Before and after image of a recently renovated house with floor to ceiling windows, LED lights, spacious open plan living dining and kitchen, a a large garden from which the photo is taken looking at the lit interior.

Substantial House Extension & Enlargement Completed - Newton Mearns, Glasgow

The Gables, on the outskirts of Glasgow, can be seen as a key retrofit exemplar, presenting a stylishly contemporary, accessible, future-proofed, and energy efficient alternative to the unsustainable yet cheaper option of full demolition and rebuild that is currently facing many of the dated and energy inefficient 1980’s private housing stock.

The clients bought the bungalow, set within a half-acre of beautiful suburban gardens, in August 2022. The original one-off house, which was built in 1985, had not been changed in the intervening years. The clients were keen to retain the spirit of the original building, with its prominent double gables to the front facade, however, the small, dark, poorly insulated rooms with a multitude of floor levels and little connection to the garden did not chime with the modern, open-plan, accessible and energy efficient house that they sought.

A newly renovated house in Newton Mearns Glasgow, with floor-to-ceiling windows, an open-plan-layout and a protruding veranda ceiling which shelters the space from the weather, and is cladded in charcoal black zinc with white painted insides.

The house had a cellular layout with 3-bedrooms and 2 bathrooms plus kitchen, utility, lounge, dining and conservatory. The house had a very dark interior throughout and had poor visual connection to its large south facing garden. There was no insulation in the floors, cavity walls and only 100mm of loft insulation in the attic, most of which had deteriorated by condensation & leaks. Plywood sarking had been used on roof trusses instead of sarking and there had been no eaves or ridge ventilation installed, meaning no ventilation to the roof space which had lead to condensation and wet rot in areas of the eaves. Plywood sarking had been used on roof trusses instead of sarking and there had been no eaves or ridge ventilation installed, meaning no ventilation to the roof space which had lead to condensation and wet rot in areas of the eaves. The heating was old and the existing floors in the entrance space, hallways and kitchen were all tiled, exacerbating the situation in terms of creating a warm, cosy and homely environment. The windows throughout were poor quality aged double glazed windows. 

Two images of the modern luxurious interior of a recently renovated house in Glasgow, with white walls and white hardwood floors, timbe panel cladded internal sauna, LEDs placed strategically to create floating effect on walls and the three steps in the entryway, and rooflights spread throughput.

The clients like the history of the house and the prominent double gables to the front facade. They were keen to adopt a sustainable approach to the project with retention/ remodelling rather than full demolition (despite the 20% VAT cost implications). The clients sought a substantially larger floor area to accommodate the living space they needed.  In terms of accommodation the new house was to have 3 bedrooms, one of which was to be a large master suite with dressing room and en-suite, one other en-suite, a large entertainment space that was capable of being sub-divided to form 2 No. additional bedrooms, a SPA room, main guest bathroom, boot room, utility room, ample storage, separate office, and an open plan kitchen /living dining space. One of the key requests by client was to be able to enjoy views and relationship to their garden.

A modern retrofit renovated house design architect extension with black charcoal zinc cladding, timber panel exterior walls covering the entrance walls and garage, and defined gables finished in white render, the is a rooflight visible on the roof of the entrance space.
The open-plan-living, dining and kitchen of a recently renovated home designed by NVDC architects in Glasgow, with white walls and hardwood timber floors, strategically placed rooflights to provide lots of natural light and a bespoke kitchen design.

