We engaged Jem to design an extension to our 1825 cottage in Whiteparish, Wiltshire. This was to replace a very tired conservatory, which was clinging to the main building by its fingernails. The conservatory was of 1970’s design and construction and therefore almost impossible to use as a room; in winter it was too cold and in the summer it became the cottage’s sauna.
Jem visited us on site and spent a couple hours discussing the building options and listening to our requirements. We had decided very early on that there was no point in replacing the conservatory if it did not provide us with extra room and a space that we could enjoy our beautiful garden from (in all weathers). The design included a very useful separate boot room and toilet with a door leading out to the garden. The dinning/living space benefits from an open plan setting with a combination of sliding doors and French windows. Early on in our discussion with Jem he advised us that to allow more light into the living space we would benefit from velux windows with added light tunnels, all incorporated into a pitch slate roof, which snuggly fitted around the existing windows on the main cottage.
Jem put the whole project together, he drew up the plans, submitted the statutory Building Regulation application to Building Control, arranged a structural engineer to consider and work out the required structural calculations for the beam supports on the roof space and the thermal calculations Building Control required to take account of the amount of glazing required in the extension.
Having submitted the plans, Jem then helped us secure a builder providing us with the addresses of local builders to get quotes on the work required. Jem did not influence us in our decision over the builder in anyway. The builder we ended up with provided us with the most detailed break down of costs and felt ‘right’ for us; in the end he and his team did an amazing job.
Jem kept in close contact with all the building work being undertaken. He made regular visits to Whiteparish and was our voice of ‘reason’ in all things structural. He was able to give advice and being a craftsman himself understood what was required to sort out the various issues that manifested themselves during construction. He was also able to approve (for us) each payment as they became due, an important service that as a non-craftsman was very useful and provided confidence in the work being undertaken.
We are now using our extra space to full value; the Davis family has gone through a project from start to finish and now has a living space that is fit for purpose and in context with the rest of the cottage.
We could not have done this without Jem providing the services he did. Always professional, happy to discuss questions over design and never forcing us to consider things we did not require.We would recommend Jem to anyone considering home improvements. It seems like a long unchartered journey, but with Jem’s advice and expertise you can relax in knowing that he will provide the knowledge and knowhow to secure a successful project that will enhance your home for many years to come.
Thank you Jem, a job well done.~ Chris D, Whiteparish
Last year we applied for planning permission to have a free-standing, wooden car-port constructed in front of our house in Four Marks. We didn’t anticipate any problems as there were many precedents along our road and there were no objections filed against it.
However, the local planning authority refused on a number of incomprehensible grounds. We visited them for pre-planning advice and they were adamant that we were unlikely to get any structure passed unless it was radically different.
So, we enlisted Jem’s help. He drew up plans for an oak structure attached to the front of the house and a matching porch and took charge of the new planning application. This time the parish council did object but in spite of this he managed to get the required planning permission.
Now that it is complete many people have commented on how attractive it is and that it has improved the property. It has given a standard 1960s bungalow a more appealing, and uniquely rustic look. Thank-you Jem, we are no longer frightened of the notorious Four Marks winters of six-foot snow-drifts!~ Chris & Tim Player, Four Marks
Over the past decade, Jem Musselwhite has undertaken a variety of projects on our behalf. These are listed below. All works were complicated and substantial, made possible only with Mr Musselwhite’s dedication and expertise. He has always proved invaluable and thorough, with an extensive and detailed knowledge of design, planning and related subjects. I would have no hesitation in recommending his services to anyone requiring a professional capable of bringing even the most ambitious aspirations to fruition.~ Brian Shaw, Lockerley