1970s Semi Transformed Into Spacious Home

This light-filled renovation and extension has more than doubled one family’s living space
by Build It
24th August 2017

Matt and Julie Barnes had been struggling to gain planning consent to update their 1970s semi for many years – so were keen to find a creative, knowledgeable team to make their dreams a reality.

After seeing how Lapd Architects had helped some good friends successfully renovate their home, the couple decided to appoint the practice to assist them in realising the full potential of their property.


Fact File:
  • Location:Oxfordshire
  • Project:Renovation & extension
  • Style:Contemporary
  • House size:326m2
  • Project cost:£285,000
  • Project cost per m2:£874
  • Construction time:Six years

Design for living

The Barnes were keen to expand the three-bedroom property into a contemporary, spacious four-bedroom home with large dramatic living spaces and a basement music studio. They also wanted to capture views of the surrounding open landscape, as the house is set in an area of outstanding natural beauty.

Lapd listened to the couple’s requirements and worked on designs that sought to make the most of the site and satisfy the brief – as well as feeding in even more innovative ideas for the Matt and Julie to consider.

“Our architects evolved the design with us, listening to our needs and producing some great ideas for the project,” says Julie. The outline scheme would see the house more the double in size; yet Lapd still managed to secure planning permission for this ambitious scheme where others had failed.

Throughout the detailed design process, the practice worked alongside the Barnes and their contractor to make sure the project was tailored to their budget. Part of this entailed planning the scheme, and the engineering, so that it could be developed over time – as and when funds became available.

Realising the dream

Mark and Julie took the reins as project managers on site, but Lapd was on hand throughout the six-year duration of the scheme, providing advice for both the couple and their contractors when needed.

The finished house includes a dramatic entrance as well as a light-filled living area with a stunning vaulted ceiling, with double-height glazing and two rows of rooflights that frame views of the sky and surroundings.  Adjoining the living space is an open-plan family kitchen-diner.

A part-basement provides space for Matt to play his music as loud as he likes while Julie and the children enjoy a quiet life in the remainder of the house.

A double chimney gives the couple a feature fireplace inside, along with a great space to cook when entertaining outdoors.

“We’re really thrilled by the end result and could not have got this without the support and imagination that Lapd Architects brought to the project,” says Julie. “We’re delighted to have a home our family can grow into. Friends and guests are amazed that this is the same house as before its transformation!”

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