pdf27

House model for costing

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Having been stung last time around (emotionally at least - financially we stopped before we spent too much) when we started down the retrofit+extend route only to find out it just wasn't viable, I'm trying to be quite cautious with whether we can knock down and rebuild our current house.

Can I please ask the buildhub hive-mind to take a look at the attached floorplans and comment if they make sense? The idea is if they aren't too far out I can try to build a cost model based on them with some level of confidence it will be accurate before going down the route of modelling it in detail, applying for planning permission, etc.

 

We're both in our thirties, working full time with two young children and retired parents who might on occasion stay for extended periods of time. We're in a commuter village in Buckinghamshire, just outside the edge of the green belt. Target would be Passivhaus, probably certified (I'm an engineer and not properly validating it would really annoy me).

 

Most of the model should be obvious. Stairs extend up to the loft (warm roof) with a Velux above them in the rear roof - my wife is a hoarder packrat and the only way to stop her leaving stuff everywhere is to make it really, really easy for her to store it somewhere I won't always be falling over it. I've also assumed dormers to the rear to bring the ridge line down without compromising the ground floor space too badly - it's currently ~1m taller than the house next door and without them starts to look a bit big.

 

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First Floor Model.pdf Ground Floor Model.pdf

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We've had a bungalow similar to yours, really poorly planned and leaking heat everywhere. Tried to sell, to improve but ended up knocking down and re-building. We had a conservatory extension on the bungalow, so when knocked it down we reduced the footprint but instead built upward.

 

We wanted a solar room in the loft - the council was firmly against this so we had our newbuild height capped at 25cm above the tallest of neighbours. Ended up with plenty of storage and potential for future dormers if we want it (not really).

 

Plans-wise, IMHO your FF lacks a bathroom - for 5 bedrooms I think Building Regulations would demand at least one more on the FF (I'd put one into Bed2 as it can share the drainage with the other ensuite. If you are the happy owners of such a large garden, I'd probably increase footprint as well (may come useful with two kids), or plan a conservatory etc etc.

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58 minutes ago, pdf27 said:

Having been stung last time around (emotionally at least - financially we stopped before we spent too much) when we started down the retrofit+extend route only to find out it just wasn't viable, I'm trying to be quite cautious with whether we can knock down and rebuild our current house.

 

First of all, demo & rebuild qualifies for zero rated VAT, so your budget goes 20% further. You also hopefully have a less complicated build experience as it's all going up from scratch.

 

You'll need to quantify the cost of demolition - get standalone quotes plus combined with your groundworks.

 

Have you done an asbestos check yet? If it's not riddled with it then you're hopefully looking at 5-10k to just pull it down and cart away. 

 

58 minutes ago, pdf27 said:

We're both in our thirties, working full time with two young children and retired parents who might on occasion stay for extended periods of time. We're in a commuter village in Buckinghamshire, just outside the edge of the green belt. Target would be Passivhaus, probably certified (I'm an engineer and not properly validating it would really annoy me).

 

Put a caravan in the back garden and live in that during the build (provided you can get it out again at the end). Worked for us and saved a lot of money, plus allowed us to be on site continually which also really helps.

 

I built to passive standard, I am also an engineer. I did not bother with certification - it costs money, restricts some of your product choices and is a large waste of time, no-one will ever care and it won't help your resale value (will probably reduce it bizarrely).

 

Get your satisfaction from owing a comfortable, low energy, cheap to run house.

 

My only caveat on the design is including a large garage as part of your likely insulated raft foundation and whether you extend the low temp UFH circuit into it. You will need an airtight door  into the garage as while you can get nice insulated garage doors themselves, don't think they'll be airtight.

 

@HerbJ did something similar, MBC timber frame system & insulated slab.

 

From a design pov, it's broadly square which will make it cost efficient to build.

 

Small children quickly become teenagers and having 4 beds sharing one bathroom may be restrictive in future.  I'd see if you can squeeze in some more en-suites - those bedrooms are quite large. Maybe drop that 5th bedroom and use for ensuite and the hall facing part as storage.

 

I'd also plan to have that GF study to work as a guest bedroom for your parents should they start to find stairs a challenge - good that you've got a downstairs shower room.

 

Last comment, you only have one GF lounge space - again, when the kids get older they'll want to congregate somewhere - maybe you're planning a summerhouse or similar but if not, you don't always want them needing to use bedrooms as social space.

