A Wells House where you cannot see the join!
Fair Cottage is a 'Wells' House in the character area of West Chiltingon. These house have a distinct style and are often cited as a worth listing or protecting.
This was actually our own house and in many ways is a typical project for us - the desire to turn a small cottage into a substantial, contemporary four-bedroomed house, ensuring that the old and new architecture sat seamlessly together. Achieving it, called for some very careful design and choice of materials.
A farmhouse kitchen with Aga gives a contemporary period touch
Effective use of catslide roofs adds character and space to ground floor
"We wanted a luxurious, modern family house inside a traditional building."
Key to the brief was use of sympathetic materials to ensure that there was no line between the old and new. To deliver the project we helped the client select from a group of local builders who had the skills to both build the extensions to modern standards, and finish the house to look as if it had all been there since 1928.
We also helped to source character replacement windows for the life-expired Crittals, and found a modern aluminium double glazed window that even passed the Conservation Officer's high standards.
"Even before we completed the house, we had people dropping in to congratulate us on how sympathetically it has been done. We must have given our cards to at least ten other couples looking to extend their homes in the area."
This was an extensive project that brought together the perfect mix of a lovely character house in desperate need of TLC and extension, with a couple keen to modernise, yet preserve the heritage, and a builder that could deliver the work to the required standards.
This 'before' picture shows the house was totally original
This shows how careful adaptation allowed for more living space.
Working with heritage houses calls for a complete mix of design and architectural skills, which is our unique ability. It also calls for much more than just pulling together a set of planning drawings, and requires you to choose materials that will be wholly sympathetic to every aspect of the building. Get it right, and the final building will look good and work well, both external and internally.
It's often the smallest of details that make the largest difference. In Fair Cottage there was a particular challenge with finding somewhere to put in the downstairs loo, that would give usable space, but not deprive the hallway of much-needed light. The solution was a strategically placed Suntube that flooded the 'dark' end of the hallway with light, giving the whole property a light and airy feel.