An Accessible Home Styled To Perfection







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We first fell in love with the home of Insta account @lees.reno when we saw the exterior of the newly extended and renovated bungalow. Finished in cedar cladding, white render and dark grey windows, it's a stylish finish which has completely transformed the tired bungalow. 

We love bungalow renovations as there is so much opportunity to extend as they tend to be on large plots. Lee's bungalow had so much space for a side extension, which has transformed the home.

The interior of the house is equally as smart; finished in a monochrome palette with pops of colour, the style is contemporary yet extremely homely and welcoming.

Lee has a form of Muscular Dystrophy which has meant every aspect of his home has been designed to be accessible, yet he has not compromised on style or detail of the design. This renovation will be so inspiring to so many of you, whether it's yourself or someone in your family who would benefit from an accessible home.

Can you tell us about your home and renovation project?

I have a very rare hereditary condition called Desmin Myofibrillar Myopathy which is a form of muscular dystrophy.

Knowing that the condition is degenerative, I knew stairs would become a problem and began looking for a bungalow that I could renovate to suit whatever life throws my way.

On the first day of looking I stumbled across what appeared to be a perfect match, in the area I wanted with potential to extend without compromising the rear garden. I booked a viewing immediately and went to look around externally as soon as I could, in advance of the viewing the following day. It was perfect, even before I viewed inside.

The property was a semi detached 2 bedroom, 1 reception room bungalow with gardens front, side and rear, large driveway and detached garage. 

The driveway was long and stretched the length of the plot to the garage and was ideal for extending to the side and still leaving a good size garden. 

The bungalow before the renovation

I spent the evening sketching floor plans and after an hour and half realised that the floor plan was straight forward with minimal interference to the current config (both bedrooms and the living room would be unaffected) which is great cost wise and for living in it during the renovation!

The next day I viewed and had my offer accepted.

The property is now 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, separate living room and large open plan kitchen, dining and living room with bifold doors opening to the rear garden.

The look was also really important to me, as I didn’t want it to look like an old person's bungalow, so I’ve opted for white K-Rend, anthracite windows and cedar cladding to the entrance and extension which has really transformed the property.

The large open plan area which is part of the extension

What was the most challenging part of the renovation?

The most challenging part aside from the budget (which is definitely a challenge) was the levels. Due to my condition I wanted level access, no threshold from the front door, all the way through and to the bi-fold doors.

I also wanted underfloor heating, which was a real challenge to factor in and get to a point where there isn’t a step in the whole property. It’s pretty much achieved apart from a small 10mm threshold on the bifold doors which I was told couldn’t be avoided but is still part M (wheelchair accessible) and meets the regulation.

It’s like a giant jigsaw, you sort one part out and there’s another thing you need to think about. Even doors had to be researched for hours as not all doors allowed for 0 threshold. So that was really challenging balancing style and function/accessibility. I’m pleased to say it worked out.

The stylish bathroom with the large walk in shower

Did you stick to a budget and do you have any budgeting tips?

Sadly I was 20% over budget, it’s rare things come in under budget and sometimes things cost more than you planned. You have to make a decision where you don’t have the budget but you do have the skills, trades and labour ready to go. So it’s a case of do you do it now, or delay and do it later? Regardless it’s going to have to be done, it’s just a case of when.

I hugely underestimated the cost of tiling and there was quite a lot of tiling to be done! So that was hugely over budget. 

I was also caught out a few times where prices quoted to me didn’t include VAT! So another thing to watch out for, check the quote and ask if it’s inclusive of the VAT!

We love the open plan area with the sociable dining area next to the kitchen

What part of the project are you proudest of?

It has to be the overall outdoor transformation, it gets so many comments from people passing by, people stopping at the front and even some taking photographs. 

I think it’s unusual to see a property of this size looking how it does on an ordinary semi-rural road. It’s the same inside. It’s a modest house with big ideas! That’s something I absolutely love!!!!

The bungalow now after the extensive renovation

What would be your biggest piece of advice for anyone about to start out?

Plan! Plan! Plan! Get figures and estimates and write it all down! Make sure you factor in a contingency of at least 10% and be prepared to use it!

Finally, don’t be afraid to day dream and research fixtures and fittings. There are so many decisions you’ll need to make that you won’t even have thought of, you’ll be grateful of the stuff you already have decided on!!!

The lounge area is so inviting

Where is your favourite place in your home now?

It has to be the kitchen, that’s what it was all about for me, a real wow factor, a room you enjoy spending time in, a room that works all year round and adapts and is also a great space for entertaining. I’ve really achieved that in the kitchen and I wouldn’t change a thing in there!!

We love the island unit which is the heart of the open plan area

If you are thinking about a renovation project in the near future and need some help finding an architect or architectural designer, we can match you with the most suitable ones for your project.

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Published: February 10, 2021

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