 

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Costs-wise, I'd say c. £400-450k (unless you plan to do loads of work yourself). With a hindside, we'd probably hire a QS for a proper estimate, but we went in with just our buliders' budget and the BuildZone team did a free budget check and added another hundred to it, came to c. £430k, plus our extras (I admit, we were very particular about some pretty costly items). Obviously, having the Covid in the middle of the build did not help, went over budget but we were lucky to have some private funds so it's OK. But looking back I'd really want a good QS.

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16 minutes ago, Bored Shopper said:

We've had a bungalow similar to yours, really poorly planned and leaking heat everywhere. Tried to sell, to improve but ended up knocking down and re-building. We had a conservatory extension on the bungalow, so when knocked it down we reduced the footprint but instead built upward.

 

We wanted a solar room in the loft - the council was firmly against this so we had our newbuild height capped at 25cm above the tallest of neighbours. Ended up with plenty of storage and potential for future dormers if we want it (not really).

 

Plans-wise, IMHO your FF lacks a bathroom - for 5 bedrooms I think Building Regulations would demand at least one more on the FF (I'd put one into Bed2 as it can share the drainage with the other ensuite. If you are the happy owners of such a large garden, I'd probably increase footprint as well (may come useful with two kids), or plan a conservatory etc etc.

  • Current footprint is fairly small (136m2 including the garage on a 900m2 plot), the model I've got has a footprint of about 170m2 which doesn't feel unreasonable (19% of plot). The current shape factor is pretty poor, however, so the increased footprint doesn't really make a huge difference - it's mostly coming in otherwise awkwardly shaped bits of grass at the side.
  • I've been wondering about fitting a bathroom to the second bedroom - it's an awkward shape so fitting one in wouldn't be a major drama. That tentatively would be the guest room, so would make the most sense (my in-laws live in South Carolina, are retiring in a few months and our children are their only grandchildren - so I would expect some extended visits in our future).

 

12 minutes ago, Bitpipe said:

First of all, demo & rebuild qualifies for zero rated VAT, so your budget goes 20% further. You also hopefully have a less complicated build experience as it's all going up from scratch.

 

You'll need to quantify the cost of demolition - get standalone quotes plus combined with your groundworks.

 

Have you done an asbestos check yet? If it's not riddled with it then you're hopefully looking at 5-10k to just pull it down and cart away. 

 

Put a caravan in the back garden and live in that during the build (provided you can get it out again at the end). Worked for us and saved a lot of money, plus allowed us to be on site continually which also really helps.

 

I built to passive standard, I am also an engineer. I did not bother with certification - it costs money, restricts some of your product choices and is a large waste of time, no-one will ever care and it won't help your resale value (will probably reduce it bizarrely).

 

Get your satisfaction from owing a comfortable, low energy, cheap to run house.

 

My only caveat on the design is including a large garage as part of your likely insulated raft foundation and whether you extend the low temp UFH circuit into it. You will need an airtight door  into the garage as while you can get nice insulated garage doors themselves, don't think they'll be airtight.

 

@HerbJ did something similar, MBC timber frame system & insulated slab.

 

From a design pov, it's broadly square which will make it cost efficient to build.

 

Small children quickly become teenagers and having 4 beds sharing one bathroom may be restrictive in future.  I'd see if you can squeeze in some more en-suites - those bedrooms are quite large. Maybe drop that 5th bedroom and use for ensuite and the hall facing part as storage.

 

I'd also plan to have that GF study to work as a guest bedroom for your parents should they start to find stairs a challenge - good that you've got a downstairs shower room.

 

Last comment, you only have one GF lounge space - again, when the kids get older they'll want to congregate somewhere - maybe you're planning a summerhouse or similar but if not, you don't always want them needing to use bedrooms as social space.

