Portfolio

We have an extensive portfolio of varying types of projects and clients. We detail below several case studies which we hope will give you an insight into the type of work we undertake, however should you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact us.

Case Study 1 - Building design

New build detached dwelling

Our clients approached us to design a new build detached home on the site of their existing, somewhat dilapidated, dormer bungalow in Rotherham, South Yorkshire. The Bungalow sits in a large plot which is prominently located at the junction of two residential streets; as such, the design evolved to offer a dual aspect to the satisfaction of both the Client and the Planning Department and planning permission was granted.

The new property comprises an impressive two storey structure constructed from traditional materials and techniques in keeping with the aesthetics of the local area. It has a large basement and offers six spacious bedrooms, most with en-suite facilities and a large family room within the roof space. The property also has an attached indoor swimming pool with a sustainable green roof.

Although larger than the original bungalow it will replace, the new property will still benefit from open private gardens and the scale of the property and gardens are now much more balanced.

This new home is currently under construction and we hope to be able to keep readers updated on its progress.

Case Study 2 - Building design

Extensions to detached domestic dwelling

The owners of a detached property in a conservation area in Gainsborough, Lincolnshire instructed us to design an extension to their generous detached chalet style dormer bungalow. They wanted to take advantage of their property's location adjacent to open countryside and had very specific requirements that the new first floor bedroom should have a rearwards facing window that did just that. They also wanted to form an impressive entrance to their home as the existing layout lacked any clear definition in this respect.

We therefore designed a substantial two storey side extension with a large front doorway complete with a portico resulting in a clearly defined entrance as well as a more modest attached garage extension to the opposite side of the property. We were able to design an impressive 'Cathedral' style window to the first floor bedroom which offers interest to the rear elevation whilst maintaining and reflecting the character of the original building and fulfilling the client's brief in terms of the views that will be available over the low lying countryside. We also remodeled the interior of the dwelling to integrate the new spaces created by the extension.

The extensions are to be constructed from traditional materials to match the existing and to respect the aesthetics of the conservation area and the development is currently under construction.

Case Study 3 - Building design

New build Industrial Units

A local business owner approached us to design speculative new build industrial units on a plot of land in Sheffield, South Yorkshire. These were to take the form of a single storey steel portal frame structure forming six individual warehouse units, each with vehicle and personnel access doors and disabled W.C. facilities. The external spaces were designed to offer vehicle circulation and on site vehicle parking spaces. The challenge on this project was to fit the development into a confined plot.

The units were designed in a traditional warehouse style with brick dado walls and trapezoidal steel cladding to the upper walls and roof. Planning permission was successfully granted with the warehouses having been constructed accordingly.

Case Study 4 – Building and structural design and site investigations

Extension to domestic dwelling

Our client came to us looking for advice in connection with a proposed extension to their semi detached property located in Barnsley, South Yorkshire. The Clients were unsure if the project would be feasible due to the steeply-sloping site topography and potentially poor ground conditions.

We arranged for a site investigation exercise to be carried out at an early stage and having interpreted the results of that exercise, we recommended a foundation solution based upon "mini-piling" techniques. We subsequently designed a two storey side/rear extension that satisfied our client's desires for additional living space on a confined and sloping plot.

What our client had to say about us: -

"We wanted to extend our house, but being aware of its deep foundations were very concerned about the foundation design needed for any extension to it, and what, if anything was realistically and economically possible. Rather than taking the approach of having plans done with no consideration of foundations, with the downstream risk of unknown construction costs, we wanted a practice to work with that took a holistic approach to design something that was both practical and economical.

We chose Taylor Tuxford and Associates not only for their unique blend of structural and architectural design skills, but also they were approachable, helpful and friendly.

Rhys the structural engineer arranged for a mini site survey to check ground conditions, interpreted the results and discussed at length with us what was possible using a mini pile design for the foundations. Michelle then produced highly detailed architectural drawings taking into account all our living requirements. The drawings not only delighted us, but received extremely favourable reviews from builders who we approached to tender for the construction. "The best drawings we have ever had for an extension" said one.

Michelle and Rhys have provided us with an excellent professional and value for money service. We would thoroughly recommend Taylor Tuxford for anyone considering an extension."

Kind Regards
Karen and Dave

Case Study 5 – Surveying

Our Clients were considering the purchase of a dwelling, forming part of a Grade II Listed building. A section of the dwelling occupied the upper storeys of the front part of the building, above retail premises that were under separate ownership. Parts of the building were understood to date from the mid-18th Century.

