Their house is a regular 1930’s Chorlton semi – detached with a garage. As for most of my clients, the jewel was the garden that made the place unique and stand out from other similar buildings. There was no question why they wanted to extend. Nowhere else would be comparable. The presence of a garage made it easy to think about a second-storey extension.
Jonathan and Janine’s house had a regular layout with a rear extension already completed, a garage, and a loft conversion. However, they were missing a 4th large bedroom. Their small standard room, called box room, was too small.
We set up a workshop session with Jonathan and Janine and used the existing plans to find out what is feasible. An extension over a garage usually yields only a limited amount of space. Garages are narrow and often need additional structural support as they are a single brick construction.
First of all my clients had an idea in mind and wanted me to draw it up. They wanted to see how it will shape the first-floor space. Because their option wasn’t using the full potential of the house I proposed an additional option: to widen the rear and the front bedroom and fit the bathroom on top of the garage in between the two bedrooms. We tried several locations of the built-in wardrobes and the beds to find the best fit with the optimal space left around the furniture. The hand drawn sketches allowed us to quickly see the options and discard the ones with the least potential during our discussions. We even looked at utilising the newly created space under the extension roof. We tried to minimise the amount of work needed while creating access the new attic without demolishing the en suite bathroom.
A side extension changes the frontal elevation. During the concept design workshop, we also looked at how we can improve the front porch and how the new extension will impact the existing house. Consequently, I showed the different design options. As a result, we looked at a modern and a more traditional touch. We discussed the costs of various interesting materials and decided to come back to this part of the design process once we know how much of the budget is left after the extension.
Finally, in the end of the workshop, Jonathan and Janine got the hand-drawn sketches in 1:50 scale. After the workshop, the next step was to get the ballpark price from the builders. Alternatively, a quantity surveyor could prepare a cost plan. As a result, it allows to budget correctly and decide how much is left to spend on the front elevation.
It's really useful to sit and have a long workshop session.
Jonathan and Janine, Chorlton
good internal layout makes the life inside the house a pleasant and easy experience
The most important for a home owner is the good internal layout that makes the life inside their house a pleasant and easy experience. A flow of people inside and how they experience the space inside the rooms makes the difference to them.
I realised that the discussions during the workshops allow us to make better decisions. I am drawing up all these different options right in front of the client. Hence, it is easier to understand the priorities of the client for the architect. At the same time, the architect can explain better why this or that idea look most promising.