This Master Builder's client wanted a modern extension to their old oast house. An oast is typically built of brick in a conical shape with a cowl on the top and was used for drying hops.
After winning a competitive tender, Bridgehurst Builders was hit by the UK’s first lockdown. They acted quickly, ordering materials in advance to avoid any interruptions. They also erected hoardings on the ground and first floors to isolate them from the family who remained on site during the project.
Despite their planning, Bridgehurst Builders were at the mercy of other contractors on the project that had not been so prepared. But Director Barry Hutson and his team were flexible, working around any delays. “I have always enjoyed working on old or listed buildings as you can learn so much about the skills used when there were no electric tools or modern machining methods available,” says Hutson. “Some of the old skills are as efficient as methods used in modern construction.”
The team installed off set steel work for the roof, which needed to be different lengths from left to right. They formed concrete lintels to follow the same radius as the roundel. Then they cut and attached bricks to the outside of the lintel to match the roundel’s brickwork.
On the first storey, the team removed the existing floor, which was 90mm off level. After re-levelling, Bridgehurst installed two new bathrooms and designed a staircase between the first and second floors.
“The refurbishment was done sympathetically and the extension added a modern feature to the back of a beautiful building,” says Hutson. “It has made a tremendous difference to the flow of the house, turning it into a real family home.
“My favourite parts of the build include the seamless addition of the modern kitchen onto the original family room, the restoration of an old chimney into a wine store just off the kitchen, where I built an oak door out of reclaimed oak, and the sliding door wall that opens the kitchen to the garden patio.”
- Project duration: March to October 2020
- Project location: Goudhurst, Kent
- Work completed: A large open plan kitchen in the modern extension, two new bathrooms, new staircases and roof lights.
- Favourite features of the project: New modern kitchen connecting to the original family room, and the restoration of an old chimney into a wine store.