We hired an architect and he drew plans

Thorfun

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Once we'd exchanged on the bungalow we knew that completion would happen and so we didn't waste any time in interviewing and hiring an architect. We got 3 different architects to come round to see us (it was supposed to be 4 but the 4th didn't seem to be interested as after I phoned and left a message with details as to what we wanted I got a voicemail back saying he'd received a message about an extension or something rather than the complete demolition and self-build we're doing! it goes without saying that I didn't call him back). 

 

All 3 came to site to have a look around and for us to get a feeling if we'd be able to work with them. we then got quotes and all were pretty similar but we chose the chap we thought we'd most like to work with. After an initial consultation he came up with a few sketches which we were completely not what we wanted and we also questioned as to whether he even listened to us at the initial meeting. We were thinking of phoning around and trying other architects but we went for a meeting and explained how we felt and he said, no worries I'm never going to get it right first time and we took aspects from each of the sketches and discussed it all and now we have final plans that we absolutely love!

 

My mum is getting on in years and she lives alone about a 50 minute drive from us and so I broached the subject of her coming to live with us which she loved the idea of. I thought it'd be great for her to be able to see her Grandchildren every day and also meant I could be near if/when she needed help with something as otherwise it would be about 3hrs out of my already busy life to pop and see her to fix her computer or put up a shelf or do whatever! so this would be a win-win for both of us.

 

So the architect has designed in an annexe to the main house for my mum to live in which keeps her separate so she has a semblance of independent living but as her health declines I am nearby if required.

 

Anyway, on to the plans...here is the site plan

 

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and the elevations

 

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we love what the architect has come up with. loads of glass and a fabulous entrance and full height hallway and windows that go from the floor (although the quotes from the window companies are pretty high and, in some cases, are about the same as the timber frame!).

 

We also decided to go with Shou Sugi Ban larch cladding (https://shousugiban.co.uk/range/charred-larch-cladding/ - the Takage style of charring) for the main building with standard larch on the single story parts and entrance to contrast the black. it would seem that we have expensive tastes, but as this is the forever home we're willing to spend more to make it right so we don't have to do this all over again.

 

All we can do now is hope that the planning officer loves it and signs off on it!

 

Forgot to mention that we built a scale model of the house (not including the basement), plot and surrounding trees and hedges. it was fun to do!

 

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I don't understand your drainage.

 

You show a new treatment plant by the entrance.  It would not be allowed that close to the road and a watercourse in Scotland, check the English regs?

 

Where will it discharge to?

 

you mention the old "treatment plant"  is that really a treatment plant or a septic tank?  Where does that discharge to?  Why not keep that and use it for the new house?

 

 

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1 minute ago, ProDave said:

I don't understand your drainage.

 

You show a new treatment plant by the entrance.  It would not be allowed that close to the road and a watercourse in Scotland, check the English regs?

 

Where will it discharge to?

 

you mention the old "treatment plant"  is that really a treatment plant or a septic tank?  Where does that discharge to?  Why not keep that and use it for the new house?

 

 

 

there is a ditch next to the road where the existing Klargester discharges to so we're working on the assumption that we can also do the same with the new treatment plant in accordance with the new rules that have come in to effect. We can't use the existing one (or rather don't want to) as we're currently using it for the existing bungalow so running new pipes to it before demolishing the existing property would be a nightmare, it's a long way from the new proposed building, it's also currently sited in what will be our back garden so would rather not have it there.

 

hope that makes sense!

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Just check the regulations to ensure it's location is acceptable (it would not be in Scotland)  And you will need to get a new discharge permit for it from the Environment Agency.  That will all be part of the building control process.

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Just now, ProDave said:

Just check the regulations to ensure it's location is acceptable (it would not be in Scotland)  And you will need to get a new discharge permit for it from the Environment Agency.  That will all be part of the building control process.

thanks for the advice.

the architect said it will comply with the regulations so I have to trust him on that. I'm confident all will be well. maybe a little naive but only time will tell. I have so much other stuff to research that I have to leave some of it up to the professionals, although I'm sure I will get to treatment plants at some point soon.

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FWIW, we had to get a special dispensation to place our treatment plant in a similar location, discharging to the stream alongside the lane.  We couldn't easily comply with the requirement in Part H for it to be at least 10m away from any habitable building and be 10m away from any watercourse, as there just wasn't enough space on the plot to allow this.  I negotiated with building control and the EA, and eventually received an agreement that siting the plant as far away from the house as practical took precedence over siting it at least 10m away from the watercourse it discharges to.  Took a bit of negotiation, but things turned out OK in the end.  The planners weren't the slightest bit interested in where the plant went, probably because they just viewed it as an issue for building control and the EA.

