G. Harvey Goodwin Avenue
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Key information

Open Sep 30th & Oct 6th
Type Retrofit
Built 1920

Key features

  • External wall insulation, rendered over
  • Underfloor and roof insulation
  • First floor timber frame ‘extension’
  • Solar thermal water heating
  • Thermostatic gas stove

Hosts Phil and Ails, with their three children, bought their 1920’s chalet bungalow in 2009, having already started sketching various ideas on how to improve it into a family home. The main aim of the renovations was to create a well-balanced, attractive & spacious house that made best use of the site, while blending into the mixed 1920-30’s street style.

The house structure when they moved in was mostly unchanged from when it was built. As well as the old fittings and cramped layout, it was effectively uninsulated with solid brick walls, draughty floorboards/chimneys and minimal roof insulation. It was not a comfortable place to live, hence when planning their changes, key priorities were layout and insulation. They have created a warm & cosy house, fully modernised for low maintenance and running costs – but not using ‘eco’ features for the sake of it, only if worthwhile.

The original house had some good original features they wanted to retain (particularly the bay window & the staircase), so they opted to keep the ground floor walls, first floor joists and rebuild above/around these. Good insulation in every direction is most important; the external insulation continues over the timber frame upper; and we tried to avoid any cold bridges in the structure. Solar hot water was more financially viable because we were installing new plumbing & tanks anyway.

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