Architect DMW Architects: 01202 884024; dmwa.co.uk
Main contractor and project management Portus Homes: 07970 671980; portushomes.com Brickwork GB Brickwork:
General builders’ merchant Gibbs & Dandy: gibbsanddandy.com
Zinc roofing Eamonn Rivers: 07523 928776
External render Project Spray Render: sprayrender.net Doors and windows Marco Doors, Windows & Conservatories: marcowindows.co.uk Plumbing and heating SF Plumbing & Heating: 07793 557317
Electrical installation contractors
MEC Electrical: mec-electrical.com Plasterer Kenny Dominey: 07946 542505
General carpentry Evans Carpentry: 07733 366021
Wardrobe/cupboard supply and fit Weber Creative: webercreativeinteriors.co.uk Tiling Nigel Olliffe Tiling Services: 07703 599929
Kitchen supply and install Kitchen Elegance: kitchenelegance.co.uk Tiles Porcelanosa: porcelanosa.com
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 homebuilding.co.uk/ 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.