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Floorplans - any suggestions welcome and appreciated!


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this is a little like design by committee lol, it’s looking a bit of a camel. 

 

How are you supporting the dormers, if they are flush with the main walls, then they will be unsupported brickwork. I don’t know if your architect is terribly experienced? 

 

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On 02/04/2022 at 13:45, Adsibob said:

 Where is your UVC going? 

 I had assumed either in that cupboard or perhaps carve out some space from the master ensuite or family bathroom given that's where most of the plumbing will be and the ASHP will be in the utility directly below. Good shout though, I shall raise when I go back with comments as they probably haven't thought about it.

 

19 hours ago, CharlieKLP said:

I think maybe the porch would look better sloping forwards? 
 

 

Oh, I agree.  Unfortunately the other half doesn't, and thinks it would look like the house has a nose :D   

I found a picture where a similar porch looks ok.  not sure why it looks alright here but the one in our plans looks a bit naff.  maybe because this one follows directly off the gable roofline?


Porch.PNG.67b204305700854b0fd5622ebdd06a6e.PNG
 


 

6 hours ago, CharlieKLP said:

this is a little like design by committee lol, it’s looking a bit of a camel. 

 

How are you supporting the dormers, if they are flush with the main walls, then they will be unsupported brickwork. I don’t know if your architect is terribly experienced? 

 


Yeah, I think they've given it to someone fairly inexperienced, which is in itself not necessarily a problem, provided there's someone more experienced overseeing, but I think that's been lacking so far. We've made a bit of noise though so hopefully that'll be sorted going forward. 

I don't know any specifics on the dormers at this stage other than Nudura saying they'd most likely be timber constructed.  We've seen examples of similar dormers online like in the picture below so we had assumed it wasn't going to be an issue. 

Dormers.thumb.jpg.f99b04fbf49edf4c6f7a69e829d48352.jpg

Edited by Selfbuildnewbie
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That’s a lightweight clad building, ie it’s a timber frame with a skin of plaster board and render on the outside. I think it’s Border Oak?

 

You can no longer build that way, unfortunately.

 

Timber frame requires a layer of block on the outside or you can’t get a building warranty.

 

also, note the terrible gutter situation on that house, ick.

 

I think you should demand someone decent steps in, if you’re paying for it you shouldn’t get the office junior.

 

I think you should get a divorce 😋, the porch is not helping your house. 

Edited by CharlieKLP
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23 minutes ago, CharlieKLP said:

Timber frame requires a layer of block on the outside or you can’t get a building warranty

If by building warranty you mean building warrant then you don't need block on the outside. If you mean structural warranty then again, you can get one with exterior timber cladding on the timber frame.

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It’s a render house…  if you have timber frame and render you will need block to hold the render. 
 

Render or exterior timber cladding, you will struggle to get a self build mortgage.  If it is more than 40% lightweight, then I don’t think there’s any, none for render on board. 
I mean the warranty for the whole house, so this makes specification impossible. You can only get individual products. 


If you would like home insurance, then you will need a brokered product, which is not the end of the world but awkward. Most people like to just get it online. 


You could do the dormer cheeks in render on board though. Steel above the window. But you will need block more than 40%

 

 

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On 02/04/2022 at 13:32, Selfbuildnewbie said:

Hi everyone, 

 

We have an updated set of floor plans back from our architect.  Front elevation has been changed to more in line with what @CharlieKLP and @ETC suggested and the store room has been replaced by a study. We couldn't find a way to change the large gable on the rear without over-compromising on the floor plan though.

 

We'd appreciate any suggestions on the following:

  1. Finding somewhere for a fairly large coat/shoe cupboard in the vicinity of the front door.  Our architect hasn't currently found anywhere suitable aside from a small cupboard under the stairs and it's a bit too far from the front door.  The only solution I can think of is to push the stairs back by, say, half a metre, make the kitchen 4.8m deep rather than 5.4m and then fit the coat cupboard in on the right hand side at bottom of the stairs, with a pocket door. We'd put kitchen units or cupboards under the half-landing of the stairs (if that is structurally possible?) so, in effect, retaining a 5.4m deep kitchen. I've mocked that idea up, see below - I would appreciate any thoughts on whether that could work. Any other ideas on how we could fit the cupboard in?
  2. Access from kitchen/diner to living room - the architect has suggested inserting two 1.1m pocket doors between the kitchen/diner and living room (one at each end) which can be left open most of the time. That fits our brief for a "broken plan" feel but we're not sure it completely works as drawn at the moment. Presumably it would be better if the dining table was turned 90 degrees?  And the pocket door at the bottom is too central on the living room wall and currently opens onto the back of a sofa.  Any suggestions for how it could be made better?

