A 1930’s house that needed a new bathroom, driveway and internal modernisation.

The client found us in MyBuilder.com, their original request was “to modernise the ground floor initially. We want to incorporate an existing extension and create a new bathroom and change the utility space. This would involve changes to the basic structure that exists.

There are 4 rooms involved:

• Hall (4.5m by 1.8m). This includes the under-stair space which we want to turn into a bathroom.
• Utility Room (2.20m by 2.30m) This room is to be opened out to include being the new utility space, partly the new bathroom and partly the living room.
• Extension (6.5m by 1.70m) We need this space incorporated into the utility space and generally finished off (it has no electricity ceiling, plaster, etc.)
• There would be no need for planning permission for this work, though the wall removal ideas might require structural calculations, which are not currently done.

We are looking to hire a tradesman to do this.


Wall removal

The project started with the removal of 2 internal walls that used to enclose an “Utility room”, our client already engineering drawings for the support required for the new walls.

This is the old utility room, and this is how it looked after its 2 walls were removed:

The work done was inspected and approved by the council building inspectors..

1 meter of the utility room space was used to place a shower enclosure, and another for a washing machine/tumble drier, and finally another for the boiler and storage space shelves underneath facing the living room. Moving the boiler was an unnecessary expense.  The rest of the space free up extended the living room area.


The tile work was straight and classic. All walls were white tiled with a mosaic stripe placed all the way around, in a line just above the sink level. Also the floor was tiled.

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We installed the toiled, sink and shower. The plumbing was directed throw the walls into the extension drain pipes.

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Fitting the shower enclosure

We installed an electric shower, a shower tray and under it all the plumbing. A glass folding door was also installed, and as planned it fit perfectly into the space.


As it is a small space, we added a good fan extractor into the shower space. This extractor is fitted to comply with the relevant regulations, which required a long piece of ducting as the bathroom is now in the centre of the house.


We fitted 2 spot lights one in the entrance and one above the shower enclosure, with a pull string switch.

Painting and decorating

We plastered and painted the ceiling. We also we fitted all the accessories we were given in the places our client chose: toilet hook, towel hooks, soap dispenser, mirror and glass shelf.


We sanded and painted the old door and made a wooded door frame for it internally and externally. We fitted in the door a lock with an occupied/vacant handle.

Living room extra space

The space from the old utility room that was not taken by the bathroom and utilities was now incorporated into the living room. It came with a concrete and tiled floor, which had to be removed before being prepared for replacing with floorboards to match the rest of the living room.

To prepare the whole ground floor, we completely removed all the floorboards; The old floorboards were sanded well by machine, and placed back with reduced gapping. We utilsed recycled from a reclamation yard to complete the whole area. The colour was not uniform all along which meant it kept its old character.

Prior to replacing the floorboards though, as request by the client, we insulated and added underfloor heating throughout the ground floor.

Removal of carpet from entire first floor and stairs

We removed the carpet from all the first floor rooms and the stairs. We spent a considerable amount of time sanding, varnishing and sealing the old timber wood floorboards. Some of them needed replacing, aligning and a deeper sanding. In particular, the stairs had a stain deep inside the wood that was really hard but we managed to get the stairs to a good quality.

We worked on one room at a time, because the family was living in the house whilst the work continued.

Varnishing the old timber floorboards

The flooring throughout the house was timber. The originals were quite old, originating from when the house was first built in the 1930s. The testing of varnishes on a sample piece of the wood, and finding the right product, took a while, but the results pleased the client. The wood was sealed and varnished with a Bona natural oil which made a slightly darker colour due the oil, but we didn’t use stain in this case.

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Chimney removal

In the 2 main bedrooms on the first floor we removed the chimney breasts. This required again the engineer to design the brackets to re-enforce the wall in the loft.

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We plastered and decorated afterwards.

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We painted decorated both bedrooms. In the master bedroom the space freed-up by the chimney breast removal was used to install wall-to-wall IKEA wardrobe, which we help to assemble and install.

Ceiling cracks

We re-plastered the bedroom ceilings as the plaster was cracked.

Installing radiators

We installed a new vertical radiator in the hall, which gave more space for the house entrance.

Installing Light and Plug switches

The client gave us a standard set of lights and switches to replace the old ones in the living room, to standardise, because they were all different before. Also we placed a white switch for the underfloor heating in every room.

LED lights on living room & hall

The living room space was quite dark as it is in the middle and lacks of windows. We installed 10 Led spot lights that brighten the room.

Boiler storage place

The space around the boiler was shelved and two doors were added to enclose to match the new space.

Ventilation was added to the new cupboard space with the boiler in to ensure the space did not overheat.

Carpentry, fixes and repairs

The living room had a couple of IKEA shelved cabinets at the side of a chimney breast that perfectly fitted the space, but the shelves were very weak and bent under the load of things on them such as books. We replaced the book shelves with stronger shelves that no longer bend.

Also, the client asked us to architrave the results can be seen below.

Under floor heating

We placed underfloor heating in the living room, hall way and a front room. The result feels great when walking bare foot on the wood; it was set to be at 20 degrees, and an optimal performance for heat/cost.

Front bedroom wall insulation

On the first floor, the main front bedroom had a damp problem. The original design of one layer of half brick, a tar based sheet, an airspace and finally a layer of plaster was no longer working. We skimmed the wall, placed insulation panels, built ventilation gaps on it to the exterior, and re-plastered. The damp has not returned.

Painting and decorating

We painted and decorated most rooms in the house. Some walls needed sanding, other repairs from cracks and broken old plaster.

Opening door way to the side extension

We opened a door way between the house entrance and side extension. In the gap we fitted a sliding barn door.

The house extension

This extension already existed, our client did it by himself some time ago, but never had time to get it finished. It was bricks, blocks, concrete floor and roof.

We built all of the interior: Insulation in the roof, plastered walls, tiled the floor, plastered the ceiling, placed 4 electricity plug sockets and LED lights in zigzag along the ceiling. We also hid and routed lots of pipes and electricity cables in the walls.

Also at the end we helped install the storage racks and hooks along the finished wall.

The extension became a laundry room at one extreme and also a huge storage (~7 metres long).

In the exterior of the extension, we completed the guttering and wall rendering with pebble dash.

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Front path and drive way

Outside, in the house front, we had to re-design the driveway and house entrance. We flattened the area and lay a 100mm sub-base. We then compacted this. The pathway from the front of the drive to the entrances was to consist of a sandstone pathway, entrance area and small matching wall. We also added a sandstone area for bins, and a concrete plinth for a future bike shed. Between these areas we finished the drive with Thames Valley flint on top of the sub-base and membrane.

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Wheelie bins

Finally we added a small gate to the wheelie bin area for ease of access for the refuse collection.