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Thoughts on floor plan/design?


Zak S

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1 hour ago, MR10 said:

I just remembered seeing a birch ply staircase done by angus and mack, could be an alternative material to consider.

https://www.angusandmack.com/projects/staircase-custom-door-fitted-interior-the-arbor-house


That's a beautifully smooth design, but I'd not convinced of the practicality / safety for say a 70-year-old - "forever house", remember.

 

The handrail looks very very smooth, and very difficult to use for applying steadying force at the hand - especially dry and  weaker hands of elderly people.

 

Sympathetic staircase design is one of the elements that makes a house practically liveable or not as we get older.

 

If the space is available and you want a curving staircase, I'd suggest an open well staircase to make it more sympathetic, with the spiral handrail as a feature.

 

Given the project is large, I'd also provision for a lift.

 

F

 

https%3A%2F%2Fwww.angusandmack.com%2Fmedia%2Fimages%2FProjects%2FThe-Arbor-House%2FAngusMack-TheArborHouse-027.jpg

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1 hour ago, MR10 said:

With costs, bear in mind that the foundations could end up costing way more that estimated for. Have a look at areas now where you can save money while still retaining the bits that wow you, and see what you can personally diy as that'll save on some labour costs down the line.

Above all, be realistic with the costs, it's getting highlighted by several members based on experience and we all mean well.

Thanks. That makes sense. Foundation bit does scare me a little. I have been posting here and reading the blog and do appreciate the invaluable feedback and advice provided by all. From the point of purchasing and waiting for probate (for the seller) to finish till now getting I valuable feedback.

, I have benefitted greatly by this forum and thanks to all those who comment for no apparent gain except to help others. I have already taken into account the point about cost and any modification needs to keep the cost angle in mind to bring any cost risky items within control. I intend to project manage myself (at least parts of it) as have done few other properties but DIY at that level is not my remit. Where i want to save cost is the procurement. Not trying to boast....we recently refurbished the bathroom and I was able to source the material (better than any quality found in typical UK bathroom showrooms) including stone bath, smart andriod mirror, smart toilet  Stone one piece vanity unit at one third of the cost. Its the procurement which we need to sort out which will help greatly to make the project viable.

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36 minutes ago, Ferdinand said:


That's a beautifully smooth design, but I'd not convinced of the practicality / safety for say a 70-year-old - "forever house", remember.

 

The handrail looks very very smooth, and very difficult to use for applying steadying force at the hand - especially dry and  weaker hands of elderly people.

 

Sympathetic staircase design is one of the elements that makes a house practically liveable or not as we get older.

 

If the space is available and you want a curving staircase, I'd suggest an open well staircase to make it more sympathetic, with the spiral handrail as a feature.

 

Given the project is large, I'd also provision for a lift.

 

F

 

https%3A%2F%2Fwww.angusandmack.com%2Fmedia%2Fimages%2FProjects%2FThe-Arbor-House%2FAngusMack-TheArborHouse-027.jpg

This Angus and Mack project is amazing. I see elements of this in my project ie feature staircase, pivot enterance door etc. Our architect is quite good and the one of the reason for us to choose him over other bog standard people was his knowledge and use of of zinc cladding and other different unique materials and colour. He designed this as well not far from where we used to live (except for the roof colour - that was the owner themselves)

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1 hour ago, Zak S said:

Thanks. How does that work for remodel rather than rebuild. I am happy to use lighter material where possible e.g. sip panel/sticks etc.

 

£/m2 is a rule of thumb at best, there are so many factors that will push it up or down.  Remodelling might save you in some areas, but it will cost you more in others if you're trying to tie into existing structures.  You'll also have VAT to think about - so I don't think I'd assume remodelling will save you money, it might actually be the other way round.

 

For context our build budget is not dissimilar to your own - we've spent money on some quality materials for the exterior finishes and some architectural interest (as it sounds like you're planning), but it's also smaller, we're running individual trades with a fair bit of DIY, and are likely planning a very basic interior fitout.  We definitely couldn't fit 50k in the budget for the staircase.

