This client wanted to build a new home in the garden of their existing property in Kent with a view to selling their current home and living with family when the build began. They were initially looking for a detailed design for a four bed, Georgian-style new build, with a guest suite in the basement. They wanted us to create a reliable design and build, with a firm budget.
They had already engaged some alternative contractors but soon before works were due to start on site, the clients were notified of a 30% increase in price. Unsurprisingly, this caused them to lose confidence in the contractors and they decided to find an alternative company. They first became familiar with our work after driving past one of our sites and looking us up online.
As the build costs they had been quoted by the original contractors had risen significantly beyond our client’s expectations, they tasked us to look at the design with a view to reducing costs.
An hour of discussion revealed that the basement suite was intended to be used solely for guests. As they were not expecting overnight guests to be an especially common occurrence, it soon became clear that it would be a very expensive luxury and we suggested looking at alternatives to this element of the design. The solution was to slightly lower the property into the ground, make some alterations to the roof space and incorporate two bedrooms into that newly created second floor space, omitting the basement entirely, thereby saving significant amounts of money. This altered the design from a four to a five-bed property, giving them more space and resell value in the property. The budget remained within their range and they got a design better suited to their lifestyle.
The most significant challenges related to the alteration to the design involving the omission of the basement and the addition of the second floor. We carefully worked through the designs and costs prior to work starting, thus ensuring that there were no cost related significant and unpleasant surprises. There were also some holdups due to bad weather, which is not especially uncommon in the UK and the client was very understanding.
The amended brief resulted in significant cost reductions. The end result is a beautiful family home, built to a high specification, within budget.
A particularly special feature is the staircase which runs from the ground floor up to the second level which looks especially impressive.
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