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Perfect PLANNING

New planning rules meant Helen and Jonny Brown’s small extension project became a more comprehensive house renovation – with results that have delighted them both

Once Helen and Jonny Brown had decided to extend their Victorian terraced home in London, they went full throttle into finding an architect and discussing their ideas – and then completely changed what they set out to do. They were originally looking for a house to renovate, but this turned into a fruitless two-year search. “We had contemplated the possibility of doing up a really rundown property, but the one we found required significant amounts of work. This included adding insulation and a new roof, plus its beautiful, large single glazed windows needed replacing,” says Guy. “It would’ve been lovely to go ahead with it, but it was beyond our tolerance levels and budget.”

Unable to find anything suitable on the market, the couple turned to their current house in the Lambeth borough instead. They had lived there for five years when they began discussions with their architect, in September 2014, which meant they knew their home inside-out. During their time there, they’d put in a new kitchen and bathroom, and decorated various areas. However, lack of space in this terrace had become an issue now they had two children, Finlay and Lochie.

“The three bedrooms upstairs were fine for us,” says Helen. “But on the ground floor we were overrun with toys and the dark kitchen felt too cramped for us to enjoy.”

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About Build It

Inside the October edition of Build It magazine: - Smart Homes special: How tech can simplify your lifestyle - Beginner's guide to winning planning permission - Extension costs guide - Passivhaus: Does it make sense for eco renovations? - How to knock through walls & open up space - Building contracts explained - Underloor heating innovations ... and more!