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I don't think what your architect has sketched is constructable, not within a sensible budget, at least. I'd be amazed if your existing structure and walls will take that much modification and additional loads. Id expect extensive steel work, underpinning and piling.

 

Take a step back, look at different options. Speak to other people. We were in exactly the same scenario 4 years ago, and bought a property to renovate. Lift roof, additional floor, extension, all that. A quick scrape around the bottom of the house revealed that there was no way the structure could take it. We don't regret building from scratch for one second. You can achieve so, so much more with a clean slate. Making that design pass BC regs, never mind to a future proof spec, will be a real challenge.

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On cost estimating, if a "newbuild" figure is (say) £3k per sqm, then that averages out more money on the ground floor because you don't need to build eg another set of foundations for upstairs.

 

In your case, since you are remodelling and extending downstairs, I'd say use the newbuild figure for the whole thing for an upper estimate rather than reduce it "because we are remodelling", as you are doing extensive work downstairs too. That will in practice give you an extra contingency -which given the project may be useful to have built in.

 

For a second estimate, perhaps use the newbuild figure for the area of your extension downstairs, plus the areas of the other stories, plus a 'remodelling' figure for the existing area you are retaining.

 

Perhaps add a number for the extra cost of each "feature" if that is not in your basic numbers.

 

That will begin to give you a pair of bracketed numbers  for upper and lower figures (they will be indicative, not boundaries).

 

Tip one: study your T&C agreement / contract with the architect with a fine tooth comb. If you have a % deal (say 15% for design and supervision to completion) then what happens if your needed budget increases by say 15% is that you suddenly find yourself paying an extra 15% extra architect fees without much extra work being done. It's your call how to deal with that type of potential elephant trap.

 

Tip two: Architects quite often quote for an idealised version of your brief, and have a whole selection of ready less-expensive feature suggestions for when the customer goes GULP! Don't be afraid to ask for 95% as good but less gold plated ideas. Ask your architect for his better or more practical ideas than your suggestions or what he has shown you - that is the experience you are paying for.

 

But also the more knowledge you develop yourself, and the more thinking time you give yourself, the more effective customer you can be.

 

In this case, I'd say that you are quite attached to your architect, and you need to keep an eye on yourself to make sure you reflect on each thing before agreeing to it - rather than risking being a "Yes Customer". It's all about creative and thoughtful dialogue with an architect as you design your house together.

 

HTH

 

F

 

 

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+1 for demolish and start again.

 

We started renovating and soon realised it was a terrible idea so demolished and started again with a blamk sheet of paper.  So much easier.

 

 

Edited by Mr Blobby
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38 minutes ago, Conor said:

not within a sensible budget, at least

Thanks. Hence we are holding off any further design work until we get the cost picture a bit clearer.

 

Ground investigation was already done by us before we even bought the house so we sort of knew the fact that existing foundation cannot take the load and we need to build at certain places aroud the house with selective piling and shift the load. Use of steelwork is also expected. Key thing for us is how do we change the existing design  while keeping certain wow factors to reduce the cost and make it more manageable. I am going to see the SIP / timber company today to see what they have to say about the feasibility of the build and cost. So trying to take baby steps carefully before we come to detailed planning drawing and application. 

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12 minutes ago, Mr Blobby said:

+1 for demolish and start again.

 

We started renovating and soon realised it was a terrible idea so demolished and started again without any constraints.  

 

 

Rebuild is simply out of question.  I rather simplify the design than rebuild. There are so many limiting factors including finance etc which will make the rebuild impossible hence trying to see how can we reduce cost by modifying the design.

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53 minutes ago, Ferdinand said:

 

That will begin to give you a pair of bracketed numbers  for upper and lower figures (they will be indicative, not the boundaries)

 

Very helpful tips. Many thanks.

 

We have fixed fee agreement with the Architect and it does not include supervision to completion..... is it absolutely essential?

 

It's definitely makes sense to ask the architect to suggest modifications to bring the cost down with respect to internal layout.

 

We are only wedded to the architect as he has understood the brief on design and features and due to materials suggested but your suggestion "to keep an eye and challenge every thing" is extremely important.

