Congratulations to the regional and devolved nations' winners of the 2023 Large Renovation Project award who will now go on to compete in the National Master Builder Awards on 22 September. Check out the full list of national finalists below and learn more about these amazing projects.
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Buried in the industrial depths of Birmingham’s historic Jewellery Quarter, a Georgian gem lay derelict and waiting to be unearthed. Vantage & Co were tasked with restoring it as a private residence, preserving the remaining period features and repurposing some of its materials in the design.
With the external features including detailed stone and rendered details now restored to their formal glory, the showstopping feature of the project is the original Bath stone staircase, which has been fully restored with hand carved stonework by Vantage & Co’s Master Craftsmen.
The developer, Steve Dodd of Elevate Property Group, commented: ‘The refurbishment of such a key building to the history of Birmingham had to be carefully considered and we are delighted with how the project turned out. We genuinely feel that it has been restored to one of the finest homes in central Birmingham.’ The judges commented that the project was ‘absolutely outstanding, executed with great sympathy and attention to detail.’
Find out more about Vantage & Co Group Limited.
The renovation of this 16th Century, Grade II Listed farmhouse and the surrounding outbuildings has produced a truly unique result replete with custom features.
The Just Lime team have implemented a slate roof using premium grade Welsh slate from Cwt Y Bugail and reinstated the chimney with a modern twist: using Welsh stone from Forest of Dean. Internal joinery projects included substantial work on the front door and some internal doors, and spectacular oak panelling - all of which were hand crafted and finished with blacksmith forged ironmongery.
The judges described the work as an ‘absolute triumph of saving a unique and historic property done with a level of skill, craftsmanship and attention to detail which will ensure it thrives way into the future' and a 'beautiful restoration taking a conservation approach using traditional/local materials and craftmanship'.
Find out more about Just Lime Ltd.
This Southwark renovation involved an overhaul of the entire house and the addition of an innovative ground floor extension - providing a generous, light-filled kitchen and dining room for a growing family.
Pencil and Brick Ltd pride themselves on their signature gauged brick details, and this project is no exception, featuring a brick portico with two semi-circular brick arches, echoing the nearby railway arches. The chamfered brick details are different heights under each arch, which precisely mirror the clients' Becky and Dan’s shoulder heights, and the arch motif is carried through into the kitchen with some bespoke joinery. The bespoke integrated carpentry is an excellent example of attention to detail – they designed and had built a large plywood-structure extension to the kitchen. This separated the kitchen and dining areas, with a beautiful arched opening, and two concealed skylights to bring in ‘mysterious’ light.
Their consideration for neighbours and attentive communication kept the project running smoothly, despite a few bumps in the road. Their clients agree: ‘Pencil and Brick have been a respite in the storm of complexity that is project design and build. We would wholeheartedly recommend this excellent practice and both its brilliant principals and whole team.’
Find out more about Pencil and Brick Ltd.
Gareth Roddy Building Ltd was tasked with renovating and extending their client’s ancestral home, which had laid derelict for years, having been blighted by a fire several decades before.
New doorways and windows were formed in the original structure of 500mm stonewalling. They conserved original features wherever possible, including the refurbishment of box sash windows. Where period detail was missing or damaged, new ceiling roses and cornicing were made to match the original style, and when the roof was found to be a more serious state of decay than originally anticipated, they stripped the roof to add new timbers, reusing the original slate where possible. The judges praised the ‘sumptuous project and great ethos in refurbishing features, like stained glass’.
The team kept the clients, architect, and interior designer up to date with regular meetings, with WhatsApp groups to share ideas, questions and solutions, and to share progress updates on the fly. This level of contact proved essential, given the project was impacted by COVID-19, materials shortages and Brexit import issues.
‘We are delighted to be in our home previously occupied by my great grandfather’ said the owners. ‘The house with refurbishment and extension has not only been saved but brought back to life. We are delighted with the end result.’
The winning project, a barn conversion nestled into the Staffordshire moorlands, was built to make the most of the beautiful views across the Peak District, whilst providing the owners with minimal running costs. The result is a sustainable and highly energy efficient home that doesn’t compromise on style.
The team at A J Field Developments Ltd incorporated some of the existing fabric of the building into the renovation, but the brief called for SIPS insulated panels for maximum insulation. Black zinc cladding was fitted in the form of Tata standing seam walls and roof – a nod to the building’s industrial past which plays a visual trick in helping the structure to recede into the landscape.
The team constructed a pond that passes under the building and is supplied by harvested rainwater. Adding further eco credentials, a bug hotel was built around the upper harvesting pond area and an extended overhang provided to promote swallow nesting, along with bird boxes and a bird terrace. A Corten screen shelters the south elevation from excessive passive solar gain, whilst casting patterns with shadows that change throughout the day.
The clients were clear about their reasons for choosing A J Field Developments Ltd, and being a member of the FMB was a deciding factor. They also praised the team’s transparent costings, excellent communication and rapport – proving quality and honesty are just as important as price.
‘The resulting build is everything we could have hoped for – high quality construction on time and on budget - despite the pandemic, Suez Canal blockage and Brexit!’