  • The mixture of VAT and complication are what killed it last time - by the time we had sorted out the various problems we ended up with a relatively small house which was badly compromised and a handful of not very nice walls. The QS estimate was nearly £400k+VAT for a 160m2 house. At least one quote explicitly said that it would be cheaper to knock down and start again than extend.
  • No asbestos survey done to date - for now I'm going to allow a provisional sum since it's safe if undisturbed but if we find something there is a risk that we'll have to deal with it and rectify even if we can't afford the build. It's a 1920 original extended in the 1970s so I need to assume that there is Asbestos present but I haven't spotted any of the usual suspects yet.
  • Current assumption is a static caravan in the back garden, most likely scrapped in situ at the end because the cost of a very large crane to remove it would exceed the value of the caravan. Having services already available makes that a lot more tolerable.
  • Certification is an open point, the quality control aspects of it are worth money in my mind but the standard itself is somewhat arbitrary. If (when) the budget gets tight that's something we would drop. It certainly isn't for money reasons.
  • I'm pretty sure that an airtight door on a garage would be against the rules (carbon monoxide risk - would certainly have a CO alarm in there linked to the house fire alarm in any case). I'd only extend the underfloor to it (on a separate circuit) if it was really cheap to do so. The logic for having the garage there is that we want it to have a weather-protected link to the house and having it side-on completely eliminates any chance of having a semblance of a garden at the front (as next door has done).
  • I've tried to value-engineer it where I can do so reasonably subtly - the shape is part of that, and I've done a few things like sizing the 180 degree turn on the staircase to be part of the frame so the staircase is cheap and simple. Until I start doing a cost model, I won't be able to really understand if I've got it about right however.
  • Part of the logic for the downstairs shower was that it's a relatively cheap way to achieve an extra bathroom, with the benefit of helping future mobility-impaired people who visit. At the moment it has 3 bathrooms between 5 bedrooms, which isn't too bad. Adding an en-suite to Bed 2 does look like a logical change though.
  • My dad has Parkinson's, which may or may not run in the family (his father and brother died of it, but he's been tested and doesn't have any known genetic risk factors). That means I may need it if we stay long-term, and putting it in now is relatively cheap and easy.
  • I'm really not sure if there is any sensible way of adjusting the floorplan to give them some sort of private social space in 10 years time - then again I'd be quite happy hiding in my study (I'm somewhat outnumbered - we've got two girls and even the cat is female) and my wife will probably be as happy curling up in bed as anywhere else, so I think it's feasible to adapt. One of the headaches is that the garage means the ratio between upstairs and downstairs is wrong for us - we'd really like it a bit smaller upstairs relative to the downstairs volume, but I don't see an easy way around this.

 

11 minutes ago, Bored Shopper said:

Costs-wise, I'd say c. £400-450k (unless you plan to do loads of work yourself). With a hindside, we'd probably hire a QS for a proper estimate, but we went in with just our buliders' budget and the BuildZone team did a free budget check and added another hundred to it, came to c. £430k, plus our extras (I admit, we were very particular about some pretty costly items). Obviously, having the Covid in the middle of the build did not help, went over budget but we were lucky to have some private funds so it's OK. But looking back I'd really want a good QS.

That's one of the things I want to go into in some proper detail - what we actually want is relatively austere, and there are quite a few things we wouldn't finish until some years later (only doing first fix on most of the bathrooms for instance with me doing second fix later) if it meant we could do the house. That way I can do the working out how bit a house we can afford and whether that's acceptable to us before we start paying professionals to tell us the same thing.

Budget is probably a bit below £400k but not massively. Going much above that means it has to be a really special house however, as it would probably take us into needing to sell it at a premium if we ever move given what we bought the current house for.

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If it helps 

We are building a slightly larger house as our second self build and we expect our spend to be 250-300

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26 minutes ago, nod said:

If it helps 

We are building a slightly larger house as our second self build and we expect our spend to be 250-300

Have you got anything about it you'd be willing to share by email? The main concerns I have are making sure we take the correct value-engineering decisions at the very start of the design (i.e. now) and ensuring that once we start we've got sufficient cash to finish. Any lessons-learned I can take away from the fact you're doing it second time around would be particularly helpful with the value-engineering side of things. If we could do it for £300k that would give us a reasonably comfortable contingency.

 

Achieving Target Cost / Design-to-Cost Objectives

90% of my day job (mechanical/electrical/aerospace engineering) is on the very far left of this graph, so I've naturally got an interest in applying it to any house I might build!