To accommodate the client’s brief in terms of their accommodation requirement, we knew the footprint of the existing house had to be at least doubled. The concept we developed for the house was to build an L-shaped extension that wrapped around the house along the east elevation, where the bedrooms are arranged, to enjoy the rising sun on the east, and along the south elevation where the new open plan kitchen/ lounge/dining space is located to make the best of the views and the southerly aspect. The shape of the roof along the south elevation is extruded out to form a veranda that provides solar shading as well as a sheltered outdoor space that client can enjoy on warm wet Scottish days. By virtue of this wrap-around extension we have created a dark middle at the centre of the new house footprint, ideal for locating the ancillary and support spaces that do not need daylight such as stores, utility, spa & guest bathroom. We have then placed the circulation space all the way around this middle core which creates a very fluid feel to the layout and movement around the house. We have introduced rooflights strategically placed to light the interior in deeper parts of the plan in the kitchen and open plan living/ dining space, create drama at the main entrance and finally transform the feeling of the internal hallway to a gallery like space as well as providing a view of the sky and weather outside.

In developing the concept for the house, we wanted to deal with the odd original layout which involved going up 5 steps to enter the house at the upper level of the house where the bedrooms were located, to only then go down 3 steps to go to kitchen and lounge areas. These raised levels and steps were a non-complaint arrangement in terms of accessibility. The new design places the master bedroom & en-suite and the main bathroom on the same level as the open plan kitchen/living/ dining space making the house fully compliant from an accessibility point of view. The only accommodation located on the higher level being the leisure functions. Placing the master bedroom on the principal level future proofs the house should the owners develop accessibility issues. Additionally, designing the hallways wider 3 than they need to be, makes these spaces more flexible and enjoyable - creating a gallerylike feel - while enhancing accessibility.

A modern home interior with white walls and white hardwood floors, strategically placed rooflights and windows to provide lots of natural light and views towards the spacious garden. The junction of the corridors showcases the timber panel cladded wall of the private sauna provided in the centre of the house layout.
A white corridor space with a large rooflight right above it providing natural light and views towards the blue sky, doors scantly opened showcase the colourful bedrooms on the inside.

External materials were chosen to be long lasting and as maintenance-free as possible. Zinc cladding has the clean contemporary look sought by the clients and echoes the original slate roof. The timber cladding is a hard wearing weatherproof composite material rather than timber. A waterproof render finish onto render boards features to the soffit. Internally, oak cladding features to the internal walls and floors are white engineered oak. The entire existing roof coverings, the slates and the sarking, was removed in order to install current compliant details consisting of traditional sarking boards laid with 5mm gaps and breather membrane in order to provide ventilation/air flow within the attic space. The retained parts of existing house have been fully insulated.

The external walls were stripped back to bare brick/block and have been insulated from inside to current building regs. The floor coverings (i.e. chipboard on existing suspended timber floors and floor tiles on existing concrete floors) have all been removed to allow the installation of new insulation either in between floor joists or on top of existing concrete floors. Finally, all existing loft insulation was removed and replaced with 300mm new loft insulation. All existing windows were removed and replaced with new triple glazed windows by Rationel. The large, south facing glazed wall is constructed in double glazed curtain walling. The entire heating for the house (via and underfloor heating system) is provided by an air source heat pump.

‘It’s a place that’s full of light even on a grey day. The minute you walk into the house you have the rooflight above you which makes the entrance so bright and inviting. The different materials in the interiors reflect the light in interesting ways. You feel the expanse of the open plan spaces with all the light.’ ‘Its amazing to us that although the house is almost 3000 sq feet, it feels like everything is close to you. It doesn’t feel like any part of the house is miles away, we always feel part of it. And we can see so much of the garden now that wasn’t possible before. It’s given us the lifestyle that we wanted, and there is a real sense of calm throughout the whole house.’

Client Testimonial

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A modern home interior with bespoke design, showing the corridor within the house with white internal walls and white hardwood floors, the black aluminium frame curtain partitions provide views towards the special places throughout the design. The corridor ends with a large window framing views towards the spacious garden.
A photo of the exterior of a recently completed retrofit renovation home project in Glasgow, with a protruding veranda roof cladded in black charcoal zinc, and floor-to-ceiling windows showcasing the interior open-plan-living dining and kitchen layout, finished in white and brown timber panel studs. The house has a large garage and a spacious garden from which the shot is taken looking towards the house.
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