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Renovation to New Build - oops!

Conor

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Back in June 2017 we found a house for sale close to us in Holywood, Co. Down - 4 bed bungalow, 115m2 on a large plot on one of the best streets in the town. Within our budget. Couldn't believe it! So we put in a offer at the asking price. Didn't hear anything back. Phoned the agent a few days later and bidding was going on way above our offer... developers with cash. Obviously they saw it a potential site. So, we accepted our loss and moved on. Then, two months later, it appeared back on the market! Issue with site lines meant you'd never get permission for additional units on the site. So back to our original offer, and it was accepted!

 

It was a kip. We knew there would be serious renovation works and were budgeting to spend £80k+ on renovation and extension. Turns out we were very optimistic. Estimates started being bandied around that were double our budget...  kind of in the new house build territory. So we took the plunge and looked in to financing a new build. Turned out more difficult than we thought - no local lenders would offer a product, luckily we got a recommendation for Ecology and they would allow us to convert our existing residential mortgage to a self build, once we had full PP.

 

In Sept 2018 after a year of planning, we finally got FPP. 

 

Original house: 

 

1542148029_53Front.thumb.jpg.940887e8524b4ee15135c056028d8af4.jpg

72080649_53Rear.thumb.jpg.0a24d69f14a39abf00890678d6f01eaf.jpg

The issues were much bigger than we though - no foundations, lime mortar was crumbling away.

 

The brief of the new design was straight forward as we knew what we wanted - simple, 200m2, 4 bed, big open plan living area etc.

The sloping site complicated matters a bit... so much so we ended up including a full footprint basement, rather than have split level living.

The design at the front is deliberately simple as we're in a conservation area and didn't want to battle too much. Rear is where all the action is!!

696989167_Rearview.JPG.babf2d7ff1b8d8539ca9a320043abdd1.JPG

 

 

 

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The design has changed since these renderings - no garage, and smaller courtyard and few retaining walls. These pushed us out of budget when the QS estimates came in at £340k! Almost £100k more than budget.

 

Latest floor plans: Basement:

 

 

image.png.0970233fbbd02b04700b7720d8df6380.png

Ground Floor:

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First Floor:

1st_final.thumb.JPG.52fde9d485d55ea8eb52e7cfda564cd8.JPG

 

As I type this, we have just started site clearance and ground works..... with an interesting find that could threaten to eat up our contingency already!!!

 

 

 

LGF_final.JPG

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That looks nice.

 

We are of course all now waiting to discover what the "interesting find" was.

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Looking good.


As ProDave says, you have to let us know about the interesting find! 

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Looks great, I like the contrast between the front & back. 
How are you planning to manage solar gain on the double height window?

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2 hours ago, Nick1c said:

Looks great, I like the contrast between the front & back. 
How are you planning to manage solar gain on the double height window?

 

Triple glazing with solar control coating, and currently a bris soliel over the whole lot. I'm thinking about having large external bifold screens made from punched steel or aluminium. Could be pulled across in the summer and block most of the light but still allow a view to the garden. Not sure how cost effective that will be....

 

The "outshoot" is fine as it's largely shaded by trees.

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I think the bifold screens will cost a fortune.  I like the design.  Be tempted to cull some rooflights.  Lots of solar gain and expense.

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Beautiful design, love how the front is so modest and the rear dramatic.

 

Plus, I'm a sucker for a basement having built one myself !

 

More than familiar with the budget exploding but you have options  - prioritise the structural elements and leave optional rooms (eg, in basement, loft etc) unfinished until you can afford them later. Quite often, once you have the shell up you can get more realistic quotes from trades and can bring things in under QS estimates.

 

For Velux, their motorised external blinds are the only way to control solar gain unless the windows are reachable from the room, in which case you can fit the internal blackout blinds. For inaccessible windows, the Integra range are motorised & wirelessly controlled and the binds can be patched into the windows themselves. For manually operated windows, the blinds have a remote and can be patched into the Integra system. I see they've added more controller options too the range since we bought ours.

 

As a Norn Iron native (now in SE England) my money is on a decommissioned arms cache from the peace process ;)

 

 

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Good call re the velux @Bitpipe. We have five on the northern side, one of thick is middle of vaulted hallway and impossible to operate. I might see if we can u size this and automate as you say... would be greater for creating cooling cross ventilation.

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Looks great. I hope you’re not having to live in that small tent 😉
 

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1 hour ago, Conor said:

Good call re the velux @Bitpipe. We have five on the northern side, one of thick is middle of vaulted hallway and impossible to operate. I might see if we can u size this and automate as you say... would be greater for creating cooling cross ventilation.

 

I went with Velux in 2016 and am very happy, there are other cheaper brands out there so do your research. Look for good reseller discounts - I got mine from NL but the euro was stronger then (1.4) so made sense.

 

My Integra windows work great - they come with about 6m of cable terminated in a 3 pin plug so was easy to terminate them to a fused spur - just remember to plan to have one in proximity. I have 4 Integra and four other manually operated ones in accessible rooms.

 

They are solely controlled via their wireless touch pads and as you get one per window you will have a few to distribute round the house, any window can be controlled via any pad and you can group them together.

 

We got the roofer to fit them along with the external motorised blinds (also controlled through the wireless pads). They have a rain sensor pad which will auto close them and I see they now have a range of indoor controllers and sensors to track humidity and Co2 plus extension to apple home kit so looks like there is an app now as well.

 

As you say, great for cross ventilation in summer when the MVHR does not cut it.

 

My advice, which ever brand you go for, is to ensure your drawings and plans are aligned to the standard window sizes offered. We needed to do a few NMAs to tweak the planning drawings to reflect this. We had a couple of SK10 and PK10 which are quite huge but also MK04 which is a more common size Velux.

 

If you're using the insulated frame kit (recommended if the rest of your build is of a highly insulated standard) then ensure you allow for the additional tolerances in the aperture - we needed to knock ours about a bit to fit (too tight by a few mm) so just keep an eye on that.

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looks amazing! I look forward to reading the progress.

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