Building Type: Internal alterations to a first floor flat
Location: Exeter, Devon
Service: Planning and detailed construction stages
Approx Budget Range: £25-50,000

This first floor flat had a disappointing entrance stairway and low-quality kitchen. Alterations to improve the entrance and kitchen areas of a first floor flat were proposed. The project required design, planning application and building control drawings. The proposals involved a new kitchen, raising the ceiling, installing new rooflights throughout, altering the wall positions and function of the eclectic mix of spaces surrounding the entrance stairs.

The resulting entrance hall is light, airy and far more suited to the daily functions. A separate laundry/utility and wc are off this hallway in newly organised walls to make a more generous entrance hallway. Sketch options were prepared following a measured survey to alter and modernise the poorly arranged existing kitchen and storage spaces.

The chosen scheme maximises existing space and creates a bigger and more spacious kitchen with separate utility room. Creation of the improved landing creates a sense of arrival, often missing in first floor flats. The design retains existing boiler and hot water tank to minimise expenditure, but plans for future replacement. A new small utility room keeps the kitchen free from lifestyle clutter, and the existing wc has been adapted to make best use of the space. Careful consideration has been made to ensure that there is space for the owner’s belongings and that day-to-day items such as coats and bike can be stored within easy reach without being in the way, either visually or physically – often an issue in first floor flats.

Other alterations within the building included rearrangement of existing rooms and door positions created a better family bathroom, improved daylight and a new dining space, which frees up space for a sofa in the kitchen creating a new social hub. New beams replace the old structural ceiling joists and pick up inadequate existing structural support. The vaulted ceiling above with 3 large rooflights add a huge amount of light and space to the building. A 3D computer generated model with alternative solutions was created to visualise the options to adapt the roof structure. These images helped to decide which of the structural adaptations would be worth the cost implications.