Although generally in reasonable overall condition for its age, we were able to identify a number of isolated areas of defect that the Client had previously not been aware of, including:
  • Past attack of roof timbers by wood-boring insects
  • The presence of some surface finish materials that may contain asbestos
  • The need to prune/maintain a specimen tree close to the building to prevent root damage issues
  • We also identified general issues with the roof covering of the house and garage

What our client had to say about us: -

"We employed Taylor Tuxford in May 2011 to complete a structural survey on a property in South Yorkshire.

The cost of this structural survey was very competitive. From receipt of our (the purchasers) instruction, the timely process and level of detail in their final report was highly satisfactory. As a result of this specialist survey, we have identified some issues with the investment that we would not have been privy to even after numerous viewings.

We wish Rhys Taylor and his team continued success!

We would have no hesitation in using the services of Taylor Tuxford again."

Yours faithfully,
Frances Carroll

Case Study 6 - Party Wall Act / Boundary Dispute

We were instructed by the owners of a terraced house in South Yorkshire, to provide them with professional advice and assistance in regard to ongoing building works at the adjoining property and, which they were concerned may have an effect upon their own property. In particular, our Clients were concerned that the adjoining property owner's proposed works may potentially trespass onto their land and also, they were concerned that the works may cause instability to their own house and extension.

Following our initial site inspection, we were able to advise the Clients that the proposed works would not constitute a trespass; however, we also advised our Clients that the works already being carried out at the adjoining property fell subject to the Party Wall etc Act 1996.

We made contact with the owner of the adjoining property on behalf of our Clients and arranged to hold a site meeting to discuss all of our Clients' concerns.

By working with the adjoining property owner on our Clients' behalf, we were able to successfully negotiate a speedy outcome to the matter, not only protecting our Clients' property and interests and recovering fee costs for them, but also enabling the adjoining property owner to proceed with the extension project with the minimum of further unnecessary delay.

Case Study 7 – Expert Witness

We were instructed by the owner of a property in South Yorkshire who was being sued in the County Court by the owner of an adjoining property for the cost of rebuilding a boundary wall that had become unstable and had been demolished. Following an earlier hearing, the adjoining property owner had submitted an expert's report to the Court, which our Client was concerned did not present a fair reflection of the true circumstances of the matter.

We carried out an inspection of the wall and identified a number of detail respects in which in our professional opinion, the adjoining owner's expert's report was inadequate.

Due to the circumstances of this particular case, our Client was not allowed to have a second expert's report prepared for submission to the Court and so, our involvement was restricted to advising our Client on questioning the adjoining owner's expert and also, we gave our Client assistance in preparing a detailed Defendant's Statement to the Court.

With our assistance, our Client was able to point out to the Court a number of deficiencies in the other expert's report, with the end result that at the subsequent final Court hearing, our Client successfully defended the action brought by the adjoining owner.

What out Client had to say about us:-

"I would like to thank you very much for helping me winning my case against my neighbour.

At the first Court hearing, the Judge told me to share an engineer's report but I refused - because my neighbour had already instructed an engineer who had prepared a report - and I thought I was not going to dig my grave with my own hands.

So, I looked up for an engineer online and contacted Mr Taylor. I explained everything to him. He was very understanding and put questions to my neighbour's engineer about the report.

When I went to the second hearing, I knew that I had a better chance of winning this case. I was not wrong and at the hearing, the Judge saw immediately what had happened and decided that there was nothing there to sustain my neighbour's claim and he dismissed it.

I was relieved and very happy with the outcome.

I am very grateful to Mr Taylor, for if I did not approach him for his expertise, I am certain I would have lost the case.

I would gladly and sincerely recommend him to anyone who has a problem such as mine. I am certain he would do his very best and would go the extra mile as he did in my case"

(Client's name withheld, for confidentiality reasons)

Case Study 8 - Structural Design, Repairs to Non-Traditional Housing

Most of our structural surveying work relates to domestic properties of “traditional construction” – that is to say, built in traditional materials using traditional methods (brickwork, timber tiles, etc). However, there are a great many properties around the UK that were constructed using “non-traditional” materials and methods, especially in the period following the Second World War, when there was a perceived shortage not only of traditional materials, but also a shortage of the necessary skilled labour.

Many different individual building types were developed with primary structures in varying materials, including steel, concrete and timber frames, as well as precast concrete panel buildings and insitu concrete – sometimes referred to as “no-fines” concrete buildings.

We were approached in mid-2012 to give advice and assistance to several private householders on a large estate development in North Derbyshire that was built in the late 1940s using a steel-frame house type known as a “Trusteel MkII”. Structural inspections of a representative sample of the housing stock on the estate had identified significant structural corrosion of their steel structures, requiring detailed and expensive remedial works to be carried out in order to prolong the useful life of the properties.

