• entries
    5
  • comments
    100
  • views
    790

Just what DO we want to build?

Sue B

2,684 views

I uploaded my draft floor plans a while ago and I have lived with them a while and am fairly content that they will meet our needs.

 

We have one elderly parent left  who we could easily argue needs to move in with us ( that is closer to the truth than I like to think about as it is my MIL not my own mum).  That gives us the need to a downstairs bedroom and en-suite.  Everything else is fairly normal but of reasonably generous proportions in line with most self builds. We hope to have a comfortable, energy efficient home that we can live in for as long as possible.  Our need to move as we get older and frailer will be more to do with the lane that we live on and our inability to get the 1 mile down the track to the nearest corner shop than the house with luck.  Low maintenance is a biggie for us of course - we have no wish to be doing regular maintenance as we get older.

 

We have appointed an architect technician to look at my floor plans and check that it is buildable but we have given them permission to come up with better ideas if they can.  The house will run from east to west - the longest wall faces south and I have planned an overhang from the floor above along the entire length of that wall to keep the ground floor cooler in the summer.  The only window I have planned on the first floor facing south is on the stair well.  The east and west balconies will again give shade to the bedroom windows hopefully helping to keep them cool in the summer aswell - a woman of my age needs no help at all to get to hot, especially overnight.

 

I've posted these plans before but as this thread is going to be all about the design i thought it would be a good starting point so that we can see the progression up to and including planning consent being granted (note the confindence in that sentence :) ).

 

My intention was to have a flat roof so the house would have a very modern look - all render and block like with maybe a little wood cladding as a feature to break up the render in a couple of places.  The architects are trying to talk me out of the flat roof as they believe we will struggle to get the plans approved as they are not in keeping with other houses in the area.  It's a bit hard to know what other houses they may consider as our nearest neighbours are horses on each side who do have stables but tend not to object to planning permission so long as they get a carrot or apple in payment.  Neither plot is likely to get planning appoval for a house in my lifetime (one side has tried and failed).  Very few plots down the lane have lawful houses on them but there are a few plots occuplied by one of more travelling caravans, most of which have enforcement notices served on them.  So finding what is "normal" is a little tricky.  The SSSI which we are close to is a hill that is home to a number of reptiles.  We have walked up the hill many times and you cannot see our house from anywhere on the hill, you can see the end of the plot, but not the house.

 

I understand that flat roofs have inherant issues that require careful detailing by good roofers - I have been reading @pocster's thread today to remind me of how badly things can go.  I don't like flat roofs.  However I like the look of PV panels even less but I know that I want them.  We have considered putting the PV panels in one of the paddocks on a ground mount system but the dogs love rompng up and down like idiots.  Having space for them to run was one of the big drivers for our move so filling up ground with panels is not something I want to do.  A flat roof to me would be the lesser of the two evils and it means I can have PV panels facing any direction that I want.  

 

So here are the opions I am seeking from the collective:

 

Is a flat roof a sensible compromise to allow PV panels to be hidden from my view?

Is it worth having PV panels facing east, south and west to get the optimum solar generation?

What limits are there on PV generation - I saw something today mentioning 4kw and not sure what dictates that?

I know we won't be getting the FIT tariff so is there anything stopping us going above the 4kw limit (if that is what it is) and just "wasting" the excess if that is possible so that we don't overload the network?

 

As you can probably tell, I know very little about PV but am reading whatever I can find.  I've been meaning to put this thread up for a while now and seeing @Russell griffiths post about solar panels reminded me to pull my finger out and ask the questions.

 

Thank you

Epson_12302018_194015.png

Epson_12302018_194112.png

  • Like 3


57 Comments


Recommended Comments



On 11/03/2019 at 20:08, Sue B said:

 Will be bathing under the stars 🙈🙈

 

Well, you have space for a sauna outside...

