The UK is littered with identikit developer-built houses constructed since the mid-twentieth century. While many of us live in such homes, they neither make us proud nor adequately serve our needs. At Tait Architects, we believe that contemporary design can treat such homes in a way that both improves the way they meet your specific needs and how they make you, your family, and your guests feel.
As the before and after images demonstrate, we completely re-branded an existing 1970’s home on a highly visible corner plot in Henley-on-Thames. As a result, the external appearance of the home is utterly transformed, new space and accommodation has been added, and the clients now enjoy living in a home that regularly attracts compliments from friends and passers-by alike.
THE CLIENT’S PROBLEM
While the clients liked their home’s location, the existing property was dated and tired. Moreover, it lacked a garage and sufficient accommodation space. The home featured red brick, while plastic cladding, white uPVC windows, and concrete roof tiles. The front presented an uninspiring entrance, and to the right of the house stood a lean-to that was neither beautiful nor useful.
Beyond simply a garage and more space, our client required a forward-thinking design approach that would set the house apart. Even more importantly, they wanted a bespoke concept that would make their home something they’d look forward to coming back to and bringing guests into.
In order to add immediate appeal and a contemporary design sensibility to the home, we went in several directions. First, we devised the refurbishment to feature a new single-storey front along with a side extension which wraps around the existing house. These two interventions do more than provide the requested additional garage and accommodation space; they also enhance the property as a whole and harmoniously provide a more inviting entrance. Further, we inserted a dormer in the dominating front roof structure, thereby enlarging an existing bedroom and enhancing the overall form of the front of the house.
A unique feature of the scheme was the creation of an integral covered entrance canopy. Far from a bolt-on element, the feature was designed and executed as part of the extension. The canopy links the porch and garage and provides a visually arresting shelter from the elements.
SPECIAL DESIGN FEATURES
Our intention, beyond merely adding a garage and enhanced accommodation, was to inject new life into the appearance of the property by transforming its external appearance.
To that end, we clad the extension and dormer with vertical open-boarded Siberian Larch timber cladding. The cladding was pre-treated with a special coating which will accelerate the natural weathering process of the timber to a silvery grey. To set the rest of the property off, we also combined new fibre-cement slates on the roof, white render over existing red brick facades, a bright yellow front door, and grey aluminium windows and doors throughout.
Today, the client enjoys a complete visual refresh, one that brings their home into the twenty-first century.
COST AND TIMING
The new accommodation, garage, design features, inclusive of design and build, came to £80K, excluding VAT. The build time was 12 months.
“Tait Architects has worked with our ideas and produced an exciting design to remodel our tired 1970s home. It got through planning the first time, with hugely positive comments and praise from our neighbours. We are all excited to see what the finished product will look like. We cannot rate Tait Architects highly enough.” – Client, upon reception of planning permission
“We are really happy with how the house has finished up looking. All Tait Architects’ suggestions were really effective: vertical timber cladding, the tall window into the porch, the outdoor storm porch, and the high window into the garage. We love it, and have had literally hundreds of positive comments from neighbours and passers-by. Thank you so much.” – Client, upon project completion
In additional, the local planning department specifically commended “the design and quality of the proposed development”.