A remodel or replace conundrum


Project Background

It is quite common for clients to start their home building project with the imponderable question of whether to remodel an existing house or knock it down and replace it. In this case we carried out an initial piece of work, taking the client’s brief, understanding the site and the planning parameters and assessing the two options for them.

The resulting report enables the client to evaluate the extent to which each option will deliver against their brief, how it sits against their available budget and what each will do for the ultimate value of the property.

Given they are living in Bedfordshire and the site being in Wiltshire, they also wanted a company who could work with them from the outset right the way through to completion.

The House

This is one of those projects where the site can be used to add to the interest and character of the design. It is elevated which provides opportunities to maximise the views. It slopes, which whilst adding cost can also be used to add interest and character.

The house will be a long-term family home and as such the clients are keen to ensure it fully encompasses their brief. It needs to have wow factor, have an area that will be the hub of family life and provide for relaxation and exercise.

A stunning oak framed glazed entrance hall gives access via stairs to the upper ground living area. Here, the large open plan kitchen, living and dining area will be the hub of family life with direct level access via glazed doors to the back garden.

Also, on the upper ground floor are two bedrooms, both with ensuite, a snug and utility room.

The lower ground floor accommodates two further bedrooms, both with walk in robe areas and ensuites, a cinema room and gym and an integrated double garage.

Externally the house will be built from the local stone with some horizontal timber cladding to break up the elevations.


From a planning perspective the site presented some challenges. The existing house had been extended over it’s lifetime which meant the planners were likely to be resistant to further increases in size. Fortunately, the plot came with planning permission to build an additional bungalow on a site in the garden.

We were able to make a case for a further increase on the size of the existing house and forgo the permission to develop the garden plot.

Because of the sensitivity of the site we opted to go through a pre planning application process. This enables us, in most cases, to enter in to a dialog with the planning officer and iron out any concerns they have before submitting a full planning application.

The planning application was submitted and we’re delighted to announce we got permission in May 2019.

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The Complete Oak Home offer something rather different, not oak frame manufacturers but oak frame experts who design & build oak frame homes. 


The one thing that has enabled us to progress is I believe finding a company that is prepared to partner with us from the very beginning and take us through planning, design/costing, tendering and build through to completion (or to any stage along the way). The Complete Oak Home offers us a way of achieving our dream by undertaking those tasks for us. 


We have both had a good look at the designs and we absolutely love them. It hugely exceeds our expectations and for this we are truly thankful of your superbly impressive work! We are so excited to think that this could be ours - you are very talented indeed.


To find out more about our client-led approach to design, have a read of our blog posts on bespoke architecture, designing from a blank canvas and our client lifestyle briefing process.

If you would like to speak to our Project Consultant, Alan Chilton-Bates, and have a FREE phone consultation about your project, please call 01249 479896.