Any other comments on the floor plans also very welcome.

 

 

1414599207_Groundfloor.png.4da5f79c4348d5ef18d712265100bfad.png1738657464_FirstFloor.thumb.png.759f8ff9b1d8dc057516a32c4c42f2ef.png

 

Front.png.87a7c369e4d5d9640f0116167abe39a6.pngRear.png.9c0f1fcbca3d6ab573a2399a74834562.png

 

 

574420880_Coatcupboard.thumb.PNG.6985c50f9e9a181dccec4fd681469d3c.PNG

 

 

 

 

Front.png

Bit of SE input here just to complicate matters!

 

When the wind blows it endevours to collapse your house like a pack of cards. To provide a bit of context. Even in benign parts of the UK you are designing for a magnitude of 200 -250 kg of force for every square meter of upwind elevation exposed to the wind. You can quickly see that the sideways load is quite a lot, given that say a family car may weigh some 800kg? Also the roof.. it is quite a big house and the roof acts like a sail on a boat.. more force.

 

Some of this sideways load is resisted by the outside walls but when you put big openings in them they don't work so well. Thus to offset this you want a good few walls internal walls on the ground floor in both front to rear and gable to gable directions. Ideally you want walls that are longer than they are tall both internally and externally. This is a good way of grasping what will be an economic structural concept. At first glance your ground floor layout looks like you will need to spend a bit more on the structure, possibly more than you want.

 

The pocket doors are shown within the thickness of a standard wall.. tricky. If you look at how much wall you have left that is available to turn into a structural wall then you don't have much to play with particularly in the gable to gable direction. You can still have pocket doors but often you need to thicken the wall so that one part of it still remains a structural wall that can carry both vertical loads from the floors above and resist the wind loads.

 

You have some pretty big spans there on the ground floor and a fair number of things above to hold up so bearing this in mind.. I would ditch the pocket doors from an SE point of view. Also in service.. having pocket doors from say living room to a music / tv room does not stack up due to sound transmission. It's great the open plan idea but they can be noisy.

 

It's time to put some gridlines on these drawings at the concept stage so you can see how things line up properly. You could easily loose thousands here by needing extra structural works that are not required!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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@CharlieKLP and @Gus Potter - thank you, some really useful advice. Much appreciated.

Just going back to the porch, if you take this house, stretch it a bit wider, and move the dormer left a bit,  you get something akin to the shape of our house.  Please could I get the com
mittee's views on whether a porch like in the picture below might look okay on our house? 

1833285425_Frontporch.PNG.8c79588de97a136edd5b5a6bf3962091.PNG

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19 minutes ago, CharlieKLP said:

It’s a render house…  if you have timber frame and render you will need block to hold the render. 
 

Render or exterior timber cladding, you will struggle to get a self build mortgage.  If it is more than 40% lightweight, then I don’t think there’s any, none for render on board. 
I mean the warranty for the whole house, so this makes specification impossible. You can only get individual products. 


If you would like home insurance, then you will need a brokered product, which is not the end of the world but awkward. Most people like to just get it online. 


You could do the dormer cheeks in render on board though. Steel above the window. But you will need block more than 40%

 

 

OT sorry.. It's a bit of a scunner really that the insurance companies have these quirks. It's perfectly doable to design a fire resistance low rise TF house structurally that is also fire safe. It's a huge topic but the main principles are:

 

1/ You need to design so that in the event of a fire the occupants are warned of an outbreak, that they can exit quickly and safely. Should they not be able to do so then they are protected from the effects of smoke and heat for a length of time sufficient for the fire service to effect a rescue.

 

2/ That the fire service are not endangered by an unexpected / disproportionate / rapid collapse of a structure.

 

3/ That you don't set light to neighbouring properties.

 

In most cases I think the biggest and most common bill the insurance companies need to swallow is that from water damage caused caused by the fire services on low rise housing. Hopefully things will change in the future as insurance companies revisit their risk exposure.

