Surrey Carpentry

Professional Carpentry & Joinery Service

The converted office, with new worktops and bookcases

The converted office, with new worktops and bookcases

Home Office Conversion – Worktops, Bookcases and Filing cabinet, Shalford, Surrey

Its always nice to bring new life to a room that when you first enter it, has a strange damp smell, no electricity, and very little appeal whatsoever. This was exactly the case when we converted a damp, dank and dark old scullery in a grade 2 listed building in Shalford, Surrey into a well spaced out, attractive and useable home office for the family.

The room was already equipped with worktops made of slate and granite, and planning control stipulated that they must remain where they were, and not be touched, even though they had seen better days.

To soften and warm up the room ready for office use, the solution was to clad the existing stone worktops in 25mm Oak-faced MDF, which would be much more pleasant for day to day use.

In addition to this, we installed bookcases with adjustable shelving throughout the room, maximising the useable storage space, and also a bespoke fitted filing drawer cabinet system, described in detail HERE.

Main existing slate worktop

Main existing slate worktop

Other existing slat worktops

Other existing slate worktops

Other existing slate worktops

Other existing slate worktops

First "L" shaped section of oak-faced MDF being fitted

First "L" shaped section of oak-faced MDF worktop being fitted

First "L" shaped section of oak-faced MDF being fitted

First "L" shaped section of oak-faced MDF worktop being fitted

First "L" shaped section of oak-faced MDF worktop being fitted

First "L" shaped section of oak-faced MDF worktop being fitted

First of all, we got the oak-faced MDF worktops fitted.

To do this we had to establish where the highest point of the unlevel existing slate worktops was, and use that as the datum level to which the new oak MDF worktops would be set. The necessary packers were cut and placed, and the new worktops were then cut and scribed into position. The first worktop was the main “L” shaped one, which was made of three peices, all biscuit jointed, glued, and wound together with worktop connectors, seen above.

"L" shaped worktop fitted, and being wedged down

"L" shaped worktop fitted, and being wedged down

"L" shaped worktop fitted

"L" shaped worktop fitted

Worktops 3 & 4, 3 being the top of the filing cabinet, and 4 on packers, above existing slate worktop

Worktops 3 & 4, 3 being the top of the filing cabinet, and 4 on packers, above existing slate worktop

Worktops 2, 3 and 4, came after this, in clockwise fashion. Worktop 2 was essentially the base of one of the alcove bookcases, worktop 3 was the top of the filing cabinet, and worktop 4, pictured above, went onto the last of the slate surfaces, and had to be packed up by approximately 50mm to bring it to the same level as the rest of the worktops.

Fitted bookcases

Fitted bookcases

Electricity meter cabinet

Electricity meter cabinet

Electricity meter cabinet

Electricity meter cabinet

Once all the worktops were fitted, we attached solid oak lipping to the front edge of the oak-faced mdf to conceal both the mdf core and the stone worktops beneath. Of course the lipping on worktop 4 had to be much larger that the rest of the worktops due to the extra 50mm packers between the stone and the new worktop.

The next stage was to fit the bookcases onto the new worktops. These were done in plain MDF. We scribed the sides into place and fixed a fluted trim to the front of them, which would conceal the gaps between the adjustable shelves and the sides of the bookcase.

Once they were cut to size and lipped with softwood for a better finish, the 25mm thick mdf adjustable shelves were placed on “Tonk” inset shelving strip, which allows increments of about 15mm in adjustment, so they are very versatile.

We also housed the electricity meter below the main worktop in a small cabinet to conceal it, this was also done in oak-faced MDF.

The finished oak worktop bookcase

The finished oak worktop and bookcase

Bookcase above worktop 3 and filing cabinet

Bookcase above worktop 3 and filing cabinet

Bookcase above "L" shaped main worktop

Bookcase above "L" shaped main worktop

Bookcase on worktop 4, with its solid oak cornice, and side fluting

Bookcase on worktop 4, with its solid oak cornice, and side fluting

Finally the solid oak cornice was fitted to the bookcase above worktop 4, and it really put the finishing touch to the job. The reason you now see all the books and items already on the shelves is that we planned for the painters to come and paint the plain MDF parts of the job before we came back to fit the cornice, which took a little longer to get hold of from Mayford Joinery, Mayford, as they were quite busy at the time.

In this picture, you can also see the routed fluting down the side of the bookcase, which was the same on all the other bookcases.

All in all, this job was a great deal of work, but as always, it’s great to stand back and enjoy the result.

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