Share this comment


Link to comment
On 02/03/2019 at 11:55, Ferdinand said:

In that 1.5 acres, and if you are aspiring to be carried out in a box (being a little provocative again :ph34r:), then you have space and time to do something quite spectacular outside - in terms of establishing a treescape etc. That could be done even if you keep the pastures as pastures, bulbs in spring etc. It really is a lot of time.

 

Not quite Tarzan Towers, but potentially a joy to live in and watch.

 

F

 

 

 

Have I mentioned that Peter’s background is horticulture - he was an apprentice gardener when councils had a proper apprenticeship scheme and sent kids to college on day release doing city and guilds.  The garden and paddocks will be beautiful and the kitchen garden will be very productive.  The difficulty is that he (like a lot of men) won’t eat veg so it’s me that has to consume all the produce that he grows.  I’m still getting through the soup he made me last autumn - all neatly frozen in pot sizes portions ready for me to take to work.

Share this comment


Link to comment

OK @Sue B, back with a few more comments.

 

You speed of going for Full PP has caught me by surprise; I thought we were on a longer process ! 

 

However, a few thoughts

 

1 - I think it works, but there are a few things imo you may want to change - which gets a little harder if it is on a PP. However, you can adjust things during the process, or withdraw and resubmit, or use your "Free Go" to change some things.

 

2 - Watch out for things your architect just "likes" or adds for illustration that can suddenly become established and immovable aspects of your design.

 

One example here is that offset-hinged front door - those are seriously expensive and tend to get leaky later on. But a front door design may be a relevant planning matter, and could get hard-wired in. Possible ditto your other windows.

 

3 - You need to make sure that those overhands will properly protect what you want protecting. Needs an ambient solar model, and fed back into solar gain at key times of year, and whether it is acceptable.

 

4 - Like the stairs, but perhaps an alternative place for the stair window. IMO that would be better aligned with the 1st half landing such that it forms a window seat, and such that each step up the middle stairs makes that bit a window seat for a progressively smaller child. That will also give you a partial vista view from front-door -> turn the corner -> wow. Make it tall enough to stand in to clean.

 

The stair window as recommended will be a bastard to clean on the inside, if I am right - way up in the air above a flight of steps. You would have to stand on your horse like a circus.

 

5 - I think your other window positions may be improvable in relation to views outside etc, depending what you want. Perhaps reverse the positions of windows vs patio doors on the lounge, and make a smaller window to reduce solar heat from the S side?

 

6 - What is your chosen route into the house when you and the dogs are covered in horse-poo, such that the house stays clean? At the moment I can't see a back door through a utility or boot room, though something like a hot (or cold if you are hard) external shower may mitigate.

 

7 - I would look a little at upstairs layout and flow - eg the door to bed 2 could move nearer the bed to give a more practical sitting area on the landing (I would make that a study area with a desk).

 

8 - Detail - I would also arrange the downstairs shower and cloak, such that you can get an ensuite plus hall-loo in case anyone ever has to make that a permanent bedroom.

 

9 - You need easy access to the flat roof for maintenance. That is a large opening skylight somewhere which is safe and accessible. I would also fit a concealed loft ladder if possible. I would not put such an access where you fall down the stairs should you come down through it by slip or trip. Needs to be accessible to men carrying mucky materials with minimum traipsing.

 

10 - (Dons tin helmet). TBH it is likely to cost as much to adapt your design to Pocster's skylights as to install new ones. Make sure that they are what you want.

 

11 - Given your tight budget, you need a detailed financial model, projection, and optimisation before it is too late to change things easily.

 

12 - Given that it is a sugar cube, external finish needs careful thought. Are you a fan of painting, or do you want something else?

