GOING IN – GUIDE TO INTERNAL WORK AND ALTERATIONS
Not extending and adding space internally is often a cost effective solution, it generally possible to find unknown unused space and rearrange a layout to make it work much more efficiently.
Design considerations – Overlapping living spaces
Today our lives and what we want from our homes have become multi-dimensional our routines overlapping. We may be cooking while watching over a child’s homework, searching the internet or watching TV. Certainly Victorian and even more modern homes were designed with a much stricter division of activity in separate rooms.
While people generally do not like fully open plan they are prepared to relax traditional room division introducing the concept of activity zoning and soft spaces such as an open plan kitchen and making the most of circulation spaces. Such solutions should serve several purposes, such as the landing that allows the staircase to be set less steeply, while creating greater storage beneath.
Other things people now looking for are dedicated home office work space, providing new storage and ancillary space, clever rearrangement of the upper floors to create new bedrooms, bathrooms and wet rooms, particularly when the need for a new nursery or a cleaver solution to create a granny flat for an elderly or disabled relation give them independent living space.
It is also often possible to bring light and openness into family spaces with the introduction of roof lights or double storeys either into a basement or opening up into a loft that is unsuitable for conversion. The use of fold back glass doors in an open plan kitchen will flood the room with light.
Internal refurbishment does not generally require planning permission
Building Regulation Issues
In terms of Building Regulations fire and means of escape are fundamental considerations however as long as account is taken of these from the outset of the design a solution is generally possible.
Cost of internal work
Conversion resulting in the removal of structural elements to create say an open plan kitchen does not need to be expensive and the use of fold back glass doors will flood the room with light.