The Story of Dunino “The House By The Woods”

Dunino Cottages

Hello again…

We were delighted to receive a call out of the blue from our previous clients from the above property, it’s always nice to go back and see what’s been happening since we last worked with someone.  When T J Ross were first involved this delightful set of cottages was slowly being turned into a family home.  On this visit the children had ‘flown the nest’ and there were now grandchildren in the family!

We had a long chat about what the next phase for this property might be and initially they were thinking of making some simple changes to their external doors maybe a set of Bi-folding doors, and a front porch to house muddy boots and raincoats.  They also talked about a glazed conservatory to the kitchen in the future which had been on the wishlist for some time.

My initial thoughts was that extending from the kitchen would definitely give them the entertaining space they craved but instead of a run of the mill conservatory extension  maybe we could do something a little bit special – perhaps a more robust design and a dramatic colour.  I was inspired by a steading conversion/new build we had recently completed (a collaboration with our Construction Company MMR) which had featured this same contemporary vertical lining ‘board on board’ and looked absolutely stunning.

On return to the workshop and thoughts still on the ‘board on board’ design I sketched out some rough ideas for the ‘Garden Room’ and front Porch to present to the clients for consideration along with a sketch for a conservatory I had reluctantly drawn up (and secretly hoped they wouldn’t go for)!

The original sketches

After submitting my initial ideas to the clients, they asked me to further develop the Porch design so as to incorporate a seat/bench with storage for walking boots etc., and to design an extension off the kitchen with a glazed gable and a dual pitched roof and walls that had the board on board vertical lining and that incorporated glazing within the walls.

The Architects

We introduced our clients to Fife Architects, who took our initial designs and developed them to drawings that were submitted to the planning departments for consent.  A Structural Engineer was also brought in to the project.  We attended the various meetings along with our clients as the project moved forward, making changes here and there and problem solving as we needed to!

Dunino Porch sketch

Dunino Garden Room Sketch 1

Dunino Garden Room Sketch 2

Costing and Planning..

The clients were really becoming excited about the possibilities and asked us to prepare specification and budget costs for both the Porch and the Garden Room extension and asked if we could arrange to have these drawn up for application to the Planning Services/Building Standards Services with the view to gaining the two consents.

As you look at the finished project there are several elements to the designs that are very  T J Ross in character – the quirkiest little detail perhaps could be the ‘wany’ edged bench/shelf that appears to float as if unsupported to the front of the Porch!

Completion of the project in time for a summer family wedding

Although the schedule was unforgiving we were able to deal with all the additional works that had arisen throughout the project and still have the extensions completed and certified ready for the client’s big family day in the middle of July.  That weekend they were also blessed with wonderful weather and they and their guests were able to enjoy the whole space from the house into the garden.

The Dunino Story BLOG GRAPHIC

Dunino finished-2

For more information on T J Ross (Joiners) please telephone us on 01337 860318 or email: or visit us on the web







Beautiful cottage extension

T J Ross (Joiners) Ltd and their sister construction company MMR Ltd were given the following brief from their clients’…

“Now that our children have flown the nest, we want to make some alterations to our large cottage in East Fife to ensure it better suited to our new more relaxed lifestyle.  These alterations include a new porch to the front of the house, a conservatory with “lots of glass” at the back of the house plus a few other internal modifications.”

T J Ross – ideas factory!

Given the location, age of the property and mindful of the need to lessen the impact of any extension, Martin suggested a large substantial porch with a slate finished roof and timber lined external walls, as this would ensure that it blended in with the current look of the cottage (see initial rough sketches below),

MX-2700N_20140520_111736_2_i        MX-2700N_20140520_111600i

and act like a zone between the inside and the outside. Not only would this look better, this design would mean that it would be big enough to have an internal seat and storage space under the seat.  Here is the new porch.


How about a Garden Room…?

Whilst discussing the conservatory, the couple and Martin took a stroll around their beautiful back garden. Given the age of their property (circa late 1800’s), Martin again felt that a more substantial looking Garden Room with a slated/tiled roof and wide bi-fold doors and shaped screen over, would fulfil the requirement for ‘plenty of glass’, and be much more in-keeping with the look and feel of the property (see initial rough sketches below) better than a conservatory.


Creating a full width opening through the existing stone wall would allow the existing kitchen to blend into the new Garden Room – without it being an obvious extension.

This type of open plan extension would keep levels close to each other, allowing decking to be used as the transformation medium.  This means that the garden would ‘flow’ into the house as well as the house flow out into the garden. Martin also suggested that if they chose a more ‘substantial’ extension they could also add a wood burning stove into this area thus creating a lovely space to enjoy a lazy afternoon reading a book during the cold and frosty weather, as well as bringing the garden into the house during the summer.  Needless to say the clients are very happy!