DESCRIPTION: Renovation and Extension, Client as Contractor
LOCATION: St Austell, Cornwall
Our clients had recently bought Nigel Villa and wanted to totally renovate the interior and existing lean-to barn. Primarily, they asked for an additional ground floor cloakroom and utility, but they also wanted to make the building as thermally efficient as possible and add insulation to the floor, walls and roof.
The house was set in a large garden with great views to the front (South) but with a steep hill behind. The downstairs layout was a central hallway with four rooms off, two front and two rear, one of which was the kitchen. The existing rear rooms were very dark. One of our main challenges was to get more light into the interior by planning a better internal layout. We also need to chose a suitable insulation system, with good ecological credentials, for the granite walls.
It was decided early on that the existing lean-to barn was in too poor a stage to develop and instead should be demolished and rebuilt. Luckily, this new extension did not need planning and was allowed under permitted development rights.
The house is a double fronted granite villa and it was important to retain the character of the exterior, therefore any new external wall insulation has to be to the interior face. Finding suitable green insulation solution that met the building regulations and allowed the granite walls to breathe was an early challenge. We consulted traditional building maintenance specialists, Mike Wye at the early stages to discuss options based on suitability efficiency and price.
We looked at the building orientation and light throughout the day in winter and summer. It was decided to open up the interior, apart from a snug room, and allow the main source of light at the front of the house to extend through into the rear. The new extension was proposed as a green oak frame, to sit comfortably next to the retained granite of the main building, and to have lots or roof windows to bring in lots of light into the interior.