An existing bungalow in established & sought after village of Cheriton in a Conservation Area in Hampshire which had originally been built as a Village Hall.

The client was aware of considerable space in the loft area but could not see her way through the mass of construction of the roof (including four substantial timber trusses supporting the roof) nor could envisage a location for staircase access.

The Potential:

At the initial visit by the Architect the possibility of converting the roof space was seen and a basic strategy for gaining access to the first floor and through the roof truss lines envisaged.

Developing the project:

The key to access to the first floor was in the positioning and design of the staircase which was resolved by an unusual combination of landing, winders and straight flights. The staircase had to be designed and fitted to within a few centimetres to provide the necessary headroom and to reach the first floor at the most appropriate location. The curve to part of the stair added character and allowed the soilpipe to be hidden as well as enabling the ground floor bedroom window to remain unobstructed by the relocated wall.

The Conservation area requirements imposed restrictions on external changes to the property. The existing eyebrow windows did not provide enough light and ventilation to the new bedrooms. This was resolved by a minimal extension of the ‘half-gables’ to the ends of the roof and constructing windows in the enlarged triangles.

The existing upper ceiling structure was removed and the trusses modified with steel ties and additional supports to allow doorways to be formed through.

The ceiling to the Hall was also removed and a lower first floor gallery formed to open up the space and allow a visual connection between the ground and first floor.

Getting it built:

Planning Permission and Conservation Area Consent, Building Regulation Approval obtained. Detailed drawing and Specifications prepared and competitive tenders sought. Contract let to lowest tenderer. Work on site inspected and costs monitored. Final account agreed with builder and client.

Added Value:

The project provided the client with two extra bedrooms, a first floor bathroom, an additional shower/cloak room and an enlarged dining room.

The project also substantially increased the value of the property being a rarity of a larger house in the village.

RIBA AECB Architect in the House Architects Registration Board Association of Self-Build Architects