The Federation of Master Builders

Out of the Darkness

Master Builder: Simply Extend

Project type: Rear kitchen extension

Location: Queens Park

Build Cost: Approx. £50k

Build Time: 14 Weeks

House value: Before - £550,000. After, £750,000.

Amanda and Jose were posed with a problem familiar with many ground floor flat owners in London – how to expand the limited space they owned, and how to make that which already existed work better. Nestled in a compact suburban street in north London, options for the couple were limited. The vision, however, was grand.

Rear kitchen

They wanted to add a single storey rear kitchen extension to the back of their flat whilst also totally reimagining the apartment stylistically and functionally. This not only required a lot of structural work, but created a challenging environment in which to operate, suffering from limited space and access. This meant hiring a contractor with a keen sense of style who could also do the nitty gritty. Step in Simply Extend.

As part of the wider Simply Construction group, they were able to combine different areas of expertise to offer a comprehensive service that reduced the typical stresses of a renovation by understanding the project every step of the way. This meant that they not only designed and built the extension, but took care of the wooden flooring, the kitchen, and the outside paving. The end result is a cohesive re-invigoration of a Victorian flat that now boasts a chic 21st century style.  

One of the big successes was the introduction of so much natural light into a ground floor flat, an especially tricky exercise in Victorian homes converted into separate apartments. “Regardless of which aspect a bottom floor apartment faces, allowing the sun in is always difficult. You have to be creative and find solutions that often aren’t obvious, and rarely easy” says Rob Wood, director of Simply Extend. The prospect of adding an extension made this all the more challenging, as it raised the possibility of burying the internal spaces even further. 

Kitchen with natural light

The answer? “At every stage of the design, we sought to introduce as much light as possible”, says Rob. “The extension offered the opportunity to remove the constraining exterior wall that previously linked the kitchen to the garden and which had only a couple of small dreary windows. We could change the entire relationship between the flat and the outside for the better whilst also flooding the internal spaces with sunshine with the right approach.” Following this logic, Simply installed a bi-folding door to connect the new extension to the garden, both improving the flow of the flat and also bringing the interior in from the dark. They supplemented this by adding a skylight to the extension. The result is a home that feels bigger, brighter and altogether

The project didn’t stop there however. Next was the question of how to overhaul the internal spaces.

Simply went over the brief in minute detail and presented various choices at every stage. This attention to detail can be seen in the gorgeous level of the finish, which was the result of a refusal to shirk on quality. Equally important was remaining conscious of Amanda and Jose’s taste throughout. “When you undertake a root and branch approach to a project, it can be hard to retain the personal qualities that make a home a home. We worked closely together to ensure that every change would complement, rather than overpower, the unique character of their domestic lives.”

New kitchen

Suffice to say, Amanda and Jose were pleased. “We are very happy… with the extensive building work that [Simply] have completed for us. It was a big project involving a lot of structural work and this was completed professionally, diligently and seamlessly.”

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