Grand Designs

One of our residential projects made Grand Designs

December 17, 2018 News

JMS have been involved in many grand designs over the years, but it was our recent work on a Grade II listed residential property that saw us gracing the pages of Grand Designs magazine. Our structural engineering support allowed Charles Kennett of Staniforth Architects to complete the complex task of sympathetically refurbishing, extending and converting this historic property into a modern living space.

You may be familiar with the TV show Grand Designs, which is often filled with drama, setbacks and budget busting worries as a team try to create a dream home for somebody with deep pockets. And this was no different. From the moment Ronan and Sally Donohoe purchased the dilapidated three-storey detached property in 2015, to the day they finally moved in permanently 18 months later, the project went through many ups and downs. Fortunately, we were on hand to solve various unusual and challenging problems along the way.

Looking after history

Of course, as this building was Grade II listed, all work had to be carried out carefully and respectfully, under the watchful eyes of a conservation officer and a historic building consultant. Over the next 18 months, as plans progressed from the drawing board stage, there would be plenty of structural issues that were uncovered.

Our experience was called in to tackle problems that came up with the north gable and basement. Shallow brick foundations and unusual joists in the kitchen ceiling also caused some stress for the homeowners, who at times feared their grand designs would have to be abandoned. Our team are never ones to shirk from a challenge, however, and we were able to find ways around these potential setbacks.

Adding our mark

As well as being there to improve and secure the original structure, we also took on the challenge of creating a new addition to the property, with a single-story brick extension. To complete this task, the decision was made to remove a ‘sun room’, allowing the kitchen to become a bright, open-plan diner-style space.

We decided to keep the design for the extension understated. By using a traditional brickwork structure with large expanses of glazing, the form echoed the shape of the house. This created a contrast between the new area and the original building.

Inside, an attic conversion which added two new bedrooms and bathrooms was fitted, all in keeping with the rustic character of the building. A contemporary oak staircase was also constructed. Rooflights were placed to add a modern, bright and airy feel.

We’re proud that our work in restoring and updating such a design classic has been included in Grand Design magazine. The Donohoe’s never lost sight of the potential they saw in this 18th century building. From all at JMS, we hope the house brings them many years of happiness.

February 6, 2020 News

From student halls to designing halls with JMS degree placements

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January 30, 2020 News

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Nurturing and developing talented young people is ​one of the cores to our growth strategy as our expansion creates new skilled jobs throughout the UK. One of our rising stars, Megan Nicholson, began working with JMS aged just 15, when she joined the team during a work experience placement.  Four years on and Megan is now in the process of undertaking a degree as part of an apprenticeship she started in 2018. Continue Reading
January 22, 2020 News

JMS’ Jo Kingshott on building relationships with Hanson

The UK’s leading supplier of building materials, Hanson, rely on JMS to conduct regular structural inspections at each of their 300+ sites throughout the British Isles. It is our job to ensure their infrastructure is safe, secure, and in sound condition. Continue Reading