New Build Home, West Kent

Currently in progress – last updated December 2023

Client Brief

With a budget of £1.3million, this client in West Kent wanted us to design and build a large four bed house with generous reception areas for them and their family, to replace their existing bungalow.  Making the most of the views was important, while taking into account that the site is located on a hill overlooking a valley facing the west, so it is exposed to the wind and elements.

As professional working people with a young family, having one point of contact and responsibility from initial design, throughout the build process to completion was very important to them, to avoid liaison with many people and suppliers. It’s how we work, so we were able to provide them with this.

The Project

This is a 350m2 new property, replacing a small sub-standard bungalow on the same plot. Although the planning proposal is actually for a replacement dwelling, we successfully applied to locate the new property a few metres away from the existing one. This has enabled the client to live on-site in their existing property while their new home is being built. Not only will they save in excess of £20,000 on rent during the build, but as they own many horses and other animals, it’s important that they remain on site.

The client has chosen some particularly nice features for the internal design including an AGA which will be installed in the kitchen, and frameless towel rails which are built into the bathroom walls.

The project is currently ongoing.


Providing a replacement home three times the size of the existing bungalow was a challenge in terms of coming up with a proposal that was acceptable to the planning authority. Being in an area of outstanding natural beauty, the policy states that the proposed new dwelling should not be significantly larger than the property being replaced. The solution was to build the proposed property into the ground and carefully utilise the roof space for the first floor.

We devised a creative way of connecting two areas on the first floor without adding to the overall mass of the property by linking them via an elevated walkway; these spaces largely utilise the two higher roof areas at either end of the property without making the whole house higher or bulkier.

Careful design helped blend the property into the landscape, reducing the impact of any increase in size when viewed from the front elevation.

We are pleased to say the planners understood the benefits of the proposal and approved the application first time. They appreciated the elements of the design that were inspired by traditional agricultural buildings.

The client has chosen a range of tiles for the bathrooms in different shapes and finishes, including chevron, hexagon, pebble, and parquet. We’ll spend the time needed to ensure differing tiles are laid correctly and line up perfectly; our team is very skilled in this area and used to providing a high-end finish that shows off design elements to best effect.


The project is still under construction (December 2023). To date, all windows have been installed, the building is watertight and we’re currently wrapping up the external cladding.

The elevated walkway from the master bedroom to the landing is complete. We will soon be laying the flooring and building the staircase.

We’ve completed around 95% of the tiling, and air conditioning and underfloor heating has been installed. The main tasks to complete now are installation of the kitchen, which is due to take place mid-December, as well as hanging internal doors and finishing the woodwork, such as frames and architraves.

What the client said…

“We wanted a “vernacular” Kentish design as the house is in a prominent position, and the council is particular about granting planning permission. We needed it to be suitable for a family of four to grow into and to maximise the views (and mitigate the exposure to the weather!).

We chose Vernacular Homes as we wanted a one-stop shop for design, planning and build. They have a great track record and gave us some strong ideas for the initial concept. We have worked with them from the inception of the project all the way to the current build which is ongoing.

They’ve come up with some great ideas that we wouldn’t have thought of ourselves; the bridge link between the two parts of the house across the full height is amazing!

Throughout the project, we have found them to be super professional, very thoughtful and responsive. Their site management has been very impressive and the build continues to amaze me.

So far, the house is looking amazing. The tiles and bricks blend into the other period houses on the road and it’s a great looking building. We are very excited to see the house really start to come together. The kitchen fitting starts this week and most of the sanitaryware is on site and ready to be fitted.

I would definitely recommend them; in fact, I already have!”

Our views on the project…

“We believe that the quality of the design and the build so far are an exceptional example of our work. We feel that we have comprehensively met our clients design brief.”

Contact Us

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