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thanks Jeremy. didn't know the 10m from the watercourse rule, but we do have the space so we could, in theory, move it further from the ditch if required although that might put it within 9m of the ancient woodland and we might have issues with roots. 

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6 minutes ago, Thorfun said:

thanks Jeremy. didn't know the 10m from the watercourse rule, but we do have the space so we could, in theory, move it further from the ditch if required although that might put it within 9m of the ancient woodland and we might have issues with roots. 

 

 

Probably worth talking to the EA before going too far.  They will have to issue a licence to discharge, and will need some basic information to do that, like assurance that the watercourse used flows all year around (they won't allow discharge to a dry ditch now) and a few other fairly simple requirements.  I found the EA easy to deal with, they issued us with a licence to discharge the same day that I applied, after I'd just emailed them answers to all their questions.  Building control will have to approve the position of the treatment plant, too, but my experience was that building control here were happy to be subservient to the EA requirements when it came to the proximity to the watercourse aspect in Part H.

 

 

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Yes even here in Scotland (where SEPA seem harder to get agreement from than the EA) a neigbour got permission to site a treatment plant closer to the burn as there was not physically room on the plot to meet all the distances.

 

For SEPA I had to measure the flow rate in low water conditions to satisfy them of the dilution rate. Easily done with a temporary V notch weir which since it only had to survive a very short time, I made from a sheet of OSB.

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I am in the process of sorting this out on my site and received confirmation from the EA that you don’t need have to have a permit to discharge from them if you can meet the general binding rules and get building regulations approval. If you believe you can’t meet the rules, then yes you will need a permit. 

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Looks great - two comments:

 

I am a big basement fan and against all advice (architect etc) we incorporated one into our new build and it's a great space. So open offer to pick my brains along with other here who have done similar. I will say that the basement footprint is not clear from your drawings - getting that right can have a big impact on cost.

 

That glazing looks great but cost aside, have you modelled the impact on overheating?

 

Even if you dot aspire to passive or SAP A levels of insulation and airtightness, a well build structure to even the minimum standards can still massively overheat in spring, summer & autumn. 

 

Before you get too deep into planning, make sure the house will be comfortable to live in!

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24 minutes ago, tommyt said:

I am in the process of sorting this out on my site and received confirmation from the EA that you don’t need have to have a permit to discharge from them if you can meet the general binding rules and get building regulations approval. If you believe you can’t meet the rules, then yes you will need a permit. 

 

This is correct. Not required if you can comply with everything. What i did. BC were happy too. In england.

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The problem we had was that we couldn't meet the 10m from requirement, hence the need to negotiate with the EA and building control.  Once that process started we had to confirm everything with the EA, although they were pretty easy to deal with.

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16 hours ago, Bitpipe said:

Looks great - two comments:

 

I am a big basement fan and against all advice (architect etc) we incorporated one into our new build and it's a great space. So open offer to pick my brains along with other here who have done similar. I will say that the basement footprint is not clear from your drawings - getting that right can have a big impact on cost.

 

That glazing looks great but cost aside, have you modelled the impact on overheating?

 

Even if you dot aspire to passive or SAP A levels of insulation and airtightness, a well build structure to even the minimum standards can still massively overheat in spring, summer & autumn. 

 

Before you get too deep into planning, make sure the house will be comfortable to live in!

 

Hi @Bitpipe. thanks for the response. I would love the basement but we're having some planning issues (I was saving it for another blog post) so the basement might have to go. hopefully you can wait for that blog update and comment on that one to assist.

 

not yet had an overheating model done but that is on our list of things to do. honestly, we just want to get approval before spending money on getting that sort of thing for this design as if the planning department are completely against it and we need to redesign something then that's just wasted money. I would rather get the approval and then put in for a minor change if we have to do something to fix overheating. we have the brise soleil upstairs in the entrance hall on the south which should help and there are trees just to the east of the house that will also help and we have the overhangs to the annex and the garden room which should help in the summer as well. I have thought about the other windows and how we might stop overheating but I haven't got that far yet. I know this is probably a backwards way of doing it and not recommended but we've been bitten before by spending money that ends up being just thrown away (see 'The journey so far... blog post for details) that we're trying to not fall in to that trap again. 

 

I do appreciate your comments and advice though! 😎

Edited by Thorfun

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1 hour ago, Thorfun said:

 

Hi @Bitpipe. thanks for the response. I would love the basement but we're having some planning issues (I was saving it for another blog post) so the basement might have to go. hopefully you can wait for that blog update and comment on that one to assist.

