Updating a John Nash Regency House

Updating a John Nash property

Designed by architect John Nash, and built in 1808, this Regency house is situated within a conservation area, so we had to approach the updating project with a simple overriding objective – our design had to ‘enhance and preserve the area’.

The brief was to design internal alterations and external repairs to provide a new loft room and generally refurbish the property. In detail the works comprised ‘the installation of a staircase, the conversion of the loft to form a habitable room, the enlargement of the existing family bathroom by removing a wall and external repair works’.

There was extensive electrical repair works, damp proofing, ethernet extension and decoration upgrades specified in a Building Survey we had previously undertaken at this Regency house. In addition substantial structural alterations were undertaken which removed the down stand beams to the master bedroom and the collar tie to the rafters to increase the headroom for Building Regulation compliance.

Close liaison with the on site contractor helped keep the project on track and led to the implementation of our suggestion to remove the down stand beams by extracting them through the external wall in the side street, thus preventing damage to the Clients built in original Regency house wardrobes. It’s this sort of sympathetic strategy that turns a good project into an excellent one!

Chawton Hill successfully designed the works, gained planning consent, tendered the project and appointed a Contractor. Throughout the construction phase, Chawton Hill acted as Contract Administrators to oversee the works. The Client was kept up to date continuously with the projected Final Account, an essential document that in this case allowed the Client to instruct many additional desired works, whilst keeping within the original budget.

Abi Peter’s, Building Surveyor commented ‘I think the jewel of the project was removing the third box room and constructing a bespoke winding staircase. We didn’t want to remove the existing window as this would have required a Full Planning Application. Instead we liaised with Celotex to devise a plan to treat the window as a cladding and create a false wall internally. The window was blacked out and the new cavity ventilated externally. From the street, the window appears no different and was successfully inspected by Building Control.’

The Client was keen to retain many original Regency features and this was achieved through strategic reuse of existing materials whilst delivering a modern 21st Century dwelling with a twist. The Client said ‘Abi and the contractors were very easy to work with and enjoyable to have around which is important given that I was living on site. I cannot recommend Chawton Hill more highly’

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