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  1. Please critique. The house is proposed as an extension to existing banglow plus new garden room (65sqm) Last image is the option 2 for the ground floor layout which I prefer compared to the original per the plan. Main house layout is biased more towards better design but scarificies the potential space still achieving around 500sqm. Would be great to have some feedback on everything. Thanks
  2. Hi all! First time posting, but I've been devouring the contents of the site for a few months whilst getting funding sorted for the next phase in my building. (A great source of information and debate!) Warning, it's a long post! A bit of background.. I bought a plot with an existing bungalow in 2011, the previous builder had run out of cash mid-build so that the site was in a real state to the untrained eye. At this stage, I pretty much struggled to change a lightbulb, so it was a fairly huge undertaking to build the 5 bed home that I had in mind. One of the first things I did whilst we were waiting for completion was to grab a shovel and start digging up some of the garden. About 3 hours later, back aching and hands raw, I'd only scratched the surface of what is almost 0.8 of an acre! That was when my builder came past and recommended I hire a rotavator, that was the first of about a million lessons I learnt on the build! Present So I've managed to build a nice 5-bed bungalow that we've been happily residing in for the last few years and still have foundations in place from the first builder for a fairly huge garage block (11m x 9m) and also another detached annexe (9m x 6m). The intention was to finish the outbuildings/ do the driveway when funds allowed, however, one thing has lead to another and the plans have grown so that the detached garage attaches to the main building, creating a more useable space with another floor above it with additional bedrooms. The reason for this is that my family has increased since we moved in (my brother is now married, my parents live with us, and I've had 3 children!) so we'd like to create zones for each family. The Plan I've been messing around with plans whilst sorting out funding and have come up with something that I think looks good and has all the space we'd need. The main limiting factor in our case is funds, the plot is more than large enough and our area has a fairly high ceiling for house prices. With this in mind, any advice on keeping the building costs as low as possible will be much appreciated. Another reason for sharing my plans with you guys is that with your vast knowledge of whats to come, I'm hoping you might pick up on some aspects which I may have overlooked. I'm not an expert by any means, though I've gained enough skills since the initial build with further projects that I feel comfortable managing the build myself and getting my hands dirty where I can to save money. Things I'm considering/ decided and would welcome your experiences on... Heating and Hot Water This is a pretty big consideration to be honest, my current thoughts are to install a ground source heat pump with boreholes, this will provide the UFH throughout the new build. The current part of the house I'd like to keep intact as much as possible so I've not intention of ripping the floors up and installing UFH, so the existing rads will have to do, but ideally I'd get rid of the combi boiler which is struggling to meet our demands at the moment and isn't in great nick. I'm not sure whether a system exists that will give us a whole home solution, with hot enough water and low running costs. As I have gas, I'd be reluctant to install an electric hot water tank, I'd imagine a gas fired would be significantly cheaper to run, though I've never seen this paired with a Ground Source Heat Pump. Tesla Solar Roof Ever since I saw this, I've wanted it! With the limited information there is out there, the cost of installing this is going to be somewhat similar to a slate roof but with the added benefit of providing enough solar energy for our needs, including electric cars (we already have 2 Nissan Leafs!) Obviously, the main drawback is that I'm going to have to wait for it, I've already put a deposit down which doesn't mean anything for timescales but I'm willing to wait a while longer as I think this will both add value to my home, provide the energy we need and also look outstanding too. However, that's not to say that I'll wait forever, and with my budgetary restrictions, this is definitely a luxury so I'd appreciate some alternatives or suggestion you guys may have. ICF I intend to build the extension in ICF, I'm currently favouring Nudura simply because my architect has recently completed a project using this system and there's a fairly local supplier. The reason I'm favouring ICF is that I think I could handle putting the shell together (with a little help) and I believe this will not only save costs, but time too as well as taking away a trade we normally sub out. Additionally, the added benefit of a tighter shell with better u values than block and render is a welcome bonus, especially with the amount of glazing I'd like. Cladding For some reason, I'd always assumed the cheapest way to clad a building was to render it, so I've not really explored many other options. Based on some calculations, it seems that many cladding options such as wood are going to cost a similar amount so it's something I'd like to know more about, how have you guys decided what to use and why (design/ budget/ maintenance etc.?) Structural Spans At the moment my architect (he's not a full architect) hasn't began work on putting my design together, but before he does, I'd like to know if there are any major structural issues that make my design unfeasible. I will obviously use a structural engineer too, but before it gets to that stage, I'd like to know the impact of my design and whether I should try to create an internal structural wall that can reduce the span (9m). Are there any other options? Costs I'm going to be adding somewhere along the lines of 600m2 including the annexe, ground floor, first floor and mezzanine levels. Going through some of the build cost calculators gives me some rather worrying figures but they don't necessarily account for the fact that most ground works are in place, including services which i took the liberty of adding water/ gas and network cabling to the other buildings already. Since our existing home serves our purposes for now, there is no rush to get everything done from the get go, so I envisage completing areas and rooms as and when time and funds allow, so my main budget needs to get the shell built including the roof and windows, electrics and plumbing (both 1st fix only). Ideally I'd like it to be clad and looking finished from the outside baring any landscaping and driveway which will be the icing on the cake eventually. I think I'm going to have a pot of around £200k-£300k to get to that stage, so I'd be interested to know if you think I'm crazy or not! With all of this in mind, I'd love for some cost saving measures you think would be relevant to the build, I know the basics such as shopping around, thinking outside of the box with suppliers (direct from factory etc) Thanks for taking the time to read, I'm looking forward to hearing what you guys make of my project!
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