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One thing I learned from the first one was

Its very difficult to be accurate with your coatings till you are out of the ground 

I estimated the muck away at 500 tons 

It was closer to 800 tons 

Concrete back in a 100 cube 

Once the slab and garage slabs where in Some things came in under and where quite easy to estimate 

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if you plan do leave full completion till much later (as in not doing the whole house in 9-10 months to completion), then - if I get it right - your VAT reclaim will be delayed until full completion, and you moving in before completion can mess things up (I think). This has be factored in when you think budget (our current VAT reclaim is in tens of "£££ and I can't wait to get it back). I hope the Forum Gurus will correct me where I'm wrong.

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Also, Buckinghamshire is a nice area (commutable!) so some of your costs will be at a regional premium compared to other regions. We're building within M25 and it does hurt :(

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34 minutes ago, Bored Shopper said:

if you plan do leave full completion till much later (as in not doing the whole house in 9-10 months to completion), then - if I get it right - your VAT reclaim will be delayed until full completion, and you moving in before completion can mess things up (I think). This has be factored in when you think budget (our current VAT reclaim is in tens of "£££ and I can't wait to get it back). I hope the Forum Gurus will correct me where I'm wrong.

My understanding is that you can put in your VAT reclaim at any point, but that any costs incurred after the reclaim point get hit with the full rate of VAT. That **should** mean that e.g. buying stuff for the bathrooms prior to the reclaim and then fitting them myself afterwards is OK.

 

32 minutes ago, Bored Shopper said:

Also, Buckinghamshire is a nice area (commutable!) so some of your costs will be at a regional premium compared to other regions. We're building within M25 and it does hurt :(

At least half of the other parents at my daughter's school seem to work in London. Annoyingly I work at a factory nearby which has been gradually moving out of London in the 90 or so years since the company started but never quite got far enough for me!

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Do you need the integral garage?

And do you really want to rebuild the same(ish) house?

If you're going down the demolish and rebuild route, you have the opportunity to do something more suited to you? Especially if you are thinking you might end up with oldies staying...

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46 minutes ago, the_r_sole said:

Do you need the integral garage?

And do you really want to rebuild the same(ish) house?

If you're going down the demolish and rebuild route, you have the opportunity to do something more suited to you? Especially if you are thinking you might end up with oldies staying...

  • I've been thinking about that but it's really hard figuring an effective way to not have one. The current tandem arrangement is a major pain (lots of car jenga) and as soon as we allow for some sort of turning area you end up needing not all that far off the footprint of the garage anyway. There's also the issue that a large house with no garage may be more difficult to sell in future. I'd prefer to have it as a lean-to at the side but that takes 6m of the 15m available on site, and that just makes the rest of the house a bit deep and narrow in the wrong direction (facing the neighbours rather than the garden/road - with the south facing view over the road also having the Chiltern hills in the background). Across the front in an L-shape is also feasible, but seems to end up increasing the footprint without any major benefit inside as you end up with a large, dark area between the garage and back garden.
  • I don't understand the comment about same(ish) - what to you is the same between the current building and what I'm proposing? It's very easy with this sort of thing to be fixated on a solution, which is one of the main reasons I'm throwing this on here for comments so it would be very helpful to understand.

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1 minute ago, pdf27 said:
  • I've been thinking about that but it's really hard figuring an effective way to not have one. The current tandem arrangement is a major pain (lots of car jenga) and as soon as we allow for some sort of turning area you end up needing not all that far off the footprint of the garage anyway. There's also the issue that a large house with no garage may be more difficult to sell in future. I'd prefer to have it as a lean-to at the side but that takes 6m of the 15m available on site, and that just makes the rest of the house a bit deep and narrow in the wrong direction (facing the neighbours rather than the garden/road - with the south facing view over the road also having the Chiltern hills in the background). Across the front in an L-shape is also feasible, but seems to end up increasing the footprint without any major benefit inside as you end up with a large, dark area between the garage and back garden.
  • I don't understand the comment about same(ish) - what to you is the same between the current building and what I'm proposing? It's very easy with this sort of thing to be fixated on a solution, which is one of the main reasons I'm throwing this on here for comments so it would be very helpful to understand.

 

Sorry,

Might just be my misunderstanding - I thought you were saying in the op that the plan is similar to what's there but higher to accommodate the first floor rooms? Maybe I shouldn't read posts after a night on the drams 😂

 

If you're one of the few that actually use a garage for cars then fair enough!

