deancatherine09

Architect plans - opinions welcome

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Below are the first draft back from the architects. Background - there is already PP for a detached house on the plot. This design follows the same footprint but has been amended and modified internally and externally. It's a 0.4 acre site with good views over the South side.

 

Overall, we are really happy with what they have done. And instead of Zinc/ Timber I am leaning towards charred larch / brick with slate roof. There are a few adjustments internally we are pondering on but I guess the question is to the more experienced folk out there, what would you suggest as improvements?

 

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Posted (edited)

Not keen on the utility/larder layout on the GF - with a little re-arrangement there could be a better use of space, think I'd square off the larder and just make it a walk through larder into the utility instead of that awkward door arrangement, or just ditch the larder, move the wall up to the hall boundary and have 1 big utility with food cupboards in it. 

 

Upstairs WC's - I'd consider how you will be installing all those services, toilets on different walls means more services in more walls and more waste routes thus more noise through your home, I would swap the linen cupboard with the WC door and have the main bathroom and en-suite toilets more or less back to back making that a single, perhaps thicker, service wall with water etc, and a single soil pipe with 2 connections, at present there will be services running all over. Being in M&E consultancy I see things differently to many, but that is just totally impractical and typical architect thinking. 

 

The current design is also more costly than a streamlined approach with shared services. 

 

 

Edited by Carrerahill

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Swap the kitchen and Family areas. This way the kitchen is closer the larder and utility (which I'd also modify so the larder has more direct access and integrated into the new kitchen location better).

By swapping the kitchen and family area the family area will have the nice views towards the south you mentioned. You can have a larger window to the floor which can also provide access to outside and connect with the paved area from the dining room.

 

Upstairs while a lovely large master bedroom I'd consider reducing it and taking a bit of space from it to give to Bedroom 03. I just think it's a bit big compared to the other bedrooms, which are fine and functional but feel a few mm more would be appreciated which the master bedroom can spare.

 

I'd also consider putting in a proper plant room where the hot water tank, MVHR unit, electrical board, water pumps and other items go. You'll loose a massive amount of area in the Utility or storage in the linen if you try and cram plant stuff into them.

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How will you clear the roof between the two pitches? I may well be completely wrong here but a colleague had quite a bad experience with a similar setup where leaves and other dirt accumulated quickly, keeping water there and eventually causing a serious leak. 

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59 minutes ago, oldkettle said:

How will you clear the roof between the two pitches? I may well be completely wrong here but a colleague had quite a bad experience with a similar setup where leaves and other dirt accumulated quickly, keeping water there and eventually causing a serious leak. 

 

Such an important point. There is a valley gutter which carries a considerable risk of leaking into the house. 

It also requires downpipes through the house, and drains under the floor, including manholes or other access points .

 

Alternatively it has to pour off the ends and down the main roof in a torrent and splashes over the external gutters.

 

The size of internal gutters these days is, rightly, huge to carry expected storm water, whereas this sketch shows none.

At a guess this will be 300 wide and 100 high., then tucked well under the tiles.

Even if sufficiently sized, and with 2 outlets in case one blocks, you will have to get up there once or twice a year to clear it, depending on leaf and pollution exposure.

 

Pretty but a big problem for you. Your decision and your money.

 

If you love the shape and don't mind the extra cost and risk, then go ahead but do ask what drainage solution the architect has. (prediction: that is for the builders to detail).

 

If it was me and I had to build the valley, I would add an escape skylight next to the valley, for less dangerous access to remove dead pigeons and weeds. Live pigeons or seagulls might also consider nesting there.

 

Do I like valley gutters? No.

 

Similar behind chimney stack,  though less difficult.

Is that a pretend chimney? There doesn't seem to be a hole in it.

 

 

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When thinking about windows, I always consider where I can wander about in my pants without scaring neighbours etc. So the big window on the stairs is great for light, but not privacy... plus it’s south facing so will have significant solar gain. 

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I really like the design, accepting people's concern re upkeep on the roof. 

 

A few minor changes, mainly agreement with what has gone before.

 

Unless you really want a larder for Instagram, fair enough if that's what you want, I would just incorporate it into the utility with extra cupboards.

 

Ideally make sure you can see the TV from the table, hob and sofa in the kitchen. I find we sit at the table at least as much as on the sofa in ours.

 

The kitchen as shown will have very little wall space. Assuming an eye level oven, where will it go. Next to the fridge/freezer could create an awkward corner, but that is the only place left. It can work though. We had the kitchen designed before we finalised the plans in case it didn't work.

 

I agree flipping over the bathroom/linen cupboard would make pipework easier. Also consider the layout of the master en suite to try and get the waste pipe to go down through the utility.

 

The master has a lot of unused floor area, would you consider a sitting area in there? Does the bed have to be in the middle? We have high level windows like that and the light really annoys me. I haven't yet got them covered since someone tried quoting 6k for electric blinds.

 

Bed 3 does look a little narrow and stealing some space from the master would be a good idea.

 

Will you have MVHR, large hot water tank etc and where will they go?

 

 

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Hi.  So firstly I personally love the look of the house, but architecture is like art, subjective.  I love the twin roof design but others have made really good points re the practicalities of that.     the roof window suggestion is a good one especially as you have easy loft access, incorporating proper stairs is a great idea in your design.
 