 

Ferdinand

 

 

Edited by Ferdinand

Share this comment


Link to comment

Thanks @Ferdinand

 

Now I have the picture of the new house in my head, I'm a girl on a mission!  Our local council is also in the middle of a merger.  Our planning is currently controlled by Christchurch but from 1st April we will come under the new authority of Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch.  It may backfire but we are hoping that in the confusion and turmoil, we stand more chance of getting PP through than normal.  I was complaining about a parking issue the other day and the explanation for no action was partly blamed on the re-organisation, but also on the fact that officers are all trying to take their annual leave before the end of the year, else they will  lose it - the end result is that resources are in even more short supply than normal.  It's worth giving it a go now just in case it helps.

 

The offset front door is going to be a fairly standard double front door - I'm pretty sure that when we get the samples through for pre-commencement bits they will be fine with that (hoping so anyway!)

 

I like the window seat idea and agree about the height issue and cleaning.  

 

I have ummed and ahhhed about the doors in the living room swapping with the window but decided eventually that I want to walk into the garden rather than down to the paddocks.

 

We currently have a shed / carport that has a dog shower and place for the blaster ( a powerful hairdryer that blows sand and other debris out of fur as well as drying them) when they get home from the beach.  In the plans that you haven't seen, we are replacing that structure with a new "garage" that will never see a car inside it.  Half of it will be my sewing room, the other half will be split between a shed and the dog shower etc.  It will also have room for a shower and toilet for people for when we have friends camping on our paddocks.  From there, we will walk into the back garden and into the kitchen.  The door will be openable from outside.

 

I realised last night that the door into the bedroom had not been moved - not sure if it will be a sofa or a desk in that landing area but it will tuck into the space that is currently obstructed by the doorway.

 

Peter wants access to the roof from inside, I don't want anything that is likely to increase the chance of a leak - we are in "discussion" about it along with the walk on rooflights.

 

I'll do the budget shortly and then start cutting bits out.  Luckily I don't have expensive taste when it comes to kitchens and bathrooms - B & Q level is fine for me.

 

I HATE painting so the render is going to be an all through render that just needs washing down every once in a while.

 

Thanks again Ferdinand - all good issues to query and work through in my head.

 

 

 

 

Share this comment


Link to comment

Summer of 2017 - photos of the paddock near the stable.  Our daughter wanted wild flowers for her wedding but she then brought the day forward from June to May due to another family wedding clashing.  The flowers looked beautiful on the original wedding day but were not out on the wet and wild day she actually got married on.

 

IMG_2122.JPG

IMG_2123.JPG

  • Like 3

Share this comment


Link to comment

A few revisions have been made and we are now on version 5 - we have got the floor area down to just under 200mexcluding balconies which brings us back into the just about affordable bracket.

image.thumb.png.b0d4161db98cd0a21b28720a1ae3012e.png

 

image.thumb.png.15c4baa645ad40135ca5a578537df677.png

 

From the Drive in looking at the front door

image.thumb.png.a1dcd75abe9ae4d9dc311379bcad5f08.png

 

From the South west corner of the garden

image.png.5e4ab0521f6d0f8005744dc38766b2d3.png

 

 From the east of the plot (stable end)

 

image.thumb.png.fe1518503f66f83f4ffd775e88e07e3b.png

 

 

Share this comment


Link to comment
1 hour ago, Sue B said:

A few revisions have been made and we are now on version 5 - we have got the floor area down to just under 200mexcluding balconies which brings us back into the just about affordable bracket.

image.thumb.png.b0d4161db98cd0a21b28720a1ae3012e.png

 

image.thumb.png.15c4baa645ad40135ca5a578537df677.png

 

From the Drive in looking at the front door

image.thumb.png.a1dcd75abe9ae4d9dc311379bcad5f08.png

 

From the South west corner of the garden

image.png.5e4ab0521f6d0f8005744dc38766b2d3.png

 

 From the east of the plot (stable end)

 

image.thumb.png.fe1518503f66f83f4ffd775e88e07e3b.png

 

 

That walk on glazing is affordable 😎😎😎😎😎

  • Haha 1

Share this comment


Link to comment

I could speculate on this by offering £3 and then waiting for @Sue B to have a hole in her roof when it is raining..

