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Developing an Old Picture Framing Studio

Updated: Nov 6, 2019

One of our own projects that we have just started work on is a conversion of a former picture framing business into two residential flats. We actually acquired this site some time ago, which also contained four flats that were uninhabitable and in desperate need of renovation. Phase 1 of the project was to renovate and modernise the four flats at the front of the site and that phase is now complete with all the flats fully tenanted within weeks of hitting the market thanks to the efforts of our Lettings team at No1 Rooms.


Phase 2 of the project is what we will see transpire through the blog. Before we jump into the work, the below gallery shows the Studio the day we took over the ownership.

Planning was granted to convert the building into two flats, with the first port of call being to demolish the sloped roof part of the building which could not be converted for residential use and needed to be removed. The building that remained was stripped back to brick and the ceilings removed due them being old timber not suitable for residential properties. The staircase was also removed, as the new plans for the flats included access to the upstairs flat via an external staircase to maximise the space inside.

Following the demolition of the building, the area this was located in at the side of the remaining building was prepared for its new purpose, a tarmac parking area and gravelled amenity area for the residents of the flats. This composed of breaking up the remaining concrete floor, clearing this away and laying in total 20 tonnes of stone in preparation for the tarmacing and landscaping which will take place at the end of the project.


There was a surprise in store when breaking up the floor which can be the case when digging underground, with a large hole being found! After doing a bit of research, it appears the building had a former life as a mechanics garage and this was the repair pit. Luckily no machinery or person ended up down there and we filled and secured the area before proceeding with the job.

A new fence was installed to complete the exterior work for the time being, before the focus was taken indoors and to the flats themselves.

Back to the building itself, new windows and doors were fitted and the decorators started work on painting the externals and giving the tired building a new look.

Inside, the stud work was built up to create the internal layout with the first fixes of plumbing and electric going in. Alongside this, the property needed the adequate sound and heat insulation for residential building standards, so this was installed as the stud work went up.

There was still work to be doing outside, as the mains electric and water meters were exposed on the outside of the building and needed to be sheltered to the water and electricity boards satisfaction. This meant a brick enclosure building needed to be built round them and signed off with approval. The stages of development can be seen below.

As mentioned earlier, access to the upstairs flat is to be provided by an external staircase, so we had a bespoke staircase made and installed.

With all the stud work and first fixes complete inside, it was time to get the plastering team in with the flats really starting to take shape. This is where we arrive at today, with the plasterers working away.


This project is moving along at a good rate, and it won't be too long until the finished project can be viewed on the blog!

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