Wilmslow Conservation Area - A recent project.

At Arc Design Services we love a challenge so we thought we’d share a recent project which was one of the last remaining untouched properties in a Wilmslow conservation area.

We renovated the whole property from top to bottom including a two storey and single storey rear extension and loft conversion which helped to double the size of the existing house without compromising on the style of the building. Our comprehensive knowledge and experience of similar projects, alongside our local understanding and expertise meant that we could develop a design which modernised the property to the client’s specifications but respected the conservation area.

We also wanted to ensure that we maximised energy-efficiency in the new part of the home and included underfloor heating and insulated suspended floors as well as dry-lined internal walls. It was obviously important to maintain the heritage of the building which we did by blending the extension into the existing style. We also retained and re-used heritage steel windows wherever possible, with any new windows being the same style, but double-glazed for increased energy efficiency. A project of this nature required a dedicated project manager and separate site manager who, in collaboration with any subcontractors, dealt with any issues arising on a daily basis and who understood the importance of attention to detail required within a conservation area.


As with many projects of this nature, we had some challenges to overcome in order to meet the client brief. The client not only wanted to increase the footprint of the building, but to keep the downstairs completely open plan. This presented an obstacle with fire regulations, so we installed a fire curtain within the ceiling which only operates when the fire alarm sounds, and therefore protects the staircase to allow safe egress from upstairs. This completely negated the need for fire doors, while maintaining an uninterrupted downstairs space. The client is extremely happy with this solution which we felt was innovative and client focused as well as meeting safety requirements.

Of course, we also had to overcome the problems that Covid presented. This project started just over three months before the pandemic and despite this, the site was only closed for three weeks. We were able to work out how to continue the project in a Covid-safe way, maintaining social distancing and also overcoming the challenges of lack of materials within the supply chain. Despite these issues, the project was completed only a little behind the original schedule, which was testament to the site team working together to deliver the best solutions for our client.

As with any project we work on, energy-efficiency is critical, but with heritage projects there is a balance needed between maintaining original features, such as the single-glazed steel frame windows, and complying with building regulations. To compensate for heat loss through the original windows we dry lined the walls with 50mm insulation and added 100mm insulation to existing suspended timber floors. The new extension also had double glazed replica steel frame windows, all of which combined to make the house thermally efficient.

We’re delighted that we were able to transform this former family home, which has meant that instead of being a redevelopment opportunity, it has been kept within the family - all whilst maintaining the heritage of the building by using the highest quality design and build materials. We do this by going above and beyond expectations, and by making our client’s happy.

At Arc Design Services, we specialise in architectural design, and have expertise in conservation areas. With this in mind, Arc Design Services can help you navigate the challenges of upgrading your home. Contact our experts today at Arc Design Services at www.arcdesignservices.net or 0161 928 4433.

26a Victoria Road, Hale
Altrincham, Cheshire, WA15 9AD
United Kingdom