Explore this stunning revamped Victorian terrace with timber and glass extensions

See how a timber and glass ground floor extension with matching loft conversion has transformed this traditional terraced property
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  • This three-bedroom home in East London was a typical traditional property with ‘good bones’. But it was still a far cry from the stunning revamped Victorian terrace that it had the potential to be.

    Originally, the impractical layout and dark rooms stifled the space and it was prone to overheating. The rooms in this real home were small, too – the main bathroom was on the ground floor, together with a third small bedroom.

    The owners, couple Erik Niemi and Rachel Williams, enlisted the help of architect Mike Tuck to help them transform their home. Here, Mike explains how he helped the couple redesign the layout.

    renovated victorian terrace with loft conversion and ground floor extension

    Image credit: Luca Piffaretti

    ‘During a collaborative design process,’ recalls Mike, ‘we proposed a bespoke, robust timber framed glass extension idea. This would offer shading to the windows, while allowing ambient light deep into the rooms.’

    The ground floor extension

    Image credit: Luca Piffaretti

    Now light floods into the ground floor space via the floor-to-ceiling windows and doors. A neat window seat idea sits below the large glazing, looking out onto the garden.

    ‘Large opening doors to the garden isn’t always the best solution to creating a comfortable and adaptable living space,’ explains Mike. ‘Often, a window seat or fixed glazing next to a set of doors can create more spaces to sit across throughout the colder months.’

    The kitchen

    contemporary kitchen with marble-topped island and two red upholstered chairs

    Image credit: Luca Piffaretti

    ‘The new kitchen now runs the width of the building,’ continues Mike, ‘rather than sharing space with the dining room’.  The kitchen – an IKEA hack – is made from birch plywood to keep the costs down.

    open plan kitchen and dining space filled with light

    Image credit: Luca Piffaretti

    On the ground floor, the pitched roof extension helps diffuse light even further into the room.

    The dining space

    glass extension dining room filled with light and mid century furniture

    Image credit: Luca Piffaretti

    ‘Meanwhile, the existing ground floor bathroom has been transformed into a loo and a utility room,’ explains Mike. ‘This sits next to the new extension which hosts a spacious dining area.’

    The loft extension

    loft bathroom with concrete sink white tiles and brass fittings

    Image credit: Luca Piffaretti

    The light and bright new loft extension now hosts two bedrooms and a bathroom. Erik and Rachel also had a bespoke concrete sink made for the new first floor bathroom.

    light and bright bedroom with large windows overlooking parkland

    Image credit: Luca Piffaretti

    ‘Each floor is now functional and well-lit,’ say Mike.  ‘Each of the floors have been designed so both the roof extension and ground floor addition are seen as a single piece of architecture.’

    The brand new loft addition features large window openings offering bright views and practical spaces for hosting friends and family.

    exterior view of a timber loft extension with a solid timber window

    Image credit: Luca Piffaretti

    The Siberian larch cladding and Douglas Fir timber used to make the loft and ground floor extensions store carbon helping to reduce emissions.

    Now, the couple’s revamped Victorian terrace is insulated to above Building Control requirements. Solar control glazing and passive ventilation systems prevent overheating in the summer months, too.

    Costing £142,000 in total, the result is a beautiful home that provides the couple with lots more light and living space.

    Before: the cramped Victorian terrace

    exterior of a classic victorian terrace before renovation

    Image credit: Luca Piffaretti

    Architect Mike Tuck shares his top tips and ideas on solar control glazing

    • Solar control glazing allows sunlight to pass through a window. This also reflects and absorbs the heat to help keep internal spaces cool.
    • It involves adding a pre-applied coating to the glass. This is ideal for south-facing windows and highly-glazed structures.
    • In the past, the colours available on Solar control glazing used to be limited to basic shades of silver, blue or brown. Now you can now get some good neutral colour coatings.
    • You should combine the position of windows on the inner face of a deep window reveal and solar control glazing to effectively prevent overheating.
    • The coating can help reduce cooling bills. It’s available in different levels depending on the needs of the property, and it does not require special maintenance.

    Original feature by Ifeoluwa Adedeji

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