New Build Home, West Kent

last updated June 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 – especially beneficial because not only will they save around £20,000 on rent during the 12-month build, as they own many horses and other animals, it’s important that they remain on site.

The project is currently ongoing; it began on site in November 2022 and has an expected completion date of November 2023.


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 project is still under construction and was around 40% complete at the time of writing – June 2023.

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 can’t wait to go watertight and see how the inside comes together.

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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