Find out more about A J Field Developments Ltd.
J Stanley (Stonework) Ltd took on the renovation of this Georgian cottage and its outbuildings, set in the heart of Richmond. They demolished part of the outbuildings to make way for a rear extension to increase living space.
The team were conscious that planners in small market towns can be apprehensive of modern architecture. To smooth the planning process, materials were chosen that fit sensitively into the local environment, including timber decking, salvaged stone from the outbuildings, which was used for dry stone walls, as well as some highly energy efficient glazing.
The finished home blends a lateral living space with the outdoors via an expanse of glass. A hidden snug and study are cleverly positioned in the old vaulted stable building, which has been seamlessly adopted into the ground floor. The overall effect is a modern, stylish home that also respects its heritage.
The clients chose the team for J Staley (Stonework) Ltd’s track record of working on heritage and listed buildings. The client explained: ‘We wanted to use someone who understood the intricacies and complexities of an old building in a conservation area whilst also being able to give us the wow factor we were looking for.’ Adding, ‘we couldn’t be more pleased with the result.’
Find out more about J Staley (Stonework) Ltd.
For this winning build, Coldwells Build Ltd reinvented a grand Victorian house for the 21st century. A complex project spanning two years, it demanded a level of innovation than the team had not expected, but gave them the opportunity to learn new skills and use traditional tools.
The finished result is a light and spacious family home, which has been fully rewired, replumbed, reroofed and reconfigured. The ground floor has been opened up to allow the family to spend time together. Period features were lovingly restored including picture rails, decorative woodwork and panelled doors, whilst great care was taken to match intricate cornicing and stained glass.
Made-to-measure joinery is fitted throughout, including oak cabinetry, a wine cellar and a 3.5 metre tall Accoya front door. Their joiners custom-made a new oak staircase on site using traditional carpentry methods, and space was optimised over the upper two floors with an improved layout and the creation of a rooftop office.
It’s evident that client care is a top priority for Coldwells Build Ltd. When the initial quote came in too high for their clients, the team took a forensic approach to identifying where clever substitutions and cost savings could be made to deliver a proposal that the clients were happy with. Their clients heaped praise on the builders, stating that the ‘quality of workmanship and service delivery were impeccable. Coldwells Build Ltd’s approach and the highly amicable nature of the team has made for a perfect family home.’
The judging panel commented that ‘Coldwells Build Ltd has displayed everything you would want in a builder. It used innovative methods of construction, pushing the team to develop new processes, use traditional tools and learn new skills.’
Find out more about Coldwells Build Ltd.
The judges praised Phoenix Design and Construction’s adaptability to change – as the design needed to be amended several times. They also commended their skill in working with the Grade II listed building and the restrictions that entails – the team liaised with an archaeologist and were able to develop a good working relationship with them. The project joined the main house to an outhouse building, adding a large open-plan kitchen with a seamless polished concrete floor, boot room and WC. As COVID restrictions hit, the team also showed great consideration to the client, not leaving them without a working kitchen, and adding in a few extra surprises to the completed project, much to the client’s delight.
The owner commented 'As the current custodians of the property we wanted to find an experienced, conscientious builder who understood working with a Grade II listed property.'
Find out more about Phoenix Design and Construction (South East) Ltd.
Stonewood Builders Ltd were tasked with restoring this Grade II listed Regency mansion to a warm and practical family home that respected its rich history and heritage. Being largely untouched for the past 100 years, it was no mean feat.
Stonewood paid care and attention to protecting historical features, setting up an on-site joinery shop for the mammoth task of restoring nearly 40 original sash windows, which received high praise from conservation officers. The restoration included the use of traditional lime plastering throughout, as well as external stone restoration. They also undertook a full range of decorating crafts, paying particular attention to original features and re-gilding plaster moulding.
Their client commented that ‘It was a joy turning up to the site every day and reassuring that every CDM inspection was passed with a clean sheet. Stonewood fulfilled all our wishes and demands and were fabulous to work with on a project of this scale.’
The judges commented on the project’s wow factor, heritage, fine detail and the strong relationships which enabled successful delivery of the project to an exceptional standard.
Find out more about Stonewood Builders Ltd.
Mack Construction’s work on this property in Nether Edge, Sheffield saw the team transform a cramped two-bedroom house into a functional, comfortable and energy-efficient four-bedroom home for their client’s growing family.
The extensive works included adding a three-storey side extension containing a welcoming, light-filled entrance hall and a staircase. The rear of the property was also extended to make room for additional bedrooms, an open plan kitchen and a dining area.
The project was modelled in the Passivhaus Planning Package (PHPP) to ensure very low space heating demand throughout. The enhanced insulation levels in the new elements and the carefully modelled insulation to the existing building fabric has enabled a final space heating demand of just 84kWh/m2 – a figure which compares favourably to many new-build homes in the UK.
The client thanked Mack Construction for their consistent composure and professionalism throughout a project that was not without its challenges, stating ‘we’d happily work with you [and the architect] again.’