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Are you thinking about extending your home?

There was a time when extending your house generally meant adding an extra bathroom or bedroom, or creating a new open-plan kitchen diner. Not any more! COVID-19 and lockdown restrictions have meant that we’ve all been spending much more time at home, and many of us have realised that what we really need is more clever zoning of our living space.

The trend we’re seeing here at CLPM is that many homeowners have started to look at more inventive ways to add to and separate the working and recreational spaces in their homes. With many of us expecting to work at least partly from home in the future it’s likely that in 2021 this trend will really take hold.

In the first of 2 blogs on Covid Construction Projects, we look back at a few of our previous clients’ projects and pick out some of the best examples of the types of home improvements we expect to see more of in 2021 and beyond.

Indoor Work Spaces – Studies

If you work regularly from home a study is a must. This one is from a recent client’s project in SE London. Read more here. Work spaces come in all shapes and sizes but this project illustrates that while studies need to be quiet, reflective spaces they don’t have to be dark or dull.

Our clients were a professional couple with very young children, so having a designated work space away from the noise of everyday life was very important to them. Therefore when they briefed their architect to design their new home, the design and location of the study was a priority – rather than an after-thought. They purposely positioned it upstairs, well away from the busy kitchen and family areas. As you can see it was designed to give a lovely view into the garden and to be very light with a floor to ceiling window and two oversized rooflights.

Outdoor Work Spaces – Garden Rooms

Once a luxury item, garden rooms are fast becoming a must-have item for many of us. This is especially true if you and your children all need to work or study from home.

While escaping to a shed or timber summerhouse can be an option for a day or two in the summer, it’s not ideal for the long term. Garden rooms have filled this gap, as they can be installed quickly and often don’t require any planning permission. Just remember that if you’re using it for the long term you’ll really need to invest in a proper, insulated building. You can probably get away without plumbing and adding a toilet will be quite expensive and disruptive, but you’ll certainly need electricity to heat and light the room and of course broadband too.

There are plenty of companies offering Garden Rooms ‘off the shelf’ and you can expect to pay around £20,000 to £30,000 for a building of good quality. Alternatively your can build your own from scratch. That way you can create your own design – like this very attractive bespoke purpose-built garden room we project managed for some clients near Tring in Hertfordshire. Our clients built it primarily for their young children but as you can see it would also make a fantastic office! Read more here.

Indoor Recreational Spaces – Wine Cellars

Lofts and cellars are the obvious place to start if you need to make more space in your home. And over the years we’ve helped dozens of our clients dig out or convert their cellars into useful spaces – often for utility rooms, playrooms and gyms. But we’ve also seen clients create more playful spaces too – so we thought we’d share a couple of fun projects.

Our first image is from a full home renovation project we project managed for clients in SW London. This beautiful kitchen features an underground spiral wine cellar. If you are already converting or digging out new basement, like these clients then a wine cellar like this one is relatively easy to install. Read more here.

Next is something a little more unusual. Our clients were carrying out a major renovation on their large property in rural Oxfordshire. Read more here. Their 18th century rectory already boasted an existing cellar, but it was a little dark and gloomy. As part of the building works, this was refurbished and then transformed by a highly skilled local carpentry company to create a proper wine cellar – complete with tasting table! This photo was taken immediately after our clients moved back in, so they hadn’t yet moved in their wine collection – we suspect the racks are a bit fuller now…..

Indoor Recreational Spaces – Home Cinemas

According to the press we’ve all been watching much more TV over lockdown. With cinemas closed, like many of us you’ve probably been spending time with your family binge watching boxsets and streaming blockbuster films from Sky and Netflix. Many of our London-based clients have developed their basements to create uber-modern home cinema areas, but this cinema room was created in the same period property which featured the wine cellar above, and is in keeping with the building’s original features such as the oak beams.

Indoor Recreational Spaces – Swimming Barn

With lockdown meaning gyms and swimming pools have closed, like us you’re probably wishing you had access to your own pool at the moment, however modest. Over the years we’ve project managed the construction and renovation of several swimming pools – including the refurbishment of the large public lido at Ware. Read more here. However this project below is probably our favourite.

This swimming barn was built for clients in South Oxfordshire and was both stylish – and sustainable. Read more here. The timber frame building was super-insulated and topped with a thatched roof which housed a photovoltaic array which generated enough electricity for the pool barn and the main house too. The water came from a re-commisioned natural well in the garden which was then heated via a new biomass boiler. Lastly the changing facilities included a compost toilet system. Who says sustainability and luxury cannot exist hand-in-hand?

We do hope you have found this blog interesting – and inspiring for your own Covid Construction Project.

In part 2 of this series we’ll be looking at outdoor projects and sharing how some of our clients have enhanced their homes’ external spaces and landscapes.

Planning your own Home Construction Project?

Although Covid-19 lockdown measures mean we are taking a lot of additional precautions, CLPM are still very much open for business. So if you’re planning to carry out construction works on your home then do get in touch – we’d love to hear from you.

Simply call 01923 896550, email info@cl-pm.com or complete a contact form to find out more.

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Our Construction Project Management and Quantity Surveying Services cover London, Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Gloucestershire, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Oxfordshire, Surrey, and West Sussex. We provide Energy Efficiency and Heating System Advice across the UK.
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