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Designing to suit your budget - renovations that are tailored for more than the space

Keeping that budget down leads to an innovative renovation.

NECESSITY IS THE mother of invention and nowhere can this be seen more than in a project with a limited budget.

This single-storey extension in Dublin by Jim Lawler of MeltedSnow Architects is an example of how restrictions – be they planning, size or budgetary – often lead to more creative and beautiful solutions.

Budget is always on the table in nearly every decision that has to be made. As an architect and project manager you’re trying to navigate that side of things as well as the design side.

Source: MeltedSnow Architects

The brief for this project was to take a dimly-lit badly designed suburban house and extend it for maximum space and light.

The client was looking to reconfigure the ground floor – there was a restriction there with the layout.

11_lakelands-2 Source: MeltedSnow Architects

While considering what the couple and their growing children needed, Jim was very aware that (as in most projects) the budget was restricted.

They wanted to consolidate the ground floor, open it out and maximise the potential of the site to the rear.

11_lakelands1-2 Source: MeltedSnow Archtiects

They considered the cost of having a two-storey extension but ultimately decided that their needs would be adequately covered by a one-storey extension and a reordering of the existing space.

There’s always that dynamic within a domestic project. Where you’re trying to maximise design, expression, bring as much light in, get value out of opening out of the back of the house against what you’re looking to spend on it.

11_lakelands1-3 Source: MeltedSnow Architects

There was something of a drop between the house level and the garden level, so Jim devised to have the extension step down to the garden level – and in the process created even higher ceilings in there. This led to a lighter, airier feeling to the ground floor as a whole.

To bring as much light in as possible there was a long linear light well over the kitchen and one over the extension to the side.

11_lakelands1-4 Source: MeltedSnow Architects

In keeping with the modern, uncluttered design of the space, the materials used on the exterior were cedar cladding with coloured plaster, and inside a restrained neutral palette to make the most of the floor to ceiling glazing. The kitchen floor is speckled black hard-wearing, long-lasting vinyl – great to have for growing kids.

See more of Melted Snow Architects’ work here

Read: Solar water heating – believe it or not, we have enough sun for it

Also: A teeny-tiny one bedroom is renovated to be absolutely massive

About the author:

Edel Corrigan

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