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5th Feb 2018

Unrecognisable transformation; from 1950's pebble dash to contemporary cedar clad idyll

There is something very satisfying about a project where the finished property is utterly unrecognisable from the original structure – particularly when all stakeholders are completely satisfied with the end result.

On the main thoroughfare in the Oxfordshire village of Freeland one property underwent a complete ‘Grand Design style’ transformation, both inside and out. The before and after images speak a thousand words and we thank our client for allowing us to share them. 

When purchased in late 2014 the property was a pebble-dashed, ordinary-looking family home. However, its potential was hiding in plain sight with its substantial south facing plot and self-contained annexe to the rear side of the main house. After living in the property for a few years to get a feel for what it required, our clients set about a major renovation, extension and external facelift.

Our client Adrian gave us an insight into the project process in his own words:

“I had some key ideas that I wanted to incorporate into the design with a mix of new and old, so I drew up some initial floor plans and then met with architects Anderson Orr. Richard Anderson and his team took our functional brief and vision for the house and added to it by bringing some great ideas to the table.  Their internal remodelling and extension plans improved the flow of the house and offered innovative ways to bring more daylight into the house, by using the large glazed linkages.  The team used images from other projects to describe their ideas and together we settled on a plan we were all happy with, enabling us to move on to planning and detailed design.

The team at StuartBarr CDR took the specification and drawing pack and worked with us to arrive at a solution which met with our budget without compromising our vision for the project. We are really happy with how it has turned out”

David Noonan StuartBarr CDR construction director says; 

“Running this project on a time and materials basis, we worked closely with our client Adrian to strip out unnecessary cost, enabling us to achieve all of the key elements of the project within the proposed budget envelope.  Working on a cost-plus basis always takes planning, good communication and trust between client and principal contractor.  The client was aware that he would be refining the plans along the way and therefore felt that this would be the best type of contract for him.  The project was a great example of how a cost-plus contract can really work.  Andy Rose, StuartBarr CDR site manager, and his team were set to work flexibly and to implement any changes as they arose.  At StuartBarr CDR we pride ourselves on our ability to be adaptable”

“Cost plus projects give the potential for greater cost effectiveness when run properly.  There is the potential to tweak the specification throughout, finding more efficient ways of achieving the same aesthetic and quality of finish”

The key transformational elements of this project – from an aesthetic perspective – were:

  • The whole house refit of aluminium doors and windows;
  • The cedar cladding, complemented by K-rendering of the original front face;
  • The glazed linkage to the rear of the building providing light flow and stunning visual effect;
  • The cedar overhang to the rear – with the alignment of the supporting cedar post and glass walkway to achieve visual alignment inside and out; and
  • The staggered rooflines giving balance between the new section and the old.

According to architect Richard Anderson, “the key to the success of the project lay in the alterations introduced to the original plan – these simplified and improved the relationship between the internal spaces and provided much better integration of the garden with the house and in particular, with the principal living spaces. This included the relocation of the kitchen to the rear of the house combined with a sitting area, with both being linked directly to the garden and benefiting from a south and west facing orientation. In addition, the use of glass to the rear of the house brings natural light and a heightened feeling of space.”    

To see more images of this project, go to projects/wrosyln-house/s8086/ .

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