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I'm almost certain you could build a much more optimised new house for less money than the extensive renovation / modification. I think what is drawn could be in the £1m ballpark, based on £3k/m2 plus risk. A simpler two story new build would cost about the same after VAT allowed for, but with less risk and the final product would be nicer, warmer, more desirable and valued more.

 

Keep doing your homework and report back in a few months :)

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A couple of points I don't think anyone has mentioned yet:

 

+ the VAT situation is much better on new builds than refurbs - this may swing the economics.

 

+ the BCO (and I suspect you) won't want to build on existing foundations without SE calcs / soil investigations etc - especially if the soil state is known to be challenging anyway. So, you won't be able to avoid the foundation question. You wouldn't want the thing to subside after it's been built would you?

 

+ you'll get much better insulation values if you relay the slab.

 

+ it's probably no more expensive to re-build rather than do an extensive refurb and you'll almost certainly end up with a better result.

 

 

 

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16 hours ago, Zak S said:

charred timber and zinc fish scale cladding, spider glazing and projecting window

 

16 hours ago, Zak S said:

double height ceiling in the living room and bed room

 

15 hours ago, Zak S said:

The pink area suffers with subsidence so must come down in any case.

 

16 hours ago, Zak S said:

achieveling more than 500sqm

 

16 hours ago, Zak S said:

Budget is around £650k

 

Get some quotes at a very early stage and work out what is feasible.  You need to double your budget or halve your expectations or a combination of both.

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1 hour ago, Mr Punter said:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Get some quotes at a very early stage and work out what is feasible.  You need to double your budget or halve your expectations or a combination of both.

Good idea. That will be the first thing I will do before doing any design modifications.

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3 hours ago, Alan Ambrose said:

A couple of points I don't think anyone has mentioned yet:

 

+ the VAT situation is much better on new builds than refurbs - this may swing the economics.

 

+ the BCO (and I suspect you) won't want to build on existing foundations without SE calcs / soil investigations etc - especially if the soil state is known to be challenging anyway. So, you won't be able to avoid the foundation question. You wouldn't want the thing to subside after it's been built would you?

 

+ you'll get much better insulation values if you relay the slab.

 

+ it's probably no more expensive to re-build rather than do an extensive refurb and you'll almost certainly end up with a better result.

 

 

 

VAT is certainly attractive but there are other constraints on the rebuild.

 

Project of this scale will defo involve SE and i am thinking of getting him involved before moving any further with design modification.

 

Slab with void and with piles will cost nearly 90k and is out of question. I will have to find alternative. If I was going with rebuild I will go for Vibro and with the help of someone here I explored that option and that seems sensible but rebuild is currently not viable.

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  • 1 month later...

hey there! 🌟 so, diving right into your floorplans, the blue extension on the ground floor sounds like a cool idea. makes me think you're aiming for that smooth indoor-outdoor flow, yeah? with the pink parts getting the chop, just make sure you're not losing any charm that gives your bungalow its character, especially since you're going big with three stories. a 20m width is pretty generous - loads of room for creativity there! I'm loving the idea of a terrace out front on the first floor. with a quiet, picturesque street scene, it's the perfect spot for morning coffees or chilling with a book. 📚 your material choices are pretty on-trend. grey bricks and charred timber give that timeless yet modern vibe, and zinc fish scale cladding? that's gonna look wicked against the green of a garden or any natural scenery. oh, and that zinc or slate roof is gonna be killer under the sky's changing colors. the spider glazing system for windows, with them projecting out, is super sleek - they'll catch the light in such a cool way. just picture the sunsets and sunrises, huh? 🌅a steel bridge in the hall is seriously bold. love that industrial-chic sort of touch. and a curved feature staircase is like the cherry on top, making a statement right when you walk in. it's got that 'wow' factor, for sure. just a heads-up, all these fancy bits can add up on the bill, so brace yourself when it comes to budgeting. 💰 but it sounds like you're crafting something amazing! can't wait to see it when it's all done. good luck, and keep us posted! 👍

 
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