Case Study – Small Bungalow with Dark North Facing Living Room
The Client – A retired couple living in a small North facing bungalow near Baslidon in Essex.
The Brief – The couple wanted to try and create a large family space with lots of natural light, a few years ago they added a single-story extension to the rear of the bungalow, consisting of a new bathroom, hot press, lobby and kitchen, which has resulted in the Dining/Lounge area becoming very dark, specially on a sunny day when the shadows were even stronger and they had to keep the lights on in the front lounge. They also wanted to improve the limited access to the sunny South facing garden which presently was through the kitchen. The location of the existing bathroom is not convenient to the bedrooms and the narrow West facing entrance hallway is also very dark. The budget was small so it was necessary to come up with a solution that would work within the existing footprint and avoid costly new extensions etc’
You must always consider the orientation of your home when you are adding an extension, make sure that you introduce light where ever possible it is the key element in your home, you must also avoid disconnecting the exterior and creating dark corridors. None of these points were considered when the original extension to this bungalow was built and the client and builder went for the convenient and easy option which in this case proved to be a disaster. There was nothing wrong with the quality of the existing building work, except that it was poorly thought out, it is vital to have professional advice before you start and if possible avail of seeing the finished project in virtual reality so that you know exactly what you are getting.
This semi-detatched bungalow has a South facing rear garden, it is the best orientation for light and sun and for connection to the garden, so the rear of the bungalow is ideal location for the Dining /Kitchen area with easy access to the new patio and sunny garden, it is also ideal for the new study/Guest bedroom away from the main bedroom. By creating an open plan living area and opening up the rear of the house with large glazed patio doors and a new atrium to the existing flat roof, the south-facing light will extend to the dark lounge at the front of the bungalow. The South facing new patio will act like an additional room and allow everyone to appreciate the beautiful garden instead of living in the dark confines of the existing North facing Lounge/Dining room.
1. Remove wall between dining area and existing bathroom/kitchen (subject to engineer’s report)
2. Reduce the size of the existing guest bedroom on the west elevation to accommodate the new bathroom and wider and brighter hallway by adding glazed double doors to the lounge.
3. Relocate the bathroom to West facing elevation (guest bedroom) so that it is convenient for the master bedroom, locate the hot press in the hallway
4. Create new open plan Lounge/Dining /Kitchen area complete with new atrium, large glass sliding doors for easy access to the sunny garden and to incorporate the new patio
5. Create new Study/Guest Bedroom adjacent to the new kitchen at the rear of the house
6. Agree finishes with client to enhance the bright sunny open plan design.
Views of “Before & After” of Proposed Refurbishment
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