A couple of further practical observations.  Think about how you would actually live in the house.  There a few architectural features that are like “wow” but may be difficult to actually live with.

 

1.  Are you likely to use the bath in the en-suite.  If not bin that.  Many here speak about benefits of having more space having no bath in en-suite.

2.  Are you likely to use the balcony.  Lots of folk here with balconies regret it.  That’s a lot of space you could use to improve upstairs.

3.  Shape of master bedroom.  Long and thin.  Will feel weird.  Mistake we made with some rooms were they were too long and thin.

4.  Master bedroom window.  Solar gain will likely be an issue, even with overhang,  and triangular window treatments rarely look great.    No point in building a beautiful house that’s hard to live in. You could resolve that and save quite a bit of money by going for normal shaped windows.   My daughters bedroom, full height windows, overheats.

5.  Are you likely to use a large shower downstairs.  If not consider future shower and use that space perhaps for storage.  We did that & glad we did.

 

 

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Thanks all for your input - lots of valuable points and very much appreciated. We had a meeting with the Architects yesterday and lots of points raised were discussed. The twin roof design I do like, and with planning constraints I am not sure there's much else that would fit the bill, but I take on board the points re gulley. We already had on the list to add a couple of Velux windows in that gulley, to let in light to the roof space and allow access for inspection and maintenance. I don't think anyone will be able to see them from the ground so they shouldn't cause an issue for planning.

 

Other points discussed were, reduce balcony size, move en suite to right of bedroom, change larder access along with add plant room with space taken from downstairs shower (not needed). We are also removing the chimney (never in our brief and they guessed we wanted one).

 

I also have asked them to move the stairs more centrally and move the coat / shoe storage to next to the front door.

 

So we are hoping the second draft will remove some of the design issues in the above. I imagine it won't be final but much closer! The solar gain on that stairwell window is a valid point, but we aim to mitigate that by having deep set windows (internal opening) and external shading. The top will be opening so we can use it to vent the house in summer.

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V2 back from the architects. Much better and we are pretty much there. We are still debating the vaulted ceiling / triangular windows at the back (I personally don't love them) so I think they might go, plus we may tinker with a couple of the other windows too.

 

Balcony is a non negotiable point - the views are stunning and it's one aspect of the house I am really looking forward to. 

 

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Posted (edited)

Looks good. Shame for the downstairs WC not to have a window. I'd look at modifying the utility, plant room and that WC to try and get it a window.

 

Still think I'd steal a tiny bit off the master bedroom or it's ensuite to make Bedroom 3 a tiny bit bigger. 

 

I preferred the location of the hallway door. It's now off a sub circulation nook rather than the main hallway route.

 

The wall between the larder and stairs. I'd have that a double wall that a large sliding door could slide out of and close off the main living area to the entrance hallway (It could also be the utility family wall side). More elegant that double glass doors. It will probably be open 95% of the time but if kids are playing or a party is going on in the family room it will provide another layer of separation if someone was working in the study or trying to sleep upstairs. You've a void over the front door and the stairs so noise can travel from the main kitchen family area around the whole house.

Edited by Dudda

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51 minutes ago, deancatherine09 said:

triangular windows at the back (I personally don't love them)

 

We have vaulted ceiling and a balcony designed on our master bedroom - but have definitely not gone for triangular windows.

 

These might look great from the outside - but - just take a look around at some that are in your neighbourhood - it's almost impossible to find a good solution to making the room dark at night. You'll see curtains drawn to the side and all sorts of weird stuff......

 

Simon

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49 minutes ago, deancatherine09 said:

V2 back from the architects. Much better and we are pretty much there. We are still debating the vaulted ceiling / triangular windows at the back (I personally don't love them) so I think they might go, plus we may tinker with a couple of the other windows too.

 

Balcony is a non negotiable point - the views are stunning and it's one aspect of the house I am really looking forward to. 

 

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You've ended up with something that is remarkably close to the layout we have, although yours addresses a couple of the specific problems we've found with ours. I like the position of the stairs - ours are in the hallway, and we decided a couple of years ago that we should have done exactly what you've done here.

 

We even initially had a void at the front door as you have, but we ended up moving it above the dining area instead (our dining area and kitchen are swapped compared to yours). It looks nice enough, but in our case makes it impossible to acoustically separate upstairs and downstairs. 

 

12 minutes ago, Dudda said:

The wall between the larder and stairs. I'd have that a double wall that a large sliding door could slide out of and close off the main living area to the entrance hallway (It could also be the utility family wall side). 

 

Massively agree with this. We can't close off parts of the house from each other very well at the moment, which is a bit of a pain if kids are trying to watch a movie in the living room while, e.g., adults are talking in the kitchen. 

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Posted (edited)

Looks good.

 

I concur that open plan houses are very noisy.

 

Does that external door in the kitchen area serve a specific purpose? Otherwise I would just do away with it. Would look much nicer with cupboards down to the end of the room. Also you could have an eye level oven whereas it looks like you would have to have it under counter at the moment due to a lack of wall space(assuming the x is a large fridge freezer)

Edited by AliG

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