For the last week I have been laying new oak flooring in a fairly recently built house. The house itself, the structure, is well built, but the internal design and build quality was very poor! The house is built over three floors, with a kitchen, a dining room, and a toilet on the ground floor. There is a living room with a Juliet balcony, and a bedroom on the first floor, with two bedrooms and a bathroom on the second floor.
The ground floor design was the main problem, with the space partitioned into small rooms, with lots of doors, and a large proportion of the living space lost to corridors, and common space. I removed 75% of the existing partitioned walls, it was quite easy as they where only tin (metal) studding and plasterboard. Remember the golden rule of demolition; always work in reverse to the construction because its makes life a lot easier! So first any furniture, curtains and curtain rails, carpets and flooring, then doors, architraves and skirting’s, coving, plasterboard, and finally the metal stud work, it really is that simple and I cleared the whole ground floor in less than a day!
Obviously advice should be sought on whether the walls you want to remove are load bearing, but the rule of thumb is; that floor joists normally run from the front to the back of a house, which is generally the longest span of a property. A load bearing wall, separates the ground floor and every floor above into two halves, but when taking out low bearings walls a completely different approach is required. A lot of modern built homes don’t have any load bearing walls, just stud partitioning dissecting the space, creating rooms. The cloakroom cupboard alongside the toilet was removed in order to extend the toilet space to incorporate a large shower with a wall hung hand basin and WC. What was left of the cupboard, I turned into a laundry room with a washing machine plumbed in at floor level, with the waste pipe going through the stud work and behind the paneling in the bathroom, which the hand basin and WC was hung from, into the drainage system. The tumble dryer was on a shelf above the washing machining, and vented up through the bathroom ceiling, and out through the main front wall of the house, I also packed all the new stud work with insulation to help reduce noise, from the laundry room, and bathroom. Although the bathroom door, was off the one remaining enclosed and vented hallway, between the front door and the newly positioned internal door into the open plan ground floor!
The stair case from the ground floor to the first floor, had previously been enclosed with a plasterboard wall, which once removed brought the staircase into the new open-plan ground floor layout. Of course this all had to be trimmed, with newel post, tracks spindles and handrail, (all available off the shelf) and I plaster-boarded the underside of the stairs, incorporated an electronics hub in a small under stair cupboard, which included space for the alarm mother board, and the remaining space was set up for a double computer work station or desk area, with all the new terminal and feed requirements at the appropriate height! I installed a wired fire alarm and heat censored system, because the new open staircase, became a potential fire hazard to the upper floors, and I also double boarded (plasterboard) all the upper floors, hallways, and staircase areas, and fitted self closing fire check doors, to create fire protection for everyone in the building. I built a very smart kitchen in an elongated “n” shape which incorporated a fridge freezer, dishwasher, Franke sink, gas hob and extractor, double oven, with a terrific breakfast bar, the work tops all in black granite. I installed low voltage LED down lights with a brand new mains pressured plumbing system, incorporating a brand new ultra efficient condensing boiler. I used porcelain tiles for the kitchen floor and splash backs, bathrooms and showers, wide oak planking for the opened plan communal ground floor area. The whole house was painted white, with a light brown twist pile carpet throughout, and cor you want to see it now!
That’s how you can transform a poor internally designed, and poorly fitted three bedroom house into a spacious and airy wonderful, four bedroom contemporary home, and all without breaking the bank!