Transforming a derelict property into a cosy cottage

When Ernie and Maria Smith began looking for a home for their retirement, nothing seemed more fitting than the Grade II listed cottage that Maria had grown up in. Fuelled with fond memories, the couple went about renovating the derelict property into a home to enjoy.

The 17th Century cottage, in a rural village in Northamptonshire, was in need of total renovation. In addition, the Smiths also had to be considerate of the measures they could undertake to ensure the listed building’s heritage was maintained.

As part of the building works, Ernie and Maria extended the rear of the property with a brand new kitchen/diner and utility room, which matched the old cottage in both size and aesthetics.

“It was a lot of hard work to match the new extension with the old cottage; our aim was to make the extension a seamless addition to the original 17th Century building, but with modern measures to provide the ultimate in comfort,” says Ernie.

To bring the property into the 21st Century, creating a home that was energy efficient and sustainable was an important aspect of the renovation. Ernie and Maria chose solid floor underfloor heating supplied by Polypipe Underfloor Heating to deliver the optimum balance between comfort, performance and reliability.

Polypipe’s water-based solid floor underfloor heating is designed so that installers can complete each job quickly and easily. Panels and polybutylene pipes are laid on the floor above pre-installed insulation, but before the floor screed and flooring. Connecting simply to a home’s existing heating system, it can work in a house which is heated by radiators in other rooms, if required.

As well as installing underfloor heating, the Smiths fitted other energy efficiency measures in the property such cavity wall insulation. The couple also decided on a log burning stove, which worked alongside the underfloor heating in winter months.

The kitchen/diner extension has proved to be the heart of this family home. “Maria is thrilled with our kitchen. It’s light, airy and the underfloor heating makes it cosy yet great for the purse strings when our energy bills arrive,” concludes Ernie.

View all articles