Bored Shopper

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  1. We've been presented with two options for our PV array, in-roof and on-roof. The on-roof one requires additional 50 linear m of anti-bird protective net, which comes at exorbitant price. DH is more inclined towards in-roof solution, as the saving would be considerable. The concern with in-roof is any potential leaking around the installation, etc. Any opinions on pros and cons, please, from any happy owners of in-roof and on-roof sets, please?
  2. That is very true, but there are not that many self-builds from ground zero in our area (mostly extensions), so beggars can't be choosers. It's not feasible for us to travel to, say, Scotland to find a precise match to what we're trying to build. 🙁
  3. As we're progressing through BR stage, we've visited a few construction sites of proposed builders, and that was hugely useful. But owners are rarely present. Are there any self-builders here based in Surrey / Berkshire currently in the middle of their proud project who would be willing to do a quick show-around of their site and share a bit of wisdom / vent frustrations etc? Nothing like seeing the real deal not through main contractor's eyes but via the self-building owner's... In turn, once we open our dig up, we'll be happy to pass it forward and receive visits from anyone at an earlier stage...
  4. yes we've had 2x holes drilled, SE came and had a good look at both and a report on paper is pending, so maybe something would change (for the better).
  5. Sadly, we are very restricted height-wise, as our first option, killed mercilessly by the council, was a nice room in the roof. We are in a street with 50% bungalows and it massively ties our hands. Hence the option to dig down rather than build up. Also the garden is small so not much room for another outbuilding for storage there...
  6. We're at SE plans stage with our 242 sq m "box with basement" (c.180 sq m without basement). A recommended main contractor issued a preliminary (pretty ballpark) costings budget. We are combing through it but definitely need experienced pair(s) of eyes to see where it gets ridiculous. We'd love to have a basement but may be forced to drop it if it proves prohibitive. Any comments on the budget would be much appreciated. (NB: we'll have a PM to manage this, minimal own labour, and we're within M25 in Greater London (woe!). An existing old bungalow to be demolished. The plot is flat, service connected, no crested newts / sandy ground / major rivers etc).
  7. Update: Got our PP this week - hooray (despite our wings being clipped by forbidding 2nd floor sunroom, so we ended up with simple 2-storey 4-bed box, half-hipped roof, and an approved non-habitable basement (half-the-footprint). Space-wise it's OK, but of course basement increases the costs, and it starts with the SE quotes already! Had 2x objections from neighbours (both unexpected), but dismissed by LPA. Now feeling really scared 😮 and the whole thing is quite overwhelming and daunting (still can't believe we're doing this!). Need a Jameson and a ton of biscuits, and back to re-reading the H-Bible!..
  8. 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...
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. @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...