Alterations, Additions and Making Good


An important part to most alterations, additions or making good is the quality of workmanship and the selection of materials. This is particularly important to junctions of new to old. If this work is not carried out satisfactorily then the impact can ruin the best of designs.

Good detailing, proper selection of materials, high quality specification and the employment of competent and experienced tradesmen and craftsmen coupled with regular inspection and supervision are essential ingredients of a successful outcome.

Selection and sourcing of materials is often difficult when it is intended to match existing. It is, however, sometimes possible to salvage and re-use materials from the parts of a building that are to be demolished. These should be carefully salvaged, cleaned and protected until used. If the areas to be demolished will not provide sufficient materials there may be more to be found in parts that are to be covered up. Be careful, though, not to prejudice any future work that may or should benefit from the original character.

In addition to the selection of materials which includes the jointing materials, the size type of joint needs to be carefully executed so as to match existing. Joint lines and bonding patterns need to be respected.

Where it is not possible or not intended to add to the existing with matching materials then consider changing the design of the junction detail to allow for a clear demarcation of differing materials.

Where the type of work discussed here is envisaged, specification details should be added to the application drawings including the source of materials.

It may, sometimes, be worth considering cleaning the existing building so that there is a better blend of old and new. However, inappropriate cleaning can cause irreversible damage so expert advice should always be sought.