magnethead

New House