 

Yes the dormer cheeks are part of the roof so often considered as a non structural element.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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32 minutes ago, CharlieKLP said:

It’s a render house…  if you have timber frame and render you will need block to hold the render. 
 

Render or exterior timber cladding, you will struggle to get a self build mortgage.  If it is more than 40% lightweight, then I don’t think there’s any, none for render on board. 
I mean the warranty for the whole house, so this makes specification impossible. You can only get individual products. 


Most of those statements are incorrect. 
 

@Bitpipe has a render carrier board on a TF house (with warranty from memory)

 

@ProDave has render on wood fibre insulation which is a fairly common build method up there


@Thedreamer has timber cladding and a mortgage 

 

I’m not quite sure of your sources of information sometimes but they need validating. TF, render carrier and cladding are all mainstream and very much allowable on mortgages and warranties. 

 

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Took me less than 5 minutes to get an insurance quote for my parents' house where the walls are render on render board.

 

It was something I did before signing off on the construction method.

 

It was a standard option for wall type in an online search.

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Well @PeterW @CharlieKLP

 

You have opened a can of worms here!

 

I think Charlie is right to some extent that you may find it harder to get a range of offers on a self build loan if you have what the insurance companies deem to be a bit off piste, not enough info on the risk.

23 minutes ago, Gus Potter said:

It’s a render house…  if you have timber frame and render you will need block to hold the render. 

Disagree with Charlie here, it's a relaxed forum and sometimes we just choose the wrong form of language.. I often do.

 

@Selfbuildnewbie

 

To help you on the way. A timber framed house is just that. The internal timber frame carries all the loads, from the sideways wind and the floors and so from above. This is the skeleton of the house. Attached to this can be, facing bricks / blocks / timber cladding / cement based boards that are finished with something, could be paint even or thin texture material.

 

It's not quite that straight forward from an SE point of view as the outside skin can also stiffen the TF so the outer skin does have some interaction with the TF..long story.

 

Now wood burns, thus if a fire starts on the inside of the house you need to stop the timber frame from catching light from the inside for a period of time. On the outside you have to clad the frame with something that will not do these things:

 

1/ To not become alight if say a window breaks, sparks / flames fly out and set light to the outside of the cladding. This is called often surface spread of flame. Thus you can't have on outer skin crepe paper, to be extreme.

 

2/ That if you get visited by vandals it's not easy for them to set your house on fire.. again surface spread of flame.

 

3/ That the outer skin of your house will not heat up too much / or fail and send sparks over a boundary. Long story but this is called a fire boundary condition. If the wall heats up it will radiate heat like an electric fire. Sparks are self explanatory.

 

4/ That you protect the timber frame skeleton so that it stays up long enough and not fall down as it is holding all the other components attached to it that are doing their thing.

 

Funnily you don't have to protect your detached house from a neighbour's fire under the fire boundary regs. However I always like to think about how you protect folk from the daft things their neighbour may do.

 

@Selfbuildnewbie don't be disheartened.. it's a big challenge to self build but you are going about it the right way. So much info to process... it will all come together in the end though.

 

 

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1 hour ago, PeterW said:


Most of those statements are incorrect. 
 

@Bitpipe has a render carrier board on a TF house (with warranty from memory)

 

@ProDave has render on wood fibre insulation which is a fairly common build method up there


@Thedreamer has timber cladding and a mortgage 

 

I’m not quite sure of your sources of information sometimes but they need validating. TF, render carrier and cladding are all mainstream and very much allowable on mortgages and warranties. 

 


It’s fairly new update, and my source of info would be the directors of a major timber frame company that no longer allows for predominantly render on board houses.

 

 

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30 minutes ago, CharlieKLP said:


It’s fairly new update, and my source of info would be the directors of a major timber frame company that no longer allows for predominantly render on board houses.

 

 

I think Charlie has a point to make in the context of the current climate about obtaining insurance for self build.. at a reasonable rate. Charlie.. my interpretation.. please forgive if wrong.

 

After Grenfell, we have not made any material progress in terms of updating the regs to date. When last renewing my PI there were about an extra five or six pages that asked in great detail about what I have been doing in the past and what I will be doing in the future, and even what I may be thinking about in terms of cladding and fire design. I almost expected that the last question would be on my preference now or intended of underware.. boxers or something more.. modern, body sculpting but flammable. Clearly the insurance companies are  evaluating their risk model.

