project notes


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Ar­chi­tect DMW Ar­chi­tects: 01202 884024;

Main con­trac­tor and project man­age­ment Por­tus Homes: 07970 671980; por­ Brick­work GB Brick­work:

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Gen­eral builders’ mer­chant Gibbs & Dandy: gibb­sand­

Zinc roof­ing Ea­monn Rivers: 07523 928776

Ex­ter­nal ren­der Project Spray Ren­der: sprayren­ Doors and win­dows Marco Doors, Win­dows & Con­ser­va­to­ries: mar­cowin­ Plumb­ing and heat­ing SF Plumb­ing & Heat­ing: 07793 557317

Elec­tri­cal in­stal­la­tion con­trac­tors

MEC Elec­tri­cal: mec-elec­tri­ Plasterer Kenny Dominey: 07946 542505

Gen­eral car­pen­try Evans Car­pen­try: 07733 366021

Wardrobe/cup­board sup­ply and fit We­ber Cre­ative: we­ber­cre­ativein­te­ri­ Til­ing Nigel Ol­liffe Til­ing Ser­vices: 07703 599929

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When the Gorvins’ struc­tural en­gi­neer high­lighted his con­cerns about the struc­tural ca­pa­bil­i­ties of the ex­ist­ing bun­ga­low, the cou­ple had to dras­ti­cally re­think their project strat­egy. “He said that we’d need to de­mol­ish about half of the ex­ist­ing build­ing in or­der to put in new foun­da­tions and ma­sonry walls to carry the new storey,” says Edd. How­ever, the cou­ple were aware that if they went through with it, there wouldn’t be that much of the ex­ist­ing bun­ga­low left to work with.

With bud­get in mind, the cou­ple quickly de­cided to shift their strat­egy and build a new home in­stead. Although much of the new house is de­signed to sit on the same foot­print as the pre­vi­ous bun­ga­low, the en­tire struc­ture is new. “A lot of what’s on the left-hand side of the prop­erty is sim­ply a re­built ver­sion of what was there orig­i­nally,” says Edd.

Project ar­chi­tect Ryan Mar­tin also out­lines why go­ing down the de­mol­ish and re­build route can of­ten make more sense. “If you’re look­ing at a re­fur­bish­ment of any­thing more than £300,000 in terms of bud­get, there is a case for de­mol­ish and re­build,” he says. “We of­ten say to clients that it could be cheaper to knock down and re­con­struct, and there’s ob­vi­ously the VAT is­sue as well.” (New homes are 0% rated for VAT; read more at home­build­ max­imise-your-vat-re­claim.)

There’s also a host of struc­tural ad­van­tages that can be fac­tored into the new con­struc­tion. “By go­ing down this route you get ef­fi­ciency built into the de­sign. All of the in­su­la­tion is up­graded and you’ll have no dodgy bits of struc­ture left,” says Ryan. “We get a lot of schemes where we can just shift the walls over by 300mm or pack them out. How­ever, by the time you’ve propped up the walls above you could have spent a lot of money in the process.”

In Laura and Edd’s case, many of the ex­ist­ing walls could have been re­tained — but at a cost. Even though the cou­ple were do­ing rel­a­tively few al­ter­ations at the back of the house, where they were in­cor­po­rat­ing the new glaz­ing, sig­nif­i­cant struc­tural sup­port was still re­quired. “To re­build was sim­ply more cost-ef­fec­tive,” says Ryan.


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