Share this comment


Link to comment
27 minutes ago, Sue B said:

Oh you’re a mean man 😂

And so the bidding war begins !

  • Haha 1

Share this comment


Link to comment
5 hours ago, Sue B said:

I could buy an umbrella from the pound shop - or 4.

 

If I bought it for the current bid and sold it to you for the price of 3 brollies I would still make nearly a 50% margin...

  • Thanks 1
  • Haha 1

Share this comment


Link to comment

Planning permission is in - I got the payment demand this morning at the same time as the email from the architect saying they had been submitted.  8 weeks of nailbiting now!

Share this comment


Link to comment
11 minutes ago, Sue B said:

Planning permission is in - I got the payment demand this morning at the same time as the email from the architect saying they had been submitted.  8 weeks of nailbiting now!

Good luck. Fingers crossed. Mine is due on June 11th.....

  • Like 1

Share this comment


Link to comment

So it took a few weeks for the planners to accept the planning permission (I didn’t realise the starting date was not the date they received it).  Original decision day was over 2 weeks ago.  We agreed to an extension as they were swamped.

We agreed to another extension last week on the condition that they would talk to us if there were any issues - that deadline was Monday.

Yesterday we get a call saying they are about to reject it due to the increase in floor area - the agent checks again that our previous (still valid) planning permission has a greater floor area than the plans were are submitting (and these plans have balconies which while they are included in the floor area, obviously have less impact if it was a building.  Our roof height is lower as well.

 

Hopefully it will be sorted today but the stress of this combined with trying to complete the timetable before tomorrow so that teachers can see what they are teaching and when they are teaching it before they go off on their holidays on Friday is getting to me.

  • Like 1

Share this comment


Link to comment
2 hours ago, Ferdinand said:

So .... we have you and the Council. Which is which?

 

last-great-act-of-defiance.jpg.cf2523abd0211df26364b95fc2695c36.jpg

You have got to be the eagle !!

Share this comment


Link to comment

Still no answer but I’ve had my head buried in year 13 lesson clashes today.   

The teacher that came to see me on Monday because he realised he was teaching a class that had .......... BOYS in it and he was demanding that it was changed, would probably say an Eagle would have been preferable to the fire breathing dragon he encountered.

Share this comment


Link to comment

New decision day agreed of 29th July.  

 

And the timetable is finished!!

  • Like 1

Share this comment


Link to comment

Decision day arrived and passed. 

 

So extension one agreed because cause they were busy.

 

Extension two agreed because they said the footprint and floor area were bigger that the planning permission that is currently in place - it wasn’t, this house is smaller and lower than the current planning permission.

 

They were about to reject the plans this time because the volume of the house is bigger (the current planning permission is for a chalet bungalow). 

 

So even though the footprint and height is smaller, they are moaning about the volume of the house.

 

We will find out by the end of the week what they say.  

 

I know now they are short staffed and under pressure but they use deadlines as the day they actually look at plans, it is sheer incompetence.

 

  • Like 1
  • Sad 1

Share this comment


Link to comment

Still waiting - apparently waiting for senior planner to return from holiday next week.  They understand that the similar property down the road for permission under non- determination and they are aware that the inspectorate were not at all bothered by the volume increase.  I can’t see why they wouldn’t pass it!

 

We wait another week

  • Like 1

Share this comment


Link to comment

Yesterday afternoon we decided to go for non-determination.  So it looks like a six month delay now before a decision is made.  Bloody incompetent planners 😡😡

  • Sad 1

Share this comment


Link to comment
26 minutes ago, Sue B said:

Yesterday afternoon we decided to go for non-determination.  So it looks like a six month delay now before a decision is made.

 

My planning decision is dragging on too. Sorely tempted to follow in your footsteps.

Share this comment


Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now