 

The plan at the moment seems to be a bit bedroom heavy, there doesn't feel like there's the right balance of communal/family space with that number of bedrooms?

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1 minute ago, the_r_sole said:

 

Sorry,

Might just be my misunderstanding - I thought you were saying in the op that the plan is similar to what's there but higher to accommodate the first floor rooms? Maybe I shouldn't read posts after a night on the drams 😂

 

If you're one of the few that actually use a garage for cars then fair enough!

 

The plan at the moment seems to be a bit bedroom heavy, there doesn't feel like there's the right balance of communal/family space with that number of bedrooms?

  • The original plan was that we were going to extend upwards over the original house plus sort out the various issues. Problem is, we ended up leaving about 2 walls in place by the time we'd done that and the cost was vastly in excess of what we could afford at the time. Our budget has recently increased significantly, and I'm starting to suspect the cost estimates we were given last time reflect quite a lot of different people adding in their overheads, etc. so I want to model up what it would cost if we were project managing it before going down the route with planning, etc. again. That requires me to have a decent idea of what we'd try to build which is reasonably close to what we want for the cost model to be remotely valid.
  • 90% of what's in the garage at the moment is stuff that we'd prefer to keep in the loft if it was accessible, particularly if it was in conditioned space with easy access (the staircase in the plan continues up to the loft with a warm roof) - the rest would go to the utility room or garden shed, leaving just bikes which should be fine in a 6m x 6m garage. Being able to park in a garage is also really nice for 6 months of the year - no need to de-ice or freeze yourself/get wet in winter, or catch fire in summer - and if/when we end up with electric cars charging is a little easier.
  • I'm not entirely sure how much of the "bedroom heavy" is perception and how much reality - if I labelled the current "study" as a "snug" and the 5th bedroom as "study" then I suspect the perception might change without actually needing to change anything at all since the floor area upstairs and down is actually pretty similar, as are the room requirements.

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18 hours ago, pdf27 said:
  • I've been wondering about fitting a bathroom to the second bedroom - it's an awkward shape so fitting one in wouldn't be a major drama. That tentatively would be the guest room, so would make the most sense (my in-laws live in South Carolina, are retiring in a few months and our children are their only grandchildren - so I would expect some extended visits in our future).

 

Bed 5 could be a jack & Jill bathroom for the bedrooms either side?

 

18 hours ago, pdf27 said:
  • No asbestos survey done to date - for now I'm going to allow a provisional sum since it's safe if undisturbed but if we find something there is a risk that we'll have to deal with it and rectify even if we can't afford the build. It's a 1920 original extended in the 1970s so I need to assume that there is Asbestos present but I haven't spotted any of the usual suspects yet.

 

Will only be an issue when you come to demolish and every contractor will want to know what's there before quoting. You can get a non destructive survey and a destructive survey (best only done when you've moved out). Materials will be taken for testing & you get a definitive report that you can take to demo firms.

 

18 hours ago, pdf27 said:
  • Current assumption is a static caravan in the back garden, most likely scrapped in situ at the end because the cost of a very large crane to remove it would exceed the value of the caravan. Having services already available makes that a lot more tolerable.

 

Good plan, we bought our 40ft x 12ft van for just under £2k and sold it for £1k  - if you're going to be scrapping it then don't pay much more than that.

 

18 hours ago, pdf27 said:
  • Certification is an open point, the quality control aspects of it are worth money in my mind but the standard itself is somewhat arbitrary. If (when) the budget gets tight that's something we would drop. It certainly isn't for money reasons.

 

You can maintain the quality control without resorting to certification - you'll be able to hit all the fabric criteria, it's when it comes to things like approved MVHR units that the costs increase.

 

18 hours ago, pdf27 said:
  • I'm pretty sure that an airtight door on a garage would be against the rules (carbon monoxide risk - would certainly have a CO alarm in there linked to the house fire alarm in any case). I'd only extend the underfloor to it (on a separate circuit) if it was really cheap to do so. The logic for having the garage there is that we want it to have a weather-protected link to the house and having it side-on completely eliminates any chance of having a semblance of a garden at the front (as next door has done).

 

Airtight door is between your dwelling and garage, otherwise you won't get the necessary levels to be passive. Warm garage may not be a bad idea - if you extend the same insulated slab and have reasonable garage doors then heat losses will be minimal - our UFH is only on a few months of the year anyway and is run at 35oc.

