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Pushy builders and massive project

(6 Posts)
teainteacher Mon 30-Nov-15 16:55:18

Hi guys,

I was hoping for some advice on our building project. We've got a basement the whole length of our house, and we're having the whole house underpinned and converting the basement into a flat/ extra storey on our house. Ultimately it will be part of our home and our kitchen and lounge will be down there. We're on a hill so it has access onto the garden, only one wall is against soil, the other is open to the garden.

Our builder is trying to get us to render the back section of the house as underpinning will look ugly from outside anyway. However the house is beautiful Victorian brick and I don't want it to ruin the effect of this. I'm not sure what I can do about this! What would you do?

The other thing is we will have doors off the kitchen and hallway (where the stairs come down) into the garden. He's trying to get us to have French doors in both as it will have the best 'symmetry'. He's not providing the doors, but creating the holes for them. I wanted a normal back door. Do you think French doors off the hallway is odd?

I've attached a picture of the back of the house and current floor plan if that helps explain!


Radiatorvalves Mon 30-Nov-15 17:11:26

Can you get a second opinion? Sounds odd. I certainly wouldn't render the house, but don't really understand what you mean about the stairs.

teainteacher Mon 30-Nov-15 18:06:08

They were the best on quote and seem to know what they're doing with the underpinning, which is the biggest concern. The stairs will be in the smallest room in the basement, and we will have a door from that room into the garden- more so the tenant has a way of getting in other than through the French doors in the kitchen. Although, if there are two sets of French doors that defeats the object.

yomellamoHelly Tue 01-Dec-15 19:18:32

Not sure about putting in a second door. Would depend on how light and bright the hallway is I think. Would definitely render up to the line of the existing paint. Also is there any way you can get rid of whatever is to the left of the back door?

RunRabbitRunRabbit Tue 01-Dec-15 19:25:34

Builders are not generally known for their eye for design.

You've thought through the door issue. Go with what you want.

As for the render, I'd get the job done without and decide when you see the finished result.

You have to live with it for years. He doesn't. Agree to disagree: you are the client, he does what you say.

OnePlanOnHouzz Wed 02-Dec-15 08:39:59

The extra pair of French doors will give more daylight into the area with stairs - so feel less gloomy going down into basement area - so personally I agree with the builder - and if it matches symmetrically too from outside that's a bonus too .
The original house design is symmetrical - so it's in keeping to keep that going IYSWIM .

If you are building out, as well as down, then if you render that part it will be acceptable as is obviously an addition ... But if your personal preference is brick ask for brick ! But only if you can get a REALLY good match - otherwise it can look terrible IMO !

( gritting teeth and preparing myself for the back lash !!! )

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