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  • Lucie Watt

Converting a stable into a self contained annex

Nestled in the East Sussex countryside, this beautiful characterful stone property was linked to an outbuilding via a UPVC extension which was formerly used as stables. The owners had visions of converting the annex to enjoy additional living space for their family.

In 2020, just as the exciting renovation project took off, so did Covid-19 which was to become an added challenge to the couple’s build. Construction was able to proceed in the spring, however the additional government guidelines slowed each process and therefore lengthening the project’s completion date.

With the aid of Orchid Homes, the stable annexe was successfully transformed into a wonderful addition to their home. Working inside the planning limitations we came up with the idea of a raft footing for the new walls to sit on as the original stone walls were not suitable to support a new roof and were requested by planning to be preserved. Working with Monsons of Crowborough, their team of structural engineers calculated the perfect structure that tied the existing wall to the steel frame. The original stone wall was then tanked by Sitesteal of Rotherfield and insulated and finished by our team creating the new space and vaulted ceilings. Wet underfloor heating and an electric unvented hot water tank were installed. An oak framed entrance was added to blend the appearance of a recently added oak framed garage and Imperial Framing, the company who built the garage, were used to add the oak entrance, to the annex. Local joiner Chris Dalley’s skills were brought in to add doors to the oak frame and windows to the east aspect of the annex.

As social plans and work schedules were put on hold in 2020 due to Covid, the owners were able to dedicate more time to the build than originally planned. The couple spent time sourcing some wonderfully unique features including a sleek and stylish showroom kitchen from the Kitchen Exchange and finished the look with a magma zenith worktop and splash back. Eye catching ceiling fans by Ikohs reflect owners love for aviation and artistic flare seen in so many of the finished featured of the build, including the unique curved wall in the kitchen.

The couple have established trusted relationships with our experienced team members. Working together, our expert builders have been able to fulfil our client’s vision and maximise the potential of each element of the build. The connecting link between the two buildings is now an impressive entrance hall with open stone and built-in storage. Light streams in through a glass roof lantern which is framed by attractive warm lighting. Within the annex, the solid oak flooring continues throughout the spacious open-plan layout which marries beautifully with the clean lines and smart contemporary kitchen. The internal space is light and airy with vaulted ceilings and Velux windows spaced throughout. The annex enjoys a spacious wet room which completes the design for a self-contained addition to their property with plenty of scope for the future.

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