15 hours ago, pdf27 said:

My understanding is that you can put in your VAT reclaim at any point, but that any costs incurred after the reclaim point get hit with the full rate of VAT. That **should** mean that e.g. buying stuff for the bathrooms prior to the reclaim and then fitting them myself afterwards is OK.

 

Nope. You have 3 months from when the building is deemed complete. Usually that's when BC have issued their cert but HMRC have been known to reject submissions that are too late after habitation.

 

 

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Where's North?

 

Am I correct the road is on the SE side?

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4 minutes ago, Bitpipe said:

 

 

 

Nope. You have 3 months from when the building is deemed complete. Usually that's when BC have issued their cert but HMRC have been known to reject submissions that are too late after habitation.

 

 

 

In which case you can draw your "leave for the future" line around things which don't get included in the VAT relief (?) 

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16 minutes ago, Bitpipe said:

Bed 5 could be a jack & Jill bathroom for the bedrooms either side?

 

Will only be an issue when you come to demolish and every contractor will want to know what's there before quoting. You can get a non destructive survey and a destructive survey (best only done when you've moved out). Materials will be taken for testing & you get a definitive report that you can take to demo firms.

 

Good plan, we bought our 40ft x 12ft van for just under £2k and sold it for £1k  - if you're going to be scrapping it then don't pay much more than that.

 

You can maintain the quality control without resorting to certification - you'll be able to hit all the fabric criteria, it's when it comes to things like approved MVHR units that the costs increase.

 

Airtight door is between your dwelling and garage, otherwise you won't get the necessary levels to be passive. Warm garage may not be a bad idea - if you extend the same insulated slab and have reasonable garage doors then heat losses will be minimal - our UFH is only on a few months of the year anyway and is run at 35oc.

 

Nope. You have 3 months from when the building is deemed complete. Usually that's when BC have issued their cert but HMRC have been known to reject submissions that are too late after habitation.

  • Jack & Jill bathroom isn't happening - I have a passionate and irrational hatred of the things.
  • Airtight door between garage and house is an absolute requirement for me - too much risk of someone leaving an engine going by accident. Needs to be a fire door there as well - was thinking of using the thickness of the wall to fit a double door, with the outer (fire) door being larger all around and on a self-closer tied to the alarm.
  • Plan is to play certification by ear nearer to the time - from what I've seen to date most of the additional costs of certification seem to be in the human time to check things and the fabric, rather than buying items with a certificate. That's paying for documentation and quality control.
  • Because so much of the garage is under the house it sort of needs to be warm by default over most of it's length, so it kind of makes sense to insulate the whole thing. Heating it year-round is probably a bad idea, but being able to (if it can be done cheaply) would be nice. Might not even need a separate zone, just have it on a dedicated loop and leave the isolation valve for that loop turned off normally.
  • Sorry, wasn't clear there. My understanding is that it is possible to claim the VAT reclaim early if desired, but that you only get one reclaim per build. I wasn't aware that the time limit was 3 months, but I did know that you need to get your skates on after completion.

 

14 minutes ago, Ferdinand said:

Where's North?

 

Am I correct the road is on the SE side?

North is up in the photos (google earth screen grab, not rotated). Our house is the one with the red and white cars on the drive.

Road is just south of south-east. The original bungalow is rotated a little bit on the plot to face more south, just enough to be awkward.

 

11 minutes ago, Ferdinand said:

In which case you can draw your "leave for the future" line around things which don't get included in the VAT relief (?) 

As much as possible, yes. That or ones where the majority of the cost is in labour and DIY is feasible (e.g. second fix on bathrooms - buy the materials before reclaim, and fit them later myself).

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I'd concur that it feels bedroom heavy.

 

One solution might be to pull the garage forward to stick out a little. Could be a nice feature on the 'face' of the house.

 

Jack and Jill bathroom spaces can often translate to two ensuites plus some storage.

 

I am in a 4/5 bed bungalow conversion, where they did do the conversion after reducing it to three walls and a hole, with South also being the front. I am planning some changes, one of which his how to turn my sun-side into a practical 'front courtyard garden' such that a dining terrace would work on that side without impinging on privacy. The plan is perhaps an arcade or loggia. But I front onto a tiny lane. 

