Recent domestic building jobs in pictures

We’ve finished off a number of lovely jobs in and around the Wokingham area recently and I’ve been out and about with my camera, so I thought it was about time I brought you a few photos of our workmanship.

First up is a loft conversion in Wokingham town centre. The challenge with this job was the staircase you can see in these pictures. Believe it or not, the stair manufacturer said it was impossible to supply and fit stairs for this job. We don’t believe in impossible! My background is in carpentry so I saw this as a nice challenge and opportunity to flex my carpentry muscles.

So, I custom made these stairs, building and fitting them onsite. It’s always difficult to get materials for custom-building stairs, because you don’t often have a reason to use 1” MDF (which is what you need for a solid string). Obviously, it’s imperative that you build in the fundamental strength of the structure. It wasn’t an easy job – we had to carry the materials up a ladder on outside of building! – but it was a really interesting challenge. I’m delighted with the finish (so is the client!) So much for “not possible”!

We were referred to this client initially by the architect who was commissioned to plan the loft conversion.

As well as custom-building the stairs to the loft, we knocked through from the client’s master bedroom to the back of the new staircase, creating a clever storage space and access area. We also did all the joist work, insulation and necessary support work. That was a mammoth task: we had to bolt the joists together then lift them all (a 200mm by 225mm solid block of timber, about 4.8m long), jack it up and rebuild the gable underneath. A very indepth job but extremely rewarding and the client is very happy.

We’re due back onsite this week to lay the floor, fit the bannister rail and spindles and finish everything off.

This next set of photos is from a job we worked on in Littlewick Green near Maidenhead. We were actually working on the property opposite when we noticed that this property here had a big crack running right through the lintel. The client commissioned us to fix it, so we set to work: we removed the brickwork above the limestone lintel, raised the lintel up as much as possible so it ran in line again and used a heli coil stitching kit (a stainless steel bar which gives more strength) and resin-bonded it into the grooves in the lintel as well as the mortar joints.

To get the lintel flat, we had to score the old lintel and render it all back to square so it looked as good as new. We made sure the finish was authentic and in keeping with the property by making sure the original plasterwork was matched. This is a beautiful old property in a gorgeous setting and we like to think we did a sensitive job which left the property repaired and strengthened but looking as if it hasn’t been altered.

We’d already been working at this domestic property in Sandhurst but these pictures show work we did to the stairs in the main entrance hallway. Three of the steps were at a strange angle and presented a trip hazard, and the client asked us to work on them to make them safer and more aesthetically pleasing.

We took three of the steps and risers out, removed the old knewl posts and string and replaced them with oak. We then rebuilt the bottom three treads and risers to make sure they were of equal height and matched what was already there. This was an awkward old job but – as with anything tricky – was really satisfying to do. As you can see, the finish is solid, clean and tidy. The steps now look great and are safe for this client and his young family, and the job has opened up the hallway really nicely.

After this stage of the job, we’ve moved onto plastering, redecoration and fitting of a beautiful oak handrail. As you can see, we had to retrofit the handrail into the ceiling by cutting a section and fixing it to the ceiling for a flat, clean finish which is in keeping with the rest of the hallway.

Recent domestic building jobs in pictures is a post from the Expert Builders blog.

The Expert Builders are K Design and Build, a small building firm based in Wokingham, Berkshire. See their main website here.

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