 

not yet had an overheating model done but that is on our list of things to do. honestly, we just want to get approval before spending money on getting that sort of thing for this design as if the planning department are completely against it and we need to redesign something then that's just wasted money. I would rather get the approval and then put in for a minor change if we have to do something to fix overheating. we have the brise soleil upstairs in the entrance hall on the south which should help and there are trees just to the west of the house that will also help and we have the overhangs to the annex and the garden room which should help in the summer as well. I have thought about the other windows and how we might stop overheating but I haven't got that far yet. I know this is probably a backwards way of doing it and not recommended but we've been bitten before by spending money that ends up being just thrown away (see 'The journey so far... blog post for details) that we're trying to not fall in to that trap again. 

 

I do appreciate your comments and advice though! 😎

 

Fair enough - just be wary of falling into the trap of an architect designing you a nice house that you get planning for and then discover it needs lots of re-design to be buildable (either budget or performance). We had 3 passes at planning to address issues, some were minor but it costs every time, even for NMAs.

 

Your architect should really take some of this into consideration at the design stage tbh but sounds like you've given it some thought.

 

Would be interested as to why your basement may be a planning issue. Our LA did not blink when we added a full footprint basement as the only visible element were light well grilles flush with the paving - may depend on what purpose you label them as fulfilling - ours was simply shown as a large open plan space labelled 'basement' and we later subdivided it into a gym, games room and kids dens. BC were more interested if it was designated habitable space to ensure there was the necessary fire safety measures etc.

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24 minutes ago, Bitpipe said:

 

Would be interested as to why your basement may be a planning issue. Our LA did not blink when we added a full footprint basement as the only visible element were light well grilles flush with the paving - may depend on what purpose you label them as fulfilling - ours was simply shown as a large open plan space labelled 'basement' and we later subdivided it into a gym, games room and kids dens. BC were more interested if it was designated habitable space to ensure there was the necessary fire safety measures etc.

 

it's not the basement per se and I will get in to this in a later blog post as we're still in discussions with the architect and have also asked him to speak to a planning consultant so we don't really know how it's all going to work out as yet. but, in a nutshell, it's the GIA (Gross Internal Area) and if something has to go to reduce that then the basement will be the first thing.

 

once I have all the details on this planning issue I'll post a blog to get the thoughts of the awesome folk on here.

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15 hours ago, Thorfun said:

 I know this is probably a backwards way of doing it and not recommended 😎

 

Backwards is fine if you take your time and go through it forwards as a proper check before committing.

 

Most of us do it in circles.

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Thanks to you all I’ve now started investigating external blinds and will look into getting an overheating model done. 
 

which of you can I send the invoice to? 😜

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21 hours ago, ProDave said:

Just check the regulations to ensure it's location is acceptable (it would not be in Scotland)  And you will need to get a new discharge permit for it from the Environment Agency.  That will all be part of the building control process.

We had a similar situation Architect had no idea of regs 

Only picked up by BC on his first visit 

To close to the road 

Not ten mtrs from the house 

Ditch used for more than 70 years for discharge of two septic tanks Not suitable for our NEW treatment plant 

Caused me a lot of problems 

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I would echo @Bitpipe's comments about overheating. There's a lot of glazing on the southern elevation and the solar gain could be very high. Once the sun heats up the interior fabric, it's hard to get rid of in a well-insulated home.

 

So I would incorporate shading or roof overhangs on each window wherever possible, and don't rely too much on surrounding trees to do it for you.

 

Love the design and model btw!

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On 25/04/2020 at 08:20, Thorfun said:

Thanks to you all I’ve now started investigating external blinds and will look into getting an overheating model done. 
 

which of you can I send the invoice to? 😜

 

Our house aspect is east (street) / west (garden) and north and south face neighbours so minimal glazing on those aspects.

 

We have external blinds to all our east facing windows and they are a godsend (even the Velux). Really keep the house from over heating year round and are great for privacy too = also no need for curtains :) 

 

On the west side, we have interior blinds on the loft velux, traditional curtains on rear bedrooms and have some lightweight material drapes on our downstairs sliders which do a decent enough job of minimising evening solar gain in summer.

 

One rogue window in the kitchen faces south and we didn't spec a blind as we figured it would never get that much direct sun due to neighbours property. However the sun is low in spring and autumn and causes a localised hotspot via that window, planning to retro fit a blind when the render gets replaced at some point (another story).

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1 hour ago, sussexlogs said:

I'm at washington 

cool! not far down the A24 then. maybe one day I can visit your site and talk about stuff with you.

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