Houghton HouseHarston

A small, uninspiring plot with challenging constraints and poor orientation transformed into a desirable family home with basement that sold on the open market in excess of the asking price.


Our client, Houghton Homes, wanted to achieve a desirable 250m2 house on a small unattractive site, surrounded by residential dwellings and gardens. The accommodation was to include an open plan kitchen dining and family room, 4 bedrooms and a media room.

Key Challenges and Successes

  • In order to avoid overbearing of adjacent properties a low roof line was required.

  • This and the restrictions on footprint meant that we quickly concluded that the introduction of a basement was the only practical way of achieving the accommodation required.

  • The height of the water table created a challenge in both the design and construction of the basement. A double tanking system was designed with a sump pump linked to an alarm that rings you should there be a problem with pump failure. The excavations required de-watering throughout the basement construction.

Procurement Route

Concept Designs through to providing a costed working drawing package.

Service Provided

Traditional tender.

Design Process

We positioned the dwelling to the rear of the site to take full advantage of the south facing aspect. A small courtyard type area was designed behind the property.

The entrance hall opens out onto a dramatic staircase linking the three levels. Low level windows frame the courtyard garden beyond, creating a sense of light and drama.

Two bedrooms in the basement open out onto a lower courtyard area providing plenty of natural light.

The master bedroom incorporates a balcony overlooking the south facing garden. 

I have dealt with Gary Johns Architects since 2013, during which time they have provided my business with excellent design and service. Their most recent project for me included a basement which was very technical. Their work and design of this property was a major factor in it selling within 3 days of it going on the market in excess of the guide price. I can confidently recommend Gary Johns Architects as a solid and reliable practice, and experts in their field.

Get in touch

Want to discuss your upcoming project?