When these clients were looking to relocate in the Malone area they asked us to view a few potential houses for them. One in particular was in just the right location and we identified the potential for extension and refurbishment that would make this a future-proofed home for their young family.
The house had four well-proportioned bedrooms but only one small bathroom and a small kitchen whereas the family needed a complete Master Suite, a large family kitchen and family room which would lead directly to the garden.
The existing house was largely unaltered from its original Victorian form, with only a few mod-cons installed. Most of the finishes were in need of a full refurbishment, including sash windows which had been painted closed, ill-fitting doors, an antiquated heating system and an uninsulated utility area which was actually larger than the kitchen. Not to mention a leaking garage roof and uninsulated roofspace. All of this in one of Belfast's best preserved Conservation Areas with very tightly controlled conservation policies.
The Design Process
The vendors agreed to us undertaking a full survey of their house to enable preliminary design proposals to be produced before our clients made a firm offer on the property – this meant spending some money on design up front with no guarantee of actually buying the house but also meant they weren't buying a property that couldn't fulfil their needs.
Having produced many alternative layout options, all compliant with Conservation principles, and having a few of these costed by a Quantity Surveyor the clients were certain that they could make this house into the home they desired and negotiated a price that allowed them to complete on the property with sufficient funds to cover the proposed works.
As half of the existing rear return was single-storey and formed in single-skin brickwork with insufficient foundations to support additional loadings these limitations were overcome by demolishing this part of the house and rebuilding on the same footprint in new cavity wall construction to the full two-storey height, enabling a large bedroom to be added on the 1st floor.
The roof over this was continued along the remainder of the rear return to join the roof of the main house giving a uniform, period look with sympathetic eaves detailing.
The creation of this new bedroom allowed for one of the existing bedrooms to be converted to an en-suite and dressing room for the Master Bedroom giving an entire side of the house to this impressive Master Suite.
On the ground floor, stepping down the floor level into this new extension created a spacious Family Room open to the large family kitchen and leading directly into the rear garden. Kitchen circulation was also opened up into a family dining area formed by a new bespoke conservatory added to the existing dining room, all of this made possible by removal of a substantial portion of the rear walls of both the main house & rear return and their replacement with a special steel frame.
In addition to this the entire house was refurbished, with individual components such as stained glass windows, doors, etc repaired and re-used where possible.
As this was a large, highly technical project 9yards was engaged to lead the full project team, including Engineers, Interior Designer & Quantity Surveyors, and we were also appointed to oversee construction. The project was tendered and awarded under a full contract, following which regular site meetings, contract management and team communication all ensured ongoing time- and cost- control which resulted in this prestigious project being completed on time and within budget.
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