When Jon and Angela Thompson relocated from Bromley to the Kent countryside to start a small holding of alpacas, they purchased a 1930s bungalow that suffered from years of neglect and had no insulation. The property was the last in a row of houses, with over two acres of land to the rear and views across the South Downs.
The main aim of the transformation was to design a comfortable and light-filled home. Architects Atelier’s solution was relatively straightforward on paper – relocate the kitchen and living room to the rear of the dwelling to make the most of the vistas. The plan also involved creating a sheltered shepherd’s hut-style area where the couple could sit out and watch the alpacas. It was also important to meet the U-values specified by current Building Regulations, where possible.
“We had a limited budget for the improvement works we wanted to undertake and a rough idea of what we wanted to achieve, but were unsure of the steps we needed to take to get there,” says Jon. “Barry, from Architects Atelier, explained the process of planning, going out to tender and project managing the build. We employed him for all three elements and his help was essential in establishing the home we wanted.”
Now complete, it’s clear that the scheme has successfully breathed new life into a family home that was left to rot. The team worked with the fabric of the existing building, bringing the bungalow into the 21st century and preserving it for years to come.
The architects played an important part in keeping a lid on costs. The contractor attempted to add a number of extras, totalling £60,000, but constant communication between the two parties prevented the Thompsons from having to dip into their contingency too often.
Architects Atelier was also able to source many of the products used during the scheme for a cheaper sum than was quoted by the main contractor. A limited budget of £120,000 for the 170m2 property was stretched by an additional £10,000, despite this, it remained a great return on investment for the couple.
“Barry introduced ideas that we never would have considered feasible or affordable, such as the provision of shadow gap lighting, vaulted ceilings and renewable technology,” says Angela. “He also helped us source high quality products, such as a glass and metal balcony system and a woodburning stove within our budget.”