This glass extension and basement conversion in Bath was a minor Grand Design, breathing new life into an Edwardian end of terrace. We excavated an existing undercroft, and created a luxury open plan kitchen diner. This was linked by a large, double-height, glass extension.
The four principal requirements for this home renovation were:
- To install a new kitchen
- To create a utility specifically to wash and dry clothes away from the main living areas
- To create a separate space for two boys heading into their teenage years.
- To maintain adequate storage, having lost a loft and now an undercroft.
We produced several designs, but quickly settled on a basement conversion for the laundry and an open plan kitchen diner. Installing a glass extension would increase natural light through the ground floor and create a clear connection between outside and in.
Architect, structural engineer, party wall surveyor
Although we produce our own designs for planning permission, we engage specialists for other approvals. A structural engineer calculated the degree of underpinning, along with steel dimensions and a method statement for construction. One of the neighbours required additional assurances given the excavation within 2m of the boundary. In accordance with the Party Wall Act, we enagaged two party wall surveyors: one for each side of the party wall. Everything was fine, of course! The architect produced the building control and construction drawings which, together with our technical specification, were offered for tender.
Planning the building work
The order of construction was as follows:
- to create a habitable space in the basement.
- to move a temporary kitchen into the part-finished basement.
- to rip out the old kitchen.
- to build the structural part of the open plan space.
- to install the glass extension.
- to fit the new kitchen.
- to finish the basement.
To achieve the head clearance and depth for the underpinning foundations, we excavated around 16 skips of earth. We tanked the walls and insulated to comply with building regulations.
To create large storage areas, we excavated only to waist height under the rest of the house. This provides substantial space and accommodates the new condensing combi-boiler and water softener, as well as camping and sports gear. The frameless, low-iron glass balustrade maximises natural light for the basement room along with two side windows fitted just above ground level. We installed wet underfloor heating beneath a polished concrete floor.
The basement now houses a small home cinema and gaming area at one end and a utility space with laundry at the other.
We have written a separate page on this basement conversion.
We chose a stone coloured powder coated aluminium frame to blend with the existing building. The supplier provided glass panels as large as possible at the time. Bifold doors lead to the patio.
Open Plan Kitchen Diner
Our open plan design sees the diner in the new glass extension, adjacent to an L-shaped kitchen. The kitchen itself boasts a flush-fitting induction hob, quartz worktop, and timber shaker kitchen units in two finishes. We fitted an aqua glass splashback with colour-matched switches and sockets, and plenty of lighting. With large porcelain tiles over wet underfloor heating, we fitted an anti-slip version of the same tiles to the patio. This seamless transition between outside and in makes the whole area feel more spacious.
We installed a multi-room music system to provide music in 5 separate zones throughout the house; the ceiling speakers are just visible in the photo below.
We chose a combination microwave oven as well as a main oven, with separate warming drawer. This saves having to find a space for a microwave and provides extra capacity as an extra oven for family parties.
Over the past 12 years of designing and installing kitchens, we’ve recorded our experiences in a checklist for a new kitchen. This focuses on practical design issues, and guides on the choices of kitchen units, taps, lights, appliances and everything else that goes into making a new kitchen.
old dining room
Clients often ask what to do with their old dining room once they have fitted a new kitchen diner. A standard side extension would have blocked out light to the window and created a gloomy space. A glass extension overcame this problem, and presented an opportunity to be creative. Here, we converted the old dining room into a light, airy home office with views to the garden and river beyond.
To see the story of this renovation, select the first image in the gallery below; when it enlarges use the arrows to work your way through the project.