins) and the arches over the windows – the existing have all been steam cleaned  too – and we have turned our attention to the roof tiles. We  found that the existing originated from the Midlands and that no localor new tile even comes close in appearance. All credit to the contractor however, who spent a lot of time tracking down some identical second-hand tiles from a reclaim yard in Cannock, and this should mean that the overall match of walls and roof between existing and old is spot on.

1gone above and be

June 2012 – It’s been a busy few weeks with two planning applications submitted, and another just waiting for the clients final approval. The on-site project is moving along in between the return of the rain. The contractor is juggling working outside and inside – it’s sure been an odd couple of weeks.

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May 2012 – The weather has turned our “Somme” into a dust-bowl but, at least, it means that some of the lost progress can be clawed back. The new foundations are now in but, due to the poor ground conditions, the building inspector made the contractor dig almost twice the depth priced for and expected. The contractor has spent a great deal of time, under our direction, sourcing bricks that are a good match for the main walls and the feature quoins (corners) which is a hugely important thing to get right in extension and alteration projects as poor matching ruins a great design.

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April 2012 – We have just got a fairly large extension and remodelling project started on-site. The house is in one of the most favoured areas of Haslemere and was built in the 1960’s in the “Georgian” style popular in those days, and we have designed two new symetrical  “wings” at either end of the house together with a complete remodelling of the interior to provide a better “flow” through the house. Demolition and excavation of foundations is where we are at and, with the rain, we seem to have a “Somme” situation already as we are in the famous “Haslemere Clay” – did you know that what is now called Weyhill, was originally called Clay Hill and had a number of brickworks using the local clay?

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Feb 2012 – In 2006 we renovated and extended a farmhouse and got consent to convert its’ stone barn into residential accomodation. Overall the barn was in pretty good shape – for a barn but not for habitation! – so we had to consider how to stabilise and strengthen the existing structure in a way that would be acceptable to the planners, at a reasonable cost and which would allow a successful and useable conversion to take place. We decided that a new internal steel frame was the solution which would entail bracing the existing internal corners of the barn with steel strapping, forming a new structural framework within the building in each corner and other strategic intermediate positions.

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Due to finances the works are being done done in phases, beginning with the new structural system. New concrete bases have been formed internally (they actually extend outwards under the existing walls) supporting new steel columns with new steel beams in-between, which are fixed to the stonework. This means that the existing, historic footing below the barns walls are not compromised and a way is provided to tie the walls back to something stable as they have “moved” outward and also cracked at corners over the lifetime of the barn  –  previous repair strapping can be seen in the left-hand picture which will enlarge if you click it and the right-hand picture shows part of the new framing. This phase of the work is now completed and we simply await further instruction from the client to say they have the monies to carry on – so wtach this space.

Posted on: 09-17-2010
Posted in: Uncategorized