 

In your case quite a lot could be done with a relaxing space down the garden eg hedges round an italianate pool as a private sunbathing spot, bbq etc. Mine is too short to avoid shadows from the house all day.

 

You could perhaps also get more living space by a single story space at the back.

 

Ferdinand 

 

 

Edited by Ferdinand

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46 minutes ago, Ferdinand said:

I'd concur that it feels bedroom heavy.

 

One solution might be to pull the garage forward to stick out a little. Could be a nice feature on the 'face' of the house.

 

Jack and Jill bathroom spaces can often translate to two ensuites plus some storage.

 

I am in a 4/5 bed bungalow conversion, where they did do the conversion after reducing it to three walls and a hole, with South also being the front. I am planning some changes, one of which his how to turn my sun-side into a practical 'front courtyard garden' such that a dining terrace would work on that side without impinging on privacy. The plan is perhaps an arcade or loggia. But I front onto a tiny lane. 

 

In your case quite a lot could be done with a relaxing space down the garden eg hedges round an italianate pool as a private sunbathing spot, bbq etc. Mine is too short to avoid shadows from the house all day.

 

You could perhaps also get more living space by a single story space at the back.

  • The bit that makes me nervous with pulling the garage forward is that it creates space right in the middle of the house, and what light there is will be coming from the NW. Our current living room is more or less in exactly this situation (plus a couple of NE windows facing next door's rather nasty breeze-block garage) and it's positively stygian in winter. If anything I've been toying with the reverse - bringing the front wall forwards over the garage. That would enlarge the SE-facing "study" to almost 4m x 4m which is probably more useful living area than anything off the back of the garage.
  • If I did this there is probably room for two tiny ensuites on beds 3 & 4. Not something I'd do any time soon (the kids are still 6 and 4), but they're pretty close to the downstairs shower so running water and waste connections to the cupboard underneath (by the lounge) could be done cheaply and easily at this stage making a later retrofit relatively painless.
  • Front garden faces onto a pretty busy road (it's effectively a by-pass for the south side of Aylesbury, although they're allegedly building a proper one so it might calm down in a few years). Back garden is lovely, just spoiled by some huge Leylandii/close relative which smother everything. There are apple, plum and hazelnut trees beyond them so at some point they're coming down. It's a great place to work from home at the moment.
  • One thing I've been wondering about is essentially having the rear roof come down to ground floor level with the windows being dormers. That balances things a bit better and is probably quite cheap, but I'm nervous about how dark it risks making the centre of the house again, particularly in winter. The current model has the back of the house essentially level with that for the neighbours, so there is certainly scope to go a bit further back if needed though.

Garden.jpg

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Have a look at what you could do eg with turning your staircase into a large light well.

 

F

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4 minutes ago, Ferdinand said:

Have a look at what you could do eg with turning your staircase into a large light well.

Already doing that - stairs continue to loft level, and I've got a Velux in the top (cathedral ceiling). There's a ~300mm gap in the middle for the light to come down - should also help with stack effect in summer.

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If you have a big square floor plan with three rooms deep, the middle of the plan is always going to be dark especially where there's buildings either side!

The garage also seems to be placed to get the best light...

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1 hour ago, the_r_sole said:

If you have a big square floor plan with three rooms deep, the middle of the plan is always going to be dark especially where there's buildings either side!

The garage also seems to be placed to get the best light...

 

Following that up,

 

On three rooms deep - my GF rooms one side are (F to B) study-lounge-conservatory, and on the other spare-bedroom - stairs with bathroom under - kitchen. Garage-utility are where the side drive used to be. I plan to remove the wall between the study and lounge to give me a through room to help with the darkish lounge. Ideally I would have double doors to a breakfast terrace under a loggia at the front, but the bay window is only 10 years old so it may be an extravagance to do now. The front will still be a study / 2nd living room, and I will have foldaway shutters or internal glass double doors.

 

Try thinking about positioning the utility to the back of the garage, or make it more longitudinal - such that you can create a double aspect room running into the kitchen to improve light penetration. So you have one side that has blockages, and the other side that does not. In the posted plan, light is blocked front to back on both sides of the plan.

 

Or do that and swap the lounge and study.

 

If you look on the blog at how my downstairs shower room is done it is actually under the stairs / transverse landing.

 

F

 

 

Edited by Ferdinand

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