 

Charlie that said I hope that you will agree that we can often design a TF with significant areas of say timber cladding that can comply with the regs even if it is more challenging to obtain insurance in this current climate.

 

Once you get close to the boundary of a site timber cladding often just does not fly as an external covering, but in general can we live in hope?

 

 

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@Gus PotterYes PI has got a lot more expensive because of that hasn’t it. That and basement design, several failed in London and the insurers just decided it was too hard.

 

I still wouldn’t design a timber frame house more than 40% timber clad currently. I do think it’s possible to make it fire-resistant by sheathing the timber frame with a noncombustible material, I’d make sure your brokers understand before doing it and I’d get it in writing.

I do wonder which high street mortgage lenders see this as ‘standard’ construction?

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17 minutes ago, CharlieKLP said:

Yes PI has got a lot more expensive because of that hasn’t it. That and basement design, several failed in London and the insurers just decided it was too hard.

There was a whole page on swimming pools that cropped up. Not a big issue up here in Jockland as it's wet enough already.  Have a good PI broker that understands the construction industry so can discuss risk and what I'm up to.

 

22 minutes ago, CharlieKLP said:

I still wouldn’t design a timber frame house more than 40% timber clad currently. I do think it’s possible to make it fire-resistant by sheathing the timber frame with a noncombustible material, I’d make sure your brokers understand before doing it and I’d get it in writing.

Yes but you hit the wall when less than 1.0m from a boundary both under the English and Scottish regs. Strangely fires in Scotland are suggested to be hotter than English / Welsh / NI? fires once you really devle down into it, but at that level much is open to intrepretation and the wording of the regs.

 

I'm curious as to the 40% value. Is that something to do with the regs or a rule of thumb when trying to get off the shelf insurance, NHBC type support if you are a volume house builder?

 

26 minutes ago, CharlieKLP said:

I do wonder which high street mortgage lenders see this as ‘standard’ construction?

I don't think they do as it's not a mass market.

 

Hopefully things will settle down and lenders will appreciate that there are "new" proven ways of constructing houses and that there is money to be made by writing policies that cover what we are discussing.

 

 

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11 hours ago, PeterW said:


Most of those statements are incorrect. 
 

@Bitpipe has a render carrier board on a TF house (with warranty from memory)

 

 

Correct, we have a whole house latent defects warranty, a mortgage from a major High St lender (re-mortgaged at end of last year and new lender sent a surveyor etc.) and buildings insurance from a brand name insurer.

 

On the latter, I did get written confirmation that the wall construction method of rendered cement board on timber frame was OK as it was not one of their drop down options in the quote form.

 

Now, we do have problems with the render system itself as the cement board used has started to warp & crack and will need replaced at some point. 

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On 18/02/2022 at 21:27, ETC said:

BEF6C642-6E0F-4BA8-AEBB-D9BC10D2430C.png

Looks like mine, but the left column looks like the right , with wider upstairs windows .. not sure what you think..  I will post my plans for comments 

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Hi folks, our architect has provided some basic 3D visuals of the exterior, with an updated porch which does look a bit better than the previous attempts. Appreciate the design is not everyone's cup of tea, but we're always keen to hear suggestions or tweaks that people would make, including choice of materials and colours. 

Render colour and windows will probably be more of a cream and agate grey combo, something like in the border oak image above.

Still discussing those dormers with the architect given the previous discussions on this thread.


image.png.c2a45cc4e7b85b7ca7bb220cf3d95949.png


image.png.1769187485b7b4352337b13697ef34e1.png

 

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37 minutes ago, Selfbuildnewbie said:

Appreciate the design is not everyone's cup of tea, but we're always keen to hear suggestions or tweaks that people would make, including choice of materials and colours. 

This is the best thing about designing and building your own home , its all about what you want , like and need . 

As for materials and colours I would have black roof tiles and definitely go for clay whatever colour you choose as concrete ones age and start to look tired a lot quicker than you think. 

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I think it would look better to make the main roof into the porch. Just continue the roof down. Like ETC said. 

 

do it at the rear too, there’s no reason the conservatory area needs a different roof.

 

I like the bay separate though. It’s nice that it is it’s own thing.image.thumb.jpeg.440069a22091cd52cec9334d40bf1a2a.jpeg

Edited by CharlieKLP
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