This project was the extension and remodel of a 14th century listed cottage in Laddingford, Kent. The objective was to extend the property in order to give the clients a proper family kitchen, renovate their downstairs bathroom, replace wiring and plumbing and heating system, remove an exterior wall and create an interior partition between two existing downstairs areas.
On this project, the clients had a very definite idea of how they wanted their extension to look, to both be in keeping with the existing timber framed cottage, and to make a real feature out of it. Previously, their kitchen was a small area inside the main building, and what was essentially a utility room in a badly built lean to. With the architect, they had designed a cathedral fronted, oak framed, vaulted ceiling room, which would become their new kitchen. Their old kitchen space would then become their dining room. Their old downstairs bathroom was to change in shape and size and become a far more usable shower room and toilet. The kitchen was designed by the client and bespoke kitchen manufacturer. As with all of our projects we offered design advice and support throughout – one notable example would be changing the cross beams and king posts in the roof structure to oak, as the architect had specified smaller soft wood beams. We felt that this would ruin the whole look of the extension.
The biggest challenge on this particular project was tying the extension into the existing property – not only did it need to be joined to the main building, but we also had to tie it into what remained of the single storey extension which contained their downstairs bathroom and was joined to the property next door. This meant we had three roof structures to consider, structural supports to install due to removing an exterior wall and the inherent issues of working on a property hundreds of years old. While this wasn’t an obstacle, constructing the cathedral front on the extension posed a specific challenge due to its size and weight as we constructed the whole thing on site using traditional methods.
This project in itself was designed to be a special feature on the property and make their family kitchen a beautiful and functional room to be in, overlooking their garden. The special features on this property include their new shower room, oak cross beams and king posts, custom made oak window frames and double doors, the solid oak cathedral front, underfloor heating, Kent peg tile roof, bespoke kitchen and new heating system. This job was also about the small details, which included a custom made oak threshold between two rooms, a new antique style radiator, wooden boxing, shelf work and exposed brickwork.
This project was the full refurbishment of a loyal client’s family bathroom suite in their listed manor house. The last work we did for this family was their kitchen, which we won a regional award for in 2017.
The clients had designed the bathroom themselves, with a little help from an interior designer friend of theirs and had a very clear idea of what they wanted to achieve, which was very much the case with the kitchen we completed. They had everything chosen from tiles, units, sanitary ware and the type of shower. Like many of our clients they are a pleasure to work for and their meticulous nature suits the way we work down to the ground. They had chosen a walk-in shower/wet room, a free-standing claw foot bath, double sink unit and concealed cistern/floating toilet. Like the other rooms we have completed for them all the oak was refurbished, ceilings replaced, and everything done to the last detail.
Their house presents us with plenty of obstacles, purely because of its age. The only way to tackle this bathroom was to completely gut the room and remove the bathroom upon bathroom fitted before. This included replacing the wall between the bathroom and the adjoining room as it was just one layer of lath and plaster. Given the age of the building the floor was ridiculously out of level which had to be sorted first – we couldn’t touch the joists and we couldn’t touch the floorboards as they formed the ceiling in the room below. We built a frame and sympathetically levelled the floor. This meant a step into the bathroom was created, so we had to remove and shorten the original oak door to get it to fit. Once we had a level ‘playing field’ we could begin assembling their dream bathroom.
The bathroom boasts all new electrics, lighting and plumbing (including a newly installed pump) to boost the water pressure for their shower. They have a claw foot, free-standing bath under in front of the window with a floor standing mixer tap, plus a concealed cistern, floating toilet. The real feature in this room though is the remote walk-in shower/wet room with contrasting tiles and mosaics. We also made them a shelf for shampoo bottles complete with glass shelf and light, plus a little cupboard next to the toilet for convenient storage. All the oak in the room was refurbished and the ceiling was also stripped out and replaced – a challenge in itself between oaks as old as these.