All posts tagged as custom build

19 Feb


In Misc by Pete Tonks / February 19, 2015 / 0 Comments

It was my great pleasure last year to receive a design commission from one of my favourite people in the industry, an all round top man by the name of Mr Jason Orme, Editor at Homebuilding and Renovating Magazine.


Jason and I have known each other for many years and have enjoyed sharing our experiences and knowledge through our work with the magazine and fleeting 10 minute meetings at the exhibitions…

Jason came to me as we had a shared vision for this proposed contemporary makeover on a 60’s house he had bought with his family. The existing house is cool but not real cool…..

Our vision for the project is to take what is good about the current building such as the horizontal emphasis to architectural form and then blend this with more contemporary additions and fusions..

Here are some images of the current house and also the concepts we have put forwards as part of our pre-application work. The site does lie within the Conservation Area so this is the best way to proceed initially.




Existing House


Here are the before and after proposals for the floor layouts…..





And here are the existing elevations and concepts for remodel




The existing front elevation


The proposed remodelled front elevation


An overview of all remodelled elevations….


Loving the real 60’s/70’s flavour on this one now… but it still resonates with architecture of today and has the exactly the feel i was after..

And here is some of our inspiration…..



Lets see what happens with this one…. thanks for the opportunity J! 🙂




24 Sep


In Misc by Pete Tonks / September 24, 2014 / 0 Comments









I have been approached by our good friends at True North to see if I have any clients past, present or future who would like to be involved with series 3 which is currently in the planning stage.

The current series 2 started a couple of weeks ago and is hosted by the thoroughly decent Charlie Luxton.

A project i designed in Hertfordshire was the first programme of series 1 and i also have some clients down in Surrey who are being filmed at the moment.

If you would like to be featured pleased do let me know and i will have a chat with True North and make the necessary introductions. If you would like a completed project featured as the inspiration house, this would typically be fully completed, landscaped etc. If you would like your whole build project to be featured then i can make the necessary introductions at the very earliest stage possible even if you have only just secured your plot. From speaking to my other clients who have been featured, they did say its a great catalog and memento of their probably once in a lifetime project.



02 Sep


In Misc by Pete Tonks / September 2, 2014 / 0 Comments




Good news this morning as we have achieved the national recognition of submitting fully digital online planning applications through the government central hub, The Planning Portal. As such we are now champions apparently! 🙂

We have been working with the portal since its inception and have tweaked and refined how we prepare and submit our applications to ensure they meet the relevant criteria.

Bearing in mind most of my work is produced freehand, this has at times been testing but the product we now produce not only meets with our clients agreement but it is also satisfying to receive approval for our work from central government.

This does not mean the end of the road in terms of our submission approach though as there are further enhancements planned for the near future.



23 Jun


In Misc by Pete Tonks / June 23, 2014 / 0 Comments

We had a great end to the week last week when this scheme was approved!

This was once again a very ambitious proposal and ‘word on the street’ according to various local sources was that we didn’t stand a chance. Well, you know me by now…. if i hear something like that i am definitely gonna give it a crack and prove them wrong….

I met these clients only at the end of last year so the process has been pretty swift to be fair. The site itself is elevated facing the village green of a sleepy Buckinghamshire village, it has a Grade II listed house directly opposite and is within  the Aylesbury Vale District Council Conservation Area. Now, AVDC do have a reputation for being pretty tough but i think this is a little unfair in my opinion. What i think they do have is high standards when it comes to the design and integration of new dwellings into established environments. Something they would expect even more so within a Conservation Area.

We did a good pre-application process with AVDC and worked closely with the planning officer and conservation officer and between us, we collectively shaped the scheme to ensure the clients are happy with with it as well as the council.  We had a few concerns from neighbours and also the parish council, but again, with good communication flowing between everyone and the design decisions being made here, we got it spot on for everyone.

What we did ultimately achieve with this project is a two storey dwelling  as a replacement to a bungalow which most people considered impossible, especially in such a sensitive location. How we got it is down to a number of reasons but one of the key factors was the the fact that both the planning officer and conservation got what we were doing and what i stand for as a house designer. They concluded within their reports that the removal of the existing bungalow and the construction of this new dwelling would present an opportunity to enhance the conservation area.

This is the existing dwelling on the site.


And this is the replacement dwelling all approved and ready to go…!

bucks house

Massive congratulations to our lovely clients,.. i know they are going to be very happy in their new family home.


03 Jun


In Blog by Pete Tonks / June 3, 2014 / 0 Comments

Well, this is what its all about really….. 🙂

I had these photos sent through the other day from clients i designed and got planning for last year in lovely Buckinghamshire and i think they like the house now the oak frame has gone up… big smiles is what its all about.


This was a real toughie too.. the existing dwelling which we wanted to demolish because it was basically knackered sat in the Green Belt and in a Conservation Area so was always gonna be a fight.

We had to negotiate hard with the notoriously difficult Chiltern District Council and after a few design progressions and liaison with the planners we did get a result. More importantly, we got a result which hits the spot on every level for all members of the family and could easily be their lifetime home….

Some great shots of the Oakwrights frame and erection team too!








21 May


In Misc by Pete Tonks / May 21, 2014 / 0 Comments

Nice little result today….. we got planning for our clients for a replacement dwelling in a beautiful Cambridgeshire village not too far from my studio. We like the local ones 😉

I took the job on last year and it took around 2-3 months for the design process and then we submitted the application to South Cambs DC. The planning was always gonna be a toughie and it has taken longer than normal with the council for various reasons but we worked with them continously throughout and negotiated our position nicely to get to where we are today… a planning approval! Happy days…

So why was it a toughie? Well, the site itself is slap bang in the middle of the village Conservation Area where demolition is normally resisted. Furthermore, the plot is surrounded by Grade II listed buildings. These are some really good looking houses and cottages though and provided inspiration for my design. They have been there for hundreds of years and its a little humbling but also something that makes me very proud to think that my designed projects will be around for the next few hundred… Anyway,,.. yes, it was gonna be a toughie but we did have our very good reasons for wanting to demolish the existing dwelling.. that reason being….? It was beyond even being an ugly duckling! It was a 60’s/70’s box that was trying its damned hardest to be cool and modernist but failing miserably on pretty much every front… how did it even get built in the first place was my initial thought but its well documented that residential architecture went off on its own cosmic path during the 60’s and 70’s and it just “kinda happened that way,.. man” So here is the existing…



And here is the approved design in blue compared to the existing footprint in red so we have got a decent increase too.


And a section through the dwelling just to check it all works.


And the approved design which is clasically Cambridgeshire village. Everything i love. Its simple but quirky and has that immediate Cambridgeshire vernacular feel.


So job done on this one…. great site, great clients and a planning approval. They can go off and do the fun bit now…