Ask the designer
Every month we ask you to send in your problem projects, and invite talented architects and designers to offer up possible solutions
Architect Brendan Tracey suggests how to update a reader’s bungalow
Brendan Tracey is a director of Phillips Tracey Architects. After training at the University of Brighton, Brendan joined PRP Architects where he developed an interest in housing and sustainable architecture. He has worked on a number of awardwinning projects Phillipstracey.com
Rachel Holmes admits the 1968 bungalow in Congleton, Cheshire, where she lives with her family, was bought for its driveway, garage and garden. However, what it offers in outside space, it lacks internally.
The semi-detached home has two bedrooms, one living room and a draughty garden room-style addition, which is insufficient for the four of them. Rachel is looking for a way to extend out or even up to create a bigger bedroom or bedrooms for their children to sleep and play in, space for an open-plan kitchen-diner, and to modernise the dated building.
The works I propose are broken down into two elements. First would be the replacement of the poor-quality conservatory with a new single-storey rear extension which would house an open-plan kitchen and living/dining area. This brick-faced extension would be separated from the existing building by a small courtyard, the two connected by a study link. The courtyard can be used as a play area, for external dining or a tranquil focus for the spaces surrounding it. Sliding doors provide a seamless link both to the courtyard and the main garden.
Ceiling heights in the new addition will be generous, although the roof above the kitchen cupboards would be lower to minimise impact on the neighbours. The kitchen’s new position would provide opportunities for alfresco dining in the garden as well as in the new courtyard.
A sedum roof over the extension would offer an improved outlook from the loft level. An abstract pattern of rooflights will bring more natural daylight into the space.
The second element would see the existing bungalow radically transformed with a new double-height hallway, utility, three generous bedrooms and two bathrooms. The roof will be replaced at the rear with a new brickbuilt first floor for a bedroom suite.
I suggest moving the entrance door to the front of the house and covering with a porch, improving the kerbside view. Once inside the double-height hallway, a dramatic open riser staircase will lead up to the first floor, lit by a large rooflight. The new hall will also provide access to the reconfigured ground floor and a clear visual link to the back garden
In this instance, we have maintained the modest street frontage but have created a light-filled house full of unexpected spaces and volumes, providing a bright and modern three-bed family home.
Builders work (rear extension) £20,000 Builders work (alterations & loft) £20,000 Glazing £10,000 Electrics £7,000 Heating and hot water £5,000 Sanitaryware £5,000 Floor finishes £4,000 Staircase £4,000 Total £75,000