Crouch Cottage – Grade 2 Listed Cottages – Wadhurst

| 26th November 2015 | 0 Comments

Conversion of Two Grade 2 listed cottages with no mod cons into one 4 bedroom house with a 6 x 4 kitchen extension

These grade 2 listed cottages came onto the market when we were not ready to purchase so with regret we set aside the advert. This type of project is rare and getting rarer all the time so we kept one eye on developments.

 

2no Grade 2 listed cottages without mod cons wadhurst before conversion

Crouch Cottage – view from lane

 

2no Grade 2 listed cottages without mod cons wadhurst before conversion

Crouch Cottage – view from lane

 

2no Grade 2 listed cottages without mod cons wadhurst before conversion

Crouch Cottage – view from stream

 

Some months went by and the property went under offer. In the meantime we were back in the market for a project and had placed an offer on a small development in Hawkhurst. Not an ideal project but it would keep the business ticking over. Things were proceeding towards an exchange of contracts.

Then one Saturday morning in July 2010 Louise ran in, like she does, to the living room yet again without the required tea or beer and showed me that the property had come back to the market with block viewings that very afternoon. Well, what were we to do. Go of course and see what the day brought us.

It was a lovely sunny day and as we walked down the short overgrown track to the front of the property our eyes lit up. It was better than we had originally thought.

 

2no Grade 2 listed cottages without mod cons wadhurst before conversion

View down track

 

2no Grade 2 listed cottages without mod cons wadhurst before conversion

Rear access

 

2no Grade 2 listed cottages without mod cons wadhurst before conversion

Side elevation

The two cottages had been lived in by the same family for several generations; in fact they had originally been tenants to the Wadhurst Park estate and then had bought the cottages. The most recent occupants had been a husband and wife..their name escapes me. The children had moved out and when the husband had died the widow spent the daytime downstairs in one of the cottages and then went next door to her bedroom. The cottages had not been linked so she needed to go out one door and in another.

The cottages had no toilets; there was an outhouse. There was no mains drainage, There was an electricity supply but this was run to the cottages via an extension lead. There was water but only to one cottage.

 

2no Grade 2 listed cottages without mod cons wadhurst before conversion

Kitchen!!

 

2no Grade 2 listed cottages without mod cons wadhurst before conversion

Out-shut to become study and boot room

 

2no Grade 2 listed cottages without mod cons wadhurst before conversion

Attic to become master bedroom

 

2no Grade 2 listed cottages without mod cons wadhurst before conversion

Bread oven

 

After our first visit we decided we wanted the property; we were unsure at this time if two houses or one would be the way to go.

I called Stephen Langer, my Architect and met him on site; he arranged very quickly for me to meet with a planning officer to discuss the viability of our plans and to discuss the options.

The planning officer said that as there was one title covering the 2 properties, if we were to split the title and in essence create a new property in the countryside then this would go against the current planning rules (crazy as there were two separate entrances). She said an application to split would stand less chance of succeeding than if we were to combine the cottages and make one family home with a possible extension subject to planning and conservation input.

Using this information we went away and I sketched  how the property could work as one house and worked out some budget costs.

The property was on the market at £400,000; the first thing I needed to do was make an offer that would remove the property from the market and provide me with some breathing space to consult further with planning, conservation officer and builders.

I made an offer of £380,000 which was accepted; this offer felt right for the location and type of property. I would need to firm up my costs to make sure the back end profit was going to be close to the 20% I would need.

Stephen Langer set about drawing up a scheme which we could present to the respective Planning Officer and Conservation Officer. The design allowed for a break through from one cottage to the other on each of the 3 floors, 4 bedrooms with an en-suite and family bathroom, a study, downstairs WC, boot room and a side kitchen extension.

 

Elevations of Crouch Cottage development

External and roof plan of Crouch Cottage development

Ground and first floor plans of Crouch Cottage development

Second floor plans of Crouch Cottage development

 

Once this was completed a pre-application meeting was arranged with a Senior Planning Officer and the Conservation Officer. They design was looked at, adjusted slightly and when the meeting concluded we felt that should the planning application be submitted the likelihood of approval was very high.

The planning application was submitted and, to cut a long story short, after meetings with the Parish Council, District Council planning representative and neighbours, conditional full and listed planning consent was granted.

In the meantime I had re-negotiated the price down to £360,000; my stance was that there were more costs than first anticipated due to the requirement for the installation of a treatment plant rather than plugging into existing neighbours drainage; the purchase was completed late 2010.

 

Work starts on the conversion of the grade 2 listed cottages

Work started in January 2011 with a completion date set for May 2011.

The project was to involve conservation building techniques to include lime mortars/renders, sheep’s wool insulation, wood/wool boards, lime plaster and breathable paints. Most of this was to be supplied by Chalkdown Lime near Staplecross, East Sussex.

I tendered various packages of work as far as possible; there would be a fair amount of unknown work that would need to be carried out on day-works.

I employed a builder to carry out the soft strip, pointing of the chimney and  brickwork to the original house out-shut.

Crouch Cottage - Grade 2 listed cottage converted from 2 derelict cottages into a 4 bed family home - knock through in attic from one cottage to the other

Chimney stack in attic with opening created from one cottage to the other

 

Crouch Cottage - Grade 2 listed cottage converted from 2 derelict cottages into a 4 bed family home - strip out in living room

Brick fireplace after strip out – and there I am looking resplendant

 

2no Grade 2 listed cottages without mod cons wadhurst - chminey after re-pointing

Chimney after re-pointing

 

Crouch Cottage - Grade 2 listed cottage converted from 2 derelict cottages into a 4 bed family home - side extension

Side out-shut during construction

 

Crouch Cottage - Grade 2 listed cottage converted from 2 derelict cottages into a 4 bed family home - side extension under construction

Side out-shut during construction

 

Crouch Cottage - Grade 2 listed cottage converted from 2 derelict cottages into a 4 bed family home - side extension

Side out-shut during construction

 

Crouch Cottage - Grade 2 listed cottage converted from 2 derelict cottages into a 4 bed family home - side extension under construction

Side out-shut during construction

 

A roofer completed the works to the hanging tiles and repairs to the roof.

 

Crouch Cottage - Grade 2 listed cottage converted from 2 derelict cottages into a 4 bed family home - development beignis

View from top of garden

 

Crouch Cottage - Grade 2 listed cottage converted from 2 derelict cottages into a 4 bed family home - tile hanging

Scaffold and tile hanging repairs/renewal

 

Crouch Cottage - Grade 2 listed cottage converted from 2 derelict cottages into a 4 bed family home - tile hanging repairs

Scaffold and tile hanging repairs/renewal

 

Crouch Cottage - Grade 2 listed cottage converted from 2 derelict cottages into a 4 bed family home - tile hanging

Tile hanging works complete

 

A groundwork contractor (who happened to be a neighbour) was employed to carry out the earth moving, excavations for the side extension and detached garage to include the installation of the raft slabs plus all drainage including the routing of surface and foul drainage from the treatment plant down to the large soak away adjacent to the stream.

2no Grade 2 listed cottages without mod cons wadhurst - Groundworks

Groundworkers excavate site for side extension

 

2no Grade 2 listed cottages without mod cons wadhurst - Groundworks - reinforcement for retaining wall

Ground workers install reinforcement for retaining wall

 

2no Grade 2 listed cottages without mod cons wadhurst - Groundworks - reinforcement for retaining wall

Ground workers install reinforcement for retaining wall

 

2no Grade 2 listed cottages without mod cons wadhurst - foundations installed for kitchen side extension

Ground workers install foundations for kitchen extension

 

The builder was further employed to build the new side extension and lay screed.

 

2no Grade 2 listed cottages without mod cons wadhurst - side extensnion under construction using reclaimed bricks, and lime mortar

New side kitchen extension during construction

 

2no Grade 2 listed cottages without mod cons wadhurst - side extensnion under construction using reclaimed bricks, and lime mortar

New side kitchen extension during construction

 

New side kitchen extension after construction

Completed side extension

 

Once the main house had been stripped, all 1st fix carpentry had been completed and the side extension built with concrete floors in place it was time for 1st fix plumbing and electrics.

We plumped for an un-vented hot water cylinder and an oil fired boiler (did I mention there was no gas – oil tank located near garage) for the central heating. Down-lighters were employed in bathrooms and the kitchen and wall lanterns from Garden Trading were fixed in bedrooms, halls and the living room. Strip spot lights lit the roof void in the boot room and study.

Wood-wool boards supplied by Chalkdown Lime were fixed to the studs and ceiling joists. Onto this was spread 10-12mm of hemp lime plaster; a smooth top coat could be applied some weeks later but we opted for the slightly rough finish.

2no Grade 2 listed cottages without mod cons wadhurst - wood wool boards

Wood wool boards

 

2no Grade 2 listed cottages without mod cons wadhurst - wood wool boards

Wood wool boards

 

Second fix plumbing and electrics including the installation of bathrooms and kitchen took place followed by decorations and then carpets.

The garden was graded and seeded and the steps were constructed and path laid. The garage was constructed and the driveway installed.

 

2no Grade 2 listed cottages without mod cons wadhurst - Steps constructed using indian stone and brick upstands

Steps constructed using indian stone and brick upstands

 

2no Grade 2 listed cottages without mod cons wadhurst - Garage during construction

Garage during construction

 

All done.

The converted Grade 2 listed cottages were sold for £685,000 with costs of £205,000.

Here are the pictures of the finished grade 2 listed cottages and gardens:

 

Crouch Cottage - Grade 2 listed cottage converted from 2 derelict cottages into a 4 bed family home

View from lane

 

Crouch Cottage - Grade 2 listed cottage converted from 2 derelict cottages into a 4 bed family home

View from bottom of garden

 

Crouch Cottage - Grade 2 listed cottage converted from 2 derelict cottages into a 4 bed family home

View from top of garden

 

Crouch Cottage - Grade 2 listed cottage converted from 2 derelict cottages into a 4 bed family home

Kitchen with view through bi-folding doors to garden

 

Crouch Cottage - Grade 2 listed cottage converted from 2 derelict cottages into a 4 bed family home

Living room with open fire place

 

Crouch Cottage - Grade 2 listed cottage converted from 2 derelict cottages into a 4 bed family home

Master attic bedroom

 

Crouch Cottage - Grade 2 listed cottage converted from 2 derelict cottages into a 4 bed family home

En-suite shower room

 

Crouch Cottage - Grade 2 listed cottage converted from 2 derelict cottages into a 4 bed family home

Fireplace in hall

 

Crouch Cottage - Grade 2 listed cottage converted from 2 derelict cottages into a 4 bed family home

Boot room with rear access and door to WC

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Category: Architect, Builders & Subcontractors, Conservation Officer, Construction Phase, Crouch Cottage - Wadhurst, Design and Planning, Finding a Property, My Projects, Negotiating and Buying a Property, Planning Officer, Property Developing, Property Professionals

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