Trottenden Oast, Lidwells Lane, Goudhurst Kent TN17 1ES

This renovation began in November 2018 and ran for a full 10 months - during this time, and due to the fact that not one part of the building was left untouched, the clients placed their furniture and belongings in storage and moved into a rental property while the work was carried out.

This renovation, extension and refurbishment included two two-storey extensions, a complete re-wire and re-plumb, a new kitchen and bathrooms, and a re-model of the entire inside of the property which required every room being gutted. The client also wanted the already converted loft refurbished and the roof stripped to be re-tiled. Last on the list was to replace all the old UPVC windows and dress the house in hanging tiles.

So in short, this was a very big project and despite the house not being that old, various works had previously been completed over the years of varying degrees of quality, which meant that not only did our order of works need to change, but we had to reconsult with the engineer on several occasions.

Once everything was exposed, and we had the new engineer's specification, we could proceed with a new order of works. The first step was to dig the footings for the two new extensions and start building - given the amount of remodelling that was happening to the existing structure, this was also necessary to support the rest of the work.

 

While the original plan was to simply strip the tiles from the roof and replace the felt, baton and tiles, because the engineer had essentially condemned the structure which made up the floor of the loft conversion, which obviously formed part of the roof, it all had to come off and be rebuilt.

In order to do this in the latter part of the year, and also taking into account the British weather and its unpredictability, the whole build was covered by a scaffold roof.

 

 

 

During this process and ongoing through the build, we installed some 17 pieces of steel across the three floors as per the engineers specification. A considerable portion of these were due to the remodel and virtually every load bearing wall within the property moving.

With the brick work up, steels in place, new roof finished and windows replaced, we were able to begin on insulation, first fix electrics and plumbing. The property was now 5 bedroom with 4 bathrooms, a cloak room, kitchen and utility room, plus underfloor heating.

From here the job was more run-of-the-mill - plastering, tiling, fitting bathrooms and the kitchen, decorating and completing the outside of the property.

     

     

     

     

     

 

 

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.

    

    

    

Lindridge is a house we've been back to various times over the years, to undertake different projects for these clients. On this occasion, it was to knock two rooms into one, in order to make a much larger and more useable space, which the client wanted to turn into a dining/living area.

The first step was to strip back the plaster from the wall that we were due to remove to have a proper look at what we were dealing with. The wall itself was load bearing (or was meant to be); the oak was rotten through and all the brick work was live.

As required, we called our structural engineer so he could visit and draw us a schematic of what needed to be done.

 

 

With the wall gone and beam supported we began building the stud work in order to straighten up and insulate all the internal brick walls. Once we had the drawings back from the engineer we could begin work on the supporting structure.

          

The supporting structure consisted of four oak columns spaced equally under the main cross-beam. The foundations for the columns were dug to 1m deep and 1/2m square. While working on refurbishing the inglenook fireplace, we discovered some celling joists that were barely supported, so added some more structural oak. It's common while working on a listed property of this age, that you find additional works to be carried out.

          

When the first fix on the wiring and the plumbing was completed, all the walls could be closed up and insulated. The next task was the floor and the client had chosen a large stone slab, which worked brilliantly with the oak and large dining table they had for the room.

          

With the structural work done, walls repaired and flooring laid, our finishing tasks were to second fix on the electrics and plumbing, decorate and refurbish all the existing oak in the room.

          

          

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