The “Trusteel MkII” house comprises a framework of steel stanchions and rafters linked by floor beams. The stanchions/rafters are fabricated from thin section pressed steel in the form of a “lattice”, as may be seen in the images attached to this item, below. The steel frame is then clad externally in a single skin of facing brickwork, to give the external appearance of a “traditionally-built” two-storey house.

Taylor Tuxford Associates’ past experience of this house type has been that serious structural corrosion of the primary steel frame is in fact comparatively rare. In the case of this estate however, a local variation to the original construction detailing has caused the base of the main vertical stanchions to corrode, thereby potentially reducing the structural stability of the houses and effectively therefore, making them unsuitable for mortgage purposes.

Taylor Tuxford Associates, in conjunction with Les Turner General Builders of North Wingfield, jointly developed a system of galvanised steel repair brackets to restore the ability of the stanchions to transfer vertical and horizontal loads down to the foundations. After a few “teething” issues with the first batch of properties repaired in this way, the system has now developed into a cost effective, simple and straightforward method of restoring the structural stability of the properties.

One of Taylor Tuxford Associates’ satisfied clients on the estate in Clay Cross wrote to us to say: “I am very highly satisfied by the work and correspondence by your good self along with the construction work by Les Turner – many thanks”

Case Study 9 - Insurance Claim

Subsidence

We are occasionally instructed to provide advice and assistance to Clients whose properties have been affected by structural movement to the extent that they need to make a claim under the subsidence provisions of their buildings insurance policy.

In most cases, these claims progress smoothly to a satisfactory conclusion for the client concerned; however, we are receiving an increasing number of enquiries from clients whose Insurers have – through their appointed Loss Adjuster – either made an inadequate offer to repair the damage or in extreme cases, have rejected the claim altogether.

In this instance, we were initially asked to prepare a structural engineer’s report on the damage to our client’s property, which we advised had suffered clear structural movement due to subsidence of the front elevation and right hand corner of the house and we recommended that the matter should be referred to her Insurer. The Insurer’s Loss Adjuster initially rejected the claim as being due to “horizontal movement” (subsidence is generally due to vertical downwards movement). The client, not unreasonably, came back to us for further advice.

We re-inspected the property and confirmed that the Loss Adjuster was in our professional opinion incorrect in their judgment. We assisted the client to refer the matter back to the Loss Adjuster/Insurer, who eventually, agreed to carry out some monitoring over a period of several months. At the end of the monitoring period they did accept that the damage was due to subsidence and offered to carry out repairs.

Unfortunately, the extent of the repairs on offer was in our professional opinion inadequate to satisfactorily restore the structural integrity of the property to that which had pertained prior to the subsidence movement occurring.

We therefore further assisted the Client to make a formal complaint to her Insurers, but unfortunately, her Insurer’s response was not positive and so, we recommended our Client to refer the matter to the Insurance Ombudsman. The Ombudsman Service agreed fully with our structural engineer’s opinion in regard to the unsatisfactory nature of the proposed repairs and instructed the Insurer / Loss Adjuster to revise their proposed schedule of works accordingly.

This process has been a regrettably lengthy one – mostly due to the Insurer/ Loss Adjuster’s intransigence over the extent of the necessary repairs, but we are very pleased to say that the outcome in terms of the nature and extent of repairs to the property, has been a satisfactory one.

Our client Miss Burgin was kind enough to provide the following comments about our company’s services:-

“..I cannot recommend Taylor Tuxford’s services more highly. I have had the pleasure of working alongside Rhys for just over 2 years where his input has been crucial to my subsidence claim on my property.

My insurance company told me to appoint a structural surveyor to assess the damage to my home. I sourced this company from a website page and once I had spoken to Rhys I knew he was the man for the job!

Rhys was very professional and assured me it was subsidence; a report followed in a timely fashion to forward on to my insurance company. The insurance company stated that it was not subsidence and that I could not make a claim on my buildings insurance.

Rhys has fought my case with a vengeance and a passion for over 2 years believing in his professional opinion, proving the insurance company wrong. He has won my case and work is due to start in the summer.

I am without doubt that if it was not for Rhys I would still be living in my family home which would be subsiding without my knowledge, as I would have taken what the insurance company told me as a given.

When you buy your home it is the most expensive asset you will purchase therefore it is important that the professionals who are acting on your behalf have your best interests at heart.

Rhys has supported me along this bumpy road and I know I would not have carried on with my claim if it was not for Rhys guiding me along what could have been a very stressful time.

I feel that I have not only met a structural engineer but I have also gained a friend with a wicked sense of humour!!!

I really appreciate all your hard work Rhys - forever in your debt…”

Paula Burgin. April 2014.

 
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