Modernising Letchworth's older homes

Russell Kirby's picture

As part of our ongoing work to modernise and improve the energy efficiency of some of the town’s older properties, our property and landscaping teams have been working together to update a property on the historic Glebe Road. David Ames tells us more about the project…

The aim of the project was to renovate the house, improve its efficiency and make it into a comfortable living space while still protecting its historic characteristics, before renting it out to a local family.

One of the main changes was the addition of new energy efficient windows in keeping with the style of the home. These are the same windows used on the Eco Home project last year. The old UPVC front door has also been replaced with something more fitting to the style of the home, while also remaining equally as efficient.

Other changes to the property included the installation of a new energy efficient boiler, as well as a complete redecoration of the interior to freshen up the house. The exterior was also repainted and the gutters cleared of debris.

The work continued outside with a makeover of the garden areas. One of the key elements of the design was to reduce the 100% concrete hardstanding and ensure that a minimum of 50% of the front garden was ‘soft’ space, meaning a garden or planted area. This is something that is required in our Design Principles and the team wanted to show that you can have space for a parking bay while still having an attractive garden.

The driveway is a permeable surface, which combined with the surrounding garden area, allows water to drain into the ground and prevent rain run-off into the road and potential flooding.

The planting in the gardens was designed to be low maintenance, wildlife friendly, attractive, diverse and colourful. The plants were chosen to have a longer flowering period to give pollinators, especially bees, the food sources they require throughout the year. This also has the knock-on effect of keeping the garden looking more attractive for longer.

The garden was finished with a large feature tree, a rowan, which provides flowers in spring for the bees, berries in the autumn for the birds and autumn colour in the garden for everyone else.

Following the works, the family have now settled into their new home which really stands out as an example of how to renovate traditional Letchworth properties.

You can visit our website for more information on making the most of your garden or you can learn more about requirements for hardstanding and other requirements when altering you home in our Design Principles.