Case study


Grade II listed Apartment, Montpellier, Cheltenham 

A Client's perspective


Creating space, adding value

The top floor apartment we bought in May of 2017 was in the perfect location for us – right in the heart of Montpellier and in a splendid Listed Building. But the configuration was all wrong for what we really needed, and it needed a lot of work to realise its full potential.

We interviewed Guy along with several other people to see how they would approach the challenge and how much it would cost.

Guy’s approach was refreshingly honest and transparent: we agreed with his assessment that it would be hard to determine the final cost on such a complex project which might well evolve as we progressed and added further ideas, but he would cost each stage as it came along. We trusted him and asked him to go ahead.

One of the biggest drawbacks of the apartment was the tiny kitchen. Two of the bedrooms were also too small to be really usable, and there weren’t enough bathrooms. 

Guy’s approach was ingenious in taking down the partition walls (which had been added after the house was originally built) and reconfiguring most of the rooms: we now have three good-sized bedrooms, three bathrooms and a really large kitchen area as well as a spacious lounge. We also have underfloor heating - again making the very most of the space we have - and the beautiful but rather elderly sash windows have been faithfully restored.

We have a series of spaces which really fit our lifestyle and which fully maximise the area we had available. Guy has also respected the building’s heritage, even down to details such as fitting a period style “mirror TV” over the fireplace.

It’s been a big project, but Guy has kept us fully in the loop throughout on costs and the best ways to progress, and it’s been completed within a sensible timeframe too. Looking at the original price we paid for the apartment and what it would now command, the increase in its value has more than matched what we have spent.

We’re delighted.

Elaine Simmons, Montpellier, Cheltenham

Responsibilities of Over-see: 

  • Drawing up existing floor plans
  • New internal design layout adding an extra bedroom, 2 ensuite bathrooms, additional shower room, bigger kitchen
  • Submission of listed building application
  • Sourcing contractors
  • Project management:
    – trades;
    – suppliers;
    – day to day site management;
    – liaison with client nominated suppliers of kitchen and bathroom equipment, gas fired wood stove;
    – continuous liaison with client.
  • Work involved:
    – removal of modern partitions, radiators, existing bathroom suites and kitchen;
    – formation of new openings and partitions;
    – sash window refurbishment;
    – relocation of gas fired boiler, pressurised cylinder, new hot and cold supplies to all bathrooms and kitchen;
    – installation of underfloor heating system;
    – complete electrical refurbishment;
    – installation of cat6 network and av cabling, TVs and mirror TV;
    – kitchen installation;
    – installation of 2 ensuite bathrooms and shower room;
    – interior finishes – oak engineered boarding, marble and travertine tiling, carpets;
    – decoration.

Challenges: obtaining Listed Building Consent for all the works especially the underfloor heating and ensuring all work was sympathetic to the character of the Grade II listed building and approved accordingly.  Issues with HDMI cabling and moving the American style fridge freezer up two flights of stairs!
Duration: Preliminary work and planning 8 weeks, site work 16 weeks.
Fees: Hourly / daily rate

It’s been a big project, but Guy has kept us fully in the loop throughout. His approach has been refreshingly honest and transparent, while the solution he devised was ingenious – creating far more usable living space, and adding much more value to our property than our spend.
— Elaine Simmons, Montpellier, Cheltenham