This job was for another regular client in another listed, period property. Despite the size of the room and the fact that it was technically a kitchen, it got very little use. The clients used a smaller area for food prep. The main reason this room was rarely used, was because of the huge beam above the top of the Aga, which for them was below head height.
It was obstructive and made using the Aga very difficult and annoying. The beam also encroached into the room and was supported by a pillar, which again took up space and was located in an awkward position.
Essentially, fitting a new kitchen was pointless and irrelevant if we couldn't deal with the issue of the beam. The beam's purpose was to support part of a chimney above it - why something that big was put in for that we have no idea, but we came up with a solution.
We built a load bearing wall to the left of the Aga, supported the concrete lintels under the chimney with a piece of steel and trimmed back the lintels to an appropriate length. Once complete we could remove the old beam, and the pillar that propped up the other end of it.
Another simple but fairly sizeable challenge was to install the large decorative oak beams across the room, locate and deal with some buried pipework, re-wire, re-plumb and remove some rather interesting decorative features in the room.
From this point onwards it was a pretty straightforward kitchen fit, which has turned a relatively unused room in their house, into the heart of the home again.
Our first trip to Spicers Barn in spring 2016 consisted of a downstairs remodel and flooring throughout, a new kitchen and mezzanine floor, in order to create some work-from-home office space.
After taking out the existing kitchen, we started on the structural work in order to open up the dining/kitchen area into a more open plan space.
The structural work was completed in oak in order to match into the existing barn construction. While this was going on we also constructed the mezzanine floor, which the client felt was wasted space upstairs. This included new solid oak supports and balustrade.
With the new open plan layout downstairs, the client wanted consistent and practical flooring throughout so we fitted their choice of engineered oak, and gave it a specialist treatment to make it tougher and more robust.
The last stage was to install the kitchen in the new space around the existing Aga, complete with island. The traditional style and colour really suited this barn conversion, and it was finished with solid oak worktops, which were styled, cut and fitted by us on site.
We began work on the restaurant in the Stilebridge Pub in January 2016. The team knows Mark the then landlord very well as we'd quite often pop in for a quick cold one after work. His restaurant was a largely unused part of the business as it was in desperate need of a makeover, but none of this could happen until the damp problem had been sorted.
We had one additional issue on this job, and that was the timescale. We started work at the beginning of January and there was a wedding reception booked for the beginning of February. While our job was relatively simple, it was pretty labour intensive, so we worked seven days a week to get it finished.
In instances like this, for a professional and lasting repair, your only option is to strip everything back and start again from scratch. The damp was coming in through an external wall and via several holes in the roof.
The first job was to strip everything back to bare brick on the inside and damp-proof render it, while the roof repairs were being done externally.
Next on the list was strip out the wiring and plumbing, ready for all the new fixtures and fittings, including a new sound system. Once we had all the new cables and pipes in position, we could start work on stripping out every section of ceiling to insulate it ready for plasterboard and decoration.
Once the hole room had been rendered, plastered and the ceiling replaced, the next part of the project was to construct the panelling on site, which was to match the rest of the bar area.
The final stretch to get the room ready for the first event to be held in the newly refurbished restaurant/function room, was to second fix the electrics, plumbing and then decorate - when included refurbishing every piece of oak.