Do Up Diary #22 Chopping up the central core

MM Blog 15 - Version 2The central core of the Moregeous Mansions, the bit marked ‘Kitchen’ above, is integral in making the whole of the interior design and flow of the new spaces work. This central part connects the whole of the ground floor and prior to works was a dark room with few redeeming features. The idea after works is that it will be a dining / entertaining space, with huge openings to both kitchen and living room. The difficulties are many, design wise. The original ceiling was over 3m high but due to a new dormer bedroom being built on the second floor, we’ve to lower all the ceilings / floors in this central core, it’s unavoidable. The room above the old kitchen is going to be a bathroom, this is the view at the moment from it’s doorway on the first floor down to used to be the kitchen. Which is, incidentally, now mostly in my bedroom. Head mash.IMG_5166 Down on the ground floor you’ll walk from a high ceilinged main living room into a lower ceilinged dining room, then down steps into the kitchen which has the same height ceiling as the dining room. Tricky. Getting all the detail and the head heights right are vital and when the steels went in last week I felt that the main one forming the opening to the kitchen was not right at 2100mm or 2.1m. It felt too low when a tall person stood in this area about to go down into the kitchen. I don’t care what anyone says, when you’re designing a house or space, you have to visit site to see things unfold because bricks and mortar never looks like the drawing on a computer screen or paper. It’s why many builds / extensions / renovations don’t look *quite* perfect. If they’d have had a little tweak on site during works, it would have made all the difference. After consultation and discussion, it was decided it could be raised by 150mm without impacting on all the other steels and floor joists and has indeed made a welcome difference. It might make you unpopular for all of an hour but I have to live here and it’s gotta be spot on! Don’t be that client that takes days and days to make a decision though, then everyone will hate you 😉 2014-09-22_0002 Little tweaks so far: Raising the main steel, moving the new kitchen to utility doorway away from the chimney breast:2014-09-22_0001 Also moving the utility to garage doorway so it lines up with the kitchen one and lowering the specified folding door heights marginally to bring them into a less costly price bracket. Sometimes these things cost absolutely no more to do, it could mean putting a concrete lintel in a slightly different place for a doorway for example but you do need to be mindful of the impact of every decision. Every decision has consequences so never just make changes without talking things through with your builder, architect or interior designer, but it’s better to alter things earlier rather than later as once they’re set in stone / concrete / brick, change can be almost impossible and almost certainly very expensive.

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2 thoughts on “Do Up Diary #22 Chopping up the central core

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  1. Hi, really enjoying your blog.
    Question: How did you support the Jetfloor beams at the end which abuts the existing wall??? Did you construct a “sleeper wall”, your photo suggest that you did. If so, is this tied into the the existing wall and how deep where the foundations?? Am thinking of a kitchen extension to our Victorian house and replacing existing suspended floor with block and beam so same basis as the new extension. Bit concerned that have adequate support! Best regards Steve

    1. Hi Steve, thanks so much, lovely of you to say so!
      So the Jetfloor. The kitchen span is 5m and one end sits in the ‘new’ front wall. The other end was supposed to sit in the party wall but it was too weak and incredibly shallow foundations. We dug 400mm and created new foundations for a small sleeper running the length of the party wall, not tying it in as no reason to. The Jetfloor beams then rested on this. We do have some ‘bounce’ across the 5m and in hindsight I’d have done other central sleeper.
      We do you want to use concrete in the existing, out of interest?

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