An old friend becomes a new friend

JCA Team:

Rory Duncan & Ann Bessey

Project Design Team:

Johnston Cave Associates (Architects) Louise Richardson - Verdun Grace (Quantity Surveyor) Michael Hammond Associates (Structural Engineers)

Principal contractor: Imperial Restoration and Construction Ltd

Project type:


Project year: 2013

Our clients' charming listed property is situated in a sloping village and consisted of a series of buildings, which over time, had been used as one house. The trouble was, that not having been designed for this purpose, the disparate parts barely connected with one another - especially at the first floor level.

It was also built in a variety of materials; from a brickwork core to wychert external walls. All of which promised us a very "interesting" repair and reconstruction task.

Our client's main wish understandably, was to retain the old fabric especially as they had developed a strong attachment over time to its charming and quirky features.

Our task then was to retain these features, make the whole structurally sound and create a homogenous home all within budget.

Thankfully we had a strong team in place to carry out our solution. We had the Engineer work closely with the carpenters to repair in like-for-like materials and he cleverly used the frame of the upper storey and roofs to reinforce the upper floors. The ingenious plumber devised some intriguing remote trap locations to work around the structure and a historic artisan specialist recreated new doors from old doors, handmade replacement window boards from old boards and restored the old ironmongery, in order to retain the true ethic of the house.

Our scheme included a vastly improved plan which allowed the creation a larger family kitchen, a Boot Room, Larder and a Utility Room, as well as an extra bedroom and shower room, along with commensurate improved services. The house now has a much better relationship with the gardens, the living room receives far more light, a new staircase has helped solve the first floor connection issue and additional useful guest accommodation has been achieved by converting the garage into a very comfortable space.

The result is a very pleasing house and what our happy client says essentially "feels like" the old property. Praise indeed.