Two-Storey Extension

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The Brief

The owners of this modern detached house in Jordanstown contacted us to find a way to gain an additional bedroom as their children were getting to an age when they no longer wished to share bedrooms. The parents wished to maintain a Master Bedroom with an en-suite shower room and built-in wardrobes.

The Challenges

The house as originally built was not of full 2-storey height, with sloping ceilings at the perimeter of each of the 1st floor bedrooms and a mix of dormer and velux windows to compensate for this.
The house had also already been extended at ground floor level by the addition of a sunroom with extensive areas of glazing. This very much limited options for extending the 1st floor as any 1st floor extension would have to be either directly above the sunroom or incorporate this at ground floor level. It would also be necessary to determine whether this sunroom could support the weight of an additional storey above.

The Design Process

Due to the nature of the existing roof structure and its dormers, etc it was essential that our dimensional survey of this house included all of the relevant structural members and details within the roofspace. From this survey, existing plans, elevations and sections were drawn up and used as the basis for preliminary design proposals. A number of potential layout options were considered, initially examining whether an in-shell solution was possible and, when this was discounted due to space limitations, various options for extending the 1st floor were produced and discussed in detail with the clients, including the cost implications of alternative options. The foundations of the sunroom were also opened up and examined to confirm that they would be suitable for supporting an additional storey.

The Solution

Having concluded that there was insufficient space for an in-shell solution and that such a solution wouldn't in any case achieve one of the main aims of retaining a Master Suite we pursued the alternatives for extending the 1st floor above the existing sunroom.
The Structural Engineer's inspection of the sunroom foundations and walls proved them to be capable of supporting the additional weight and this evidence was used at Building Control stage.
As it was clear that the new extension would benefit from good views and excellent natural light it was decided that, rather than locate the new bedroom in this extension, the Master Bedroom would be relocated to this new area and the existing Master Suite converted to two bedrooms. This conversion gave the additional bedroom required and, with the extension added, enabled one of the existing bedrooms to be utilised as the en-suite and wardrobe area for the new Master Bedroom. This saved further expense on structural works as the existing window opening from this bedroom was then able to be used as the opening between the main sleeping area of the Master Bedroom and the en-suite / wardrobe area giving an excellent division of space.

Due to the size and location of the extension a Planning application was required, as well as a Building Control application. As the Planning application was approved in March, a further 4 week design period to work details up to Building Control & Working Drawing standard enabled the building works to be completed during the summer months. . The final design gave the clients everything they wanted and more for a future-proofed family home without the inconvenience and expense of moving to a larger house.

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