Blog: Designing a renovation project close to home

30 October 2017

Phillippa Watkins, Architectural Assistant and Associate Director at the Roger Coy Partnership, has written a blog about designing a renovation project close to home.

My partner, Pete, and I bought our first home – a 1970s bungalow – together in August 2013 because we wanted to buy a property that we could add value to rather than move into a new build property as well as have a garden big enough for our dog, Monty.

It had always been our intention to convert the loft space and extend into the large garden and in February this year we were finally in a position to start the major renovations – and the hard work started!

Our surveyors had already prepared a measured building survey which gave me a basis to start the design work. My design created a dormer extension in the roof space for a third bedroom as well as relocating the downstairs bathroom and adding a utility room and a larger living room with an improved connection to the garden.

The majority of the building work was carried out by Pete’s father and brother-in-law and it was really exciting to watch their progress first-hand. It has certainly given me a greater insight into the construction process as a whole.

During the first five months it took to transform the bungalow, we lodged with my parents and with the completion of the first fix we moved back in to decorate, lay the laminate floors and tile both bathrooms ourselves.

It was incredibly frustrating as the work was delayed for several weeks due to heavy rain and the most disheartening days were when it was actually raining inside the house. Fortunately this was countered once we began choosing the finishes for various rooms.

There have also been a lot of late nights because as well as dealing with the project I’ve been studying for my RIBA Part 3 exams to become a Chartered Architect.

We are really pleased with the extra space and the lay-out means the rooms have a much better flow. We now have a modern three-bedroom property including an en-suite master bedroom and dressing room, a spacious living room, kitchen, bathroom and study.  Would I do it all again? Yes, the project has been rewarding and given me a better empathy when dealing with clients (and tilers!).

Planning a home extension can be daunting but at the Roger Coy Partnership we have the experience – and first-hand knowledge – to guide our clients throughout the process from inception all the way to completion.