Home Property Features Bringing the outside in…

Bringing the outside in…


An extension project in Julianstown

McKevitt King are an architectural practice with an exciting future ahead due to the company directors James McKevitt and Adrian King having rather unique designs and ideas when it comes to new builds, renovation projects and extensions.

One of their most recent extension projects was that of a living room extension to rear of  house set in a terraced hard & soft landscape in Julianstown in County Meath.

Here, James McKevitt talks to us about the project…

“The home owners had a small sun room at the back of their house and it was the classic case of too hot in the summer, too cold in the winter and it was stopping the light getting into the kitchen and dining area,” said James McKevitt.

“Our brief was to make that space more useable and bring light into the area. This old sun room had become a dumping ground for kids stuff and they (the home owners) weren’t really using the space.

“We designed the extension very much as a pavilion  and apart from trying to bring light in to the existing house, it was about creating a space that the family would use because they are a couple that like to sit down with their children in the evening and watch some television and catch up with them. It was also important that we created a space that they could use in the summer or winter,” added Mr McKevitt.

The tall pace is filled with light from the wrap around glazing and the clear storey windows above. The glazed walls slide back to open out and connect with the patio. A deep zinc & cedar clad overhang provides shade in the high summer months, and also creates a strong architectural feature. Through a clever design solution, the roof is cantilevered to create a lightweight effect.

“The clients didn’t really use the back of the house before, there is quite a change in level from the back of the site to the front so the house behind them quite elevated so because of that they had this split level garden where they had a patio area and they had to climb up to get to the garden so it was a bit disjointed,” he explained.

“A part of the brief then was to make better use of that space so part of our design then included working on this terraced area and garden. There is a very strong visual link from the extension out to the terraced space and planting.

“We also created this large practical patio space from the point of view of being able to go out and dine on it and the kids would be able to go out and play on it,” imparted James.

“The materials we used were incredibly important too. The staining we used on the cedar brings great character out in the timber and it makes it really bright and vibrant. We used a Reynaers window system and as not everyone does them we went with DK Windows and their system works fantastically,” he added.

Throughout the project, the brief did change and James also added on a garage building to the side of the house which provided a utility space as well as a store for laundry.

“There was a big transformation to this house and we also plastered the back of the house, painted it and we changed some gutters, downpipes and windows. There was work done to the front of the house as well where they repaved and so on,” enthused Mr McKevitt.

The project took was on site for almost six months with no problems encountered throughout the building process.

“We had a fantastic contractor and sub-contractors on the job and that’s why it went as smoothly as it did. There was a great atmosphere on the job and we also had a great relationship with the home owners and they love their home,” added James.

In terms of words of wisdom James has for anyone who may be contemplating an extension project or who are about to embark on an extension project?
“Don’t get totally consumed by the value that an extension or renovation is going to bring to the house because you’re not going to see the return of the money that you’ve spent on the house if you were to sell it on. You have to be selfish and put a value on your comfort and quality of life,” concluded James McKevitt.