Bored Shopper

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  1. Bored Shopper

    *rant* pre-application timescales *rant*

    Update: Since our council strongly objected to us having second floor and being higher than neighbours, we ditched the idea (goodbye, my sun-lit art studio! I'll have a gym to slave in instead... matter over spirit 'n sh*t, you know 😭) and instead decided to be true hobbits and designed a basement instead. Changed roof to half-hipped. Re-submitted for 2nd pre-application advice. This time it took them three weeks, we even had a secret incognito site visit from the offices (who visited in a stealth mode), who discovered that we were too close to the boundary and wants us now to set in away from the boundary by another 550mm. Oh woe. Our plot is quite narrow (c. 12m across) so chopping off half a metre is painful. On a positive site, he acknowledged the new roof "as an improvement" on the current scheme and did not object to the basement. Now awaiting final set of final-final drawings so we could apply for a full permission.... fingers crossed...
  2. As already stated, it's the shallowness of the soil level which is not enough to firmly establish grass. ALSO bear in mind that concrete may retain heat in sunshine / hot weather, and it effectively burns out the edges. Quite a common problem.
  3. Bored Shopper

    *rant* pre-application timescales *rant*

    Fascinating to see how unregulated this whole thing is, a complete postcode lottery! Our pre-app took 2 months (happy Christmas!), although they state on the council website that they should respond in 2 weeks and have a meeting in 15 working days. There was no site visit, they could not be bothered. Came back 50%/50% on positive/negative, and mostly point out the overlooking and loss of daylight aspect, although we clearly stated all side windows were obscured and unopening, etc etc. Our current bungalow is the lowest ridge height in a line of 5 houses, EVERYONE overlooks us (sides and garden), a property at the end of the garden has a SF dormer overlooking EVERYONE, but we can't refer to that since the council has this lovely clause in their planning policy that "poor existing design will not be accepted as a precedence for poor schemes". This could have been all explained if only they bothered with a site visit (for £285 that we paid for the pre-app) but hey.. back to the drawing board now.
  4. Bored Shopper

    Floor plans (v5 and counting)

    @Ferdinand thank you, that's a great idea, our architect is currently digesting the detailed feedback report and will produce something similar to what you suggest. He also suggested we could be "strategic" about this and first build what the council want in terms of roof, and if needed then change it later under permitted development. Now awaiting amended plans, we'll see...
  5. Bored Shopper

    Floor plans (v5 and counting)

    Update: council planning dept came back saying they hate the proposed flat roof and want it to be re-done as pitch, "reducing the bulky appearance". 😭 this means change of SF room space. They are also "concerned" re side windows, although the proposal clearly states these are obscured.So back to the drawing board...
  6. Bored Shopper

    Spec me a driveway

    God, I wish I had a frond garden like that - I would have done a lovely low topiary parterre there for the neighbours to enjoy
  7. For a total layman, the Housebuilder Bible was absolutely fabulous read, before that I had no idea at all what it means to build a house from scratch. Obvioulsy, thing change in real life faster than they publish *th edition of the HouseBible (as DH came to call it), but some ground rules and a bit of insight into how the industry works is great. Mine copy of HB is now all feathered with sticky notes for future reference.
  8. Bored Shopper

    New Build Design

    Do you really need that much empty space in Bathroom adjacent to Bedroom 2? Seems that the funny shape of the bathroom eats into useful space in bedroom.
  9. Bored Shopper

    To chase or not to chase?..

    @Hecateh Thank you, you confirm my gut feel! 😊
  10. Bored Shopper

    To chase or not to chase?..

    We submitted our plans for pre-application advice, paid the fee back in Nov'2018. The Council states they aim to deal with these in 10 working days, and set up a meeting in 15 working days from submission date. It's been almost twice that long (even taking Christmas out), and last time we gently checked whether they received the payment (the payment process is separate from application, so some doubts around whether they can match the two correctly) a reply came that they received both and aim to respond last week. Nothing since, and the weekly update on council website shows they are dealing with applications submitted later than ours. Hence, the questions - should we chase them again, or we risk getting into their bad books forever? I know, patience is a virtue, but there is patience and patience. Am also mindful there will be another 8 wks once we submit the full appl;n. Advice?..
  11. I'm not sure what external texture you have in mind (render?), but if you are keen to maintain contrast (I can see the point), I would probably take this contrasting a step futher and do a WHITE garage door to the left side of the house, to contrast to the dark entrance door on the right. Also the left-hand blind wall (neighbour-facing, I assume) can be rendered white / light (same as the righthand part of house), so you would have some sort of interplay between the two. White window frames to the dark side. A bit like Alice in Wonderland, but with correct materials it can be made fun and attractive! You can then take it even further by planting contrasting soft landscaping elements to blend it in (e.g., white flower shrubs / baskets) against the dark wall and darker intense colours (e.g, plants with dark foliage) againts light-coloured wall. Then it makes the whole lot look conceptual
  12. Bored Shopper

    Whilst we wait (and hope)... things to do - ?

    @TheMitchells Thank you! It's a bit of a drive from London, but will definitely explore. @ultramods thanks, glad we were thinking along the same lines and are well into the selection process you listed! Highlight of the Christmas family getaway was a visit to a Porcelanosa showroom 😁 thought-provoking, indeed. Our provisional plans went up for a public forum beating earlier this week and the results were really helpful, working on amendments now! @Square Feet we are demolishing an existing bungalow we're currently living in, so the services are connected to the plot, so hopefully will not be much of a drama to disconnect and re-connect, and we're keeping services entry points almost at the exact spots as current. @recoveringacademic and @Ferdinand - believe me, we are reading it methodically (early stages), but I completely take your point! Nothing is more loathsome than newbies asking primitive questions for a 1000+'s time, can totally relate to the feelings it brings up :)) The only reason why I asked it (whilst reading everything else) was out of fear that there may be some crucial deadline I missed just because I have not yet read up to that page! Anyway, so far this is the friendliest forum I've seen in a long time, and I wholeheartedly intend to obey the rules and not irk the Masters and the Gurus :) bad for karma, they say! Everyone, thank you very much. Now back to reading....😊
  13. We're currently waiting for the PP to come through, but me being all wired up on proactivity and efficiency (and having nothing to do on my hands after having read and re-read the Housebuilder Bible-12) I keep thinking what can be done whilst we wait. How to best utilise the project time?.. Need collective experience help here. Things that come to mind: 1) Choosing the builder - this will start later this week, hopefully, with intros to a few being arranged by our Architect. 2) Choosing a PM - this is likely to be either our Architect or the main contractor once chosen, so see above. 3) Getting docs together for the mortgage - in process (personal fin docs ready, but obviously don't yet have detailed confirmed plans / PP / SE calcs / costing & budget, etc, so too early). 4) Finding a rental property for the period of build - too early, they get snapped pretty quickly in our area. What do normal people do at this stage? What am I missing?
  14. Bored Shopper

    Getting mortgage after work has started

    May I ask, what caused such delay? Must have been hugely stressful ...
  15. Bored Shopper

    Floor plans (v5 and counting)

    @ProDave, in fact, I'm totally with you on the extra door - not sure why our Architect put it in there, we did instruct to remove this, as the space is supposed to be open, not enclosed. And yes, built-in wardrobes with mirrored sliding doors on both sides, so in fact it's just a wide corridor / extended landing, flanked by wardrobes. That's all.