Station Road – more progress

For the Station Road project the client was looking for a loft room but had low headroom in loft and a stair running between the front and back room. So the room I have designed is a half loft. We put new stairs above the old and leave the front part of the roof space as a loft storage space. The new room at the back of the house is full width as the stairs are out of the way and we find the headroom by dropping the ceiling in the back bedroom and hallway. The front bedroom still keeps its high ceiling and character. I have stolen a corner of the storage loft for a roof light, so a little light trickles down the stairs into the middle of the house. We are due to complete on site on the 13th of June when I will issue the practical completion certificate if I am satisfied that the works are complete. The contractor has done an excellent job so far and I expect an early completion.

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Site Progress Grange Road

This project on Grange Road is having a new loft room and a rear extension. We went down the route of planning permission for the extension so that we can go a little bit wider and taller than the permitted development guidance. The start on site occurred during the really wet weather so my heart out goes out to the guys on site, digging away in the rain to get the foundations in. All passed off by the building inspector, the slab and walls went in quickly. Wow Developments, the builder, sourced some very sympathetic bricks to match the existing wing and I am very pleased with the carpentry. The roofer was out this morning, working in the sunshine.

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Site progress Station road

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A few photos from on site. A lot of clients get a bit nervous when they imagine what will happen to their precious house. Well, the builders will come and smash up the bits you don’t need and make some nice new bits that you do need and then they will make everything tidy and nice and you will be happy. Try to forget about the bit in the middle!

Good progress on Station road, the builder is ahead of schedule. He is also solving a lot of small problems along the way so that they don’t turn into big problems. I am happy.

1925 House update

The tenders for the loft rooms came back on the 1925 house back in June. Of the five contractors we had one no bid, one high and three close together. The client was looking for cost savings, so we met with the lowest bidder to see where we could make some economies. What the contractor came back with was to strike out the premium feature items and the overall savings were slight. In addition, the contractor had just won a long job on the other side of town – so there would be a delay to the start. When the first phase of the work was undertaken, the client’s dad worked with with a builder friend to do the site work, with the engineer and Kings Heath Architect assisting with the details – insulation, structure and so on. The plan now is to do the same with the loft. There will be much more control for the client and hopefully some cost savings too.

One of the features of the 1925 house is the beautiful and complex roofs which sit low over the house. In order to bring the eaves down onto the first floor, the wall plates (which support the rafters) are dropped down into the room and the ceiling is tied between the rafters about 18 inches above the top of the external walls. This means that we can’t put any additional weight onto the ceiling, because it is not supported by the external walls. Instead we will drop two long steels across the whole width of the house (don’t worry we can assemble them in sections) and fix new joists between them to form our new floor. That’s that figured out. How we will work around the existing supports for the roof we have yet to discover. The engineer thinks that the original builders just put extra posts and purlins in where it looked right – a system that has worked for the last 88 years even if it doesn’t meet existing building regulations. Now we will have to work carefully around the existing structure. Any parts that need to come out will need to be replaced with something else – perhaps the new internal walls will stiffen the existing roof.