Let Loose in Lockdown

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Let Loose in Lockdown

It’s been a year since the UK went into its first national lockdown.  It’s been a year of changes that have affected all aspects of our lives.  We’ve gained and lost in so many ways, and in the process, hopefully learnt how to be better resilient.

It’s easy to reflect on the negatives but so much more important for us to recognise the positives.  For NBH, it’s been a year of change that now leads us to our 10th birthday year.

Last year we were one of the fortunate businesses that could continue operating through lockdown, albeit not at 100% capacity.  As such, we were able to focus on some projects that had been on the backburner.  One of these projects was the conversion of our own garage into a guest annexe/office. With planning permission already in place, we were able to progress with the build straightaway, and since it was a project for ourselves, I enjoyed the free reign I had with the design.

We were granted planning permission to create a two-storey structure allowing us to create office space upstairs with living space for visiting family downstairs. The exterior superstructure is traditional cavity skin blockwork with an off-white render and grey cladding external finish.  The scaffolding was provided by the newly established and well-respected Stobbs Scaffolding based in Truro.

I wanted the interior space to reflect our business as well as my Northern industrial roots. We chose exposed brickwork interior walls using reclaimed imperial bricks from Wigan, a stone’s throw away from my home town of Bolton (well, 12 miles apart).  These were supplied by Cawarden Brick & Tile Company based in Staffordshire.

To continue the industrial theme, we opted for exposed electrical conduit and light fittings, much to the grimace of our electrician – thankfully a friend too!  Anthracite windows finished with oak sleeper sills, and an aluminium bi-fold door complemented this further.  External windows and doors were supplied by Camel Glass & Joinery Ltd in Wadebridge.  The look was complete with a black contemporary log burner from Allen Valley – The Fire Place Ltd based in St Teath.

The exposed internal brickwork extends to parts of the first floor for continuity however, the main objective was to keep this area light and conducive for working. Velux windows and a large South-East facing window that expands the width and height of the room providing the natural light we were looking for.  And what could be more authentic than a 2m office desk made from scaffold boards and poles!

The essential bathroom and kitchenette were installed to ensure the annexe is self-contained and the project was complete.

I obviously relished selecting the interior furniture and fittings and strangely found a new love for the colour orange.  The only thing that’s left to do is to decide a name!

We love the end result and appreciate what everyone involved in this project has helped us to achieve, especially during uncertain times.  We definitely had some challenges but to our friends and family, to our suppliers and contractors who have now become closer friends – we thank you all!

Our Project Peeps and Suppliers:

Allen Clark, Steve Griffiths, Jack Moorhouse Hoyle, Mark Hann, Mitchell Hann, Steven Reynolds, Mark Sloggett, Harry Vosper

KA Groundworks SW, Jabez Concrete, Stroma Building Control, Merchant Carpentry, Syd Merchant, Stobbs Scaffolding, Pasquill Roof Trusses, West Country Slate Supplies, F30 Building Supplies, Cornish Fixings, Glebe Quarry Ltd, Camel Glass & Joinery Ltd, Cawarden Brick & Tile Company, Allen Valley – The Fire Place Limited,

Special thanks to Structural Services for working with, and adding to our ideas and Debbie Murrell for her photographs that have captured everything so beautifully!

We’ve already started on our next project, but more of that to come later ….