This old house was crying out for conversion and in dire need of restoration. Sean bought the house at auction with the aim of showcasing his workmanship – this took on a life of its own, when Sean became involved in the Channel 4 Property Ladder programme with Sarah Beeny! To make best use of the space Sean took the brave move to split the house into a 3 bed maisonette and 1 bed basement flat.
There were huge structural alterations to be made in the basement: at one stage, the entire internal walls of the house were supported by 46 acro props! Excavations using a micro excavator and dumper brought light into the basement, created new ceiling height and formed a new entrance way leading down from the road. Being resourceful, Sean reused the materials and debris excavated from the basement to landscape the back garden. The basement was damp-proofed, insulated and acoustically soundproofed to meet Building Regulations. All basement soil pipes and drainage were skilfully re-routed to accommodate a new bathroom.
The main house above the basement was equally as challenging. Dry rot from the basement had crept up into the joists and walls upstairs and new gas, electric and water supplies were required to divide up the properties. A party fire wall was required in the loft to separate the house from its neighbours and extensive landscaping was the only way to allow access to separate areas of the garden for each property. New specially designed arched windows were installed to maintain the existing character of the house along with reclaimed Victorian fireplaces in the maisonette to reinstate character.
To reuse every possible material from the house and unite the two spaces, the old floorboards from the house were used to create a fabulous floor in the basement and bricks were reclaimed to make a feature wall in the kitchen, adding huge amounts of character. The original internal stone steps leading from the ground floor into the basement were used in creating its new, external entranceway. Finally, the wall at the front of the property was rebuilt using reclaimed bricks to recapture the old character of the house.
The list of improvements was endless, culminating in Sarah Beeny herself stating the layout was ideal and ‘the finish is immaculate!’ Equally pleasing was the positive response of the neighbours who Sean had kept informed at all stages of the conversion. Sean had a huge amount of satisfaction from overcoming the structural problems with the space. When the properties were put on the market, after a huge amount of interest, both sold quickly and to the same buyer, proving that the creation of the new spaces was the ideal solution for the building and Sean’s eye for detail and ability to reinstate character proved invaluable.
The finish is immaculate!
Sarah Beeny, Property Ladder