esseshouse-top-01

This large Edwardian house in Brighton was unloved and unlived in. It required complete renovation to transform it into a fabulous family home for Esse and her three kids.

This is the sort of opportunity many renovation enthusiasts dream of. The four month project saw a gracious Edwardian house in Brighton which had been a council institution in its last incarnation, transformed into a contemporary family home.

Work began by ripping out fluorescent strip lighting and fire doors, and we got together with the architect to reconfigure the internal layout to better suit the needs of a modern day family. For Ark builders, the project involved fitting a new kitchen which opened into a family dining room. Large hardwood bi-fold doors then led out to the newly landscaped decked patio, creating a fabulous open plan space for entertaining.

We cleaned and restored the original floorboards, waxing rather than sanding to preserve their rustic character. Our carpenters -worked to rejuvenate the original period staircase, replicating the missing pitch pine spindles. All the original sash windows were refurbished and draught proofed and a bespoke arched window added to the first floor landing to create a central feature within the façade.

A Megaflow hot water system (necessary due to the size of the house) was installed to provide good water pressure throughout and finally all external walls needed rendering, and decorating to complete the transformation.

This renovation was followed by a challenging loft conversion. Please see ‘Esses Loft

What Esses thought...

Out house-hunting, I cycled past a derelict property and promptly fell in love. It wasn’t for sale but eleven months later the purchase was complete. I took various builders to see and advise – some sighed, others muttered – “mmm, possible”. Only one said ‘Wow’ nearly as often as I did when I pointed my dim torch at walls we could knock down, hard wood patio doors, the large arched window … Tom Pike could really see what I could see in the house, despite its utilitarian run-down state, having last been a family home more than a decade before. So, within days of collecting the keys, despite snow and freezing weather, Tom Pike and team of five or so set to work on transforming the house back to a home.

Within months it was shiny, BRIGHT and spacious, and JUST what I had hoped for. We hit no major hidden disasters but there were many tricky unforeseen issues that I know would have floored other builders, or resulted in the price rising astronomically. Tom Pike addressed each obstacle with such a ‘can do’ approach that I was impressed and trusted him. We arrived at solutions together, he simplified problems, identifying ill-advised shortcuts proposed by the plans and came up with alternatives which were an improvement.

It became a joy to visit each night after work – seeing the house being resuscitated. Remnants of old kitchens were removed, bathrooms whisked out and solid groundwork put in place to accommodate new ones. All the trades and the whole project were managed really well to produce a wonderful end result. Having done a modest building project on a previous house, I was clear what I didn’t want to compromise on for the sake of cost, knowing it is harder to go back later. Job done, there is little I wish we’d done differently, the need for snagging post completion has been minimal and despite a battering by my kids and their numerous friends, the quality of the refurbishment is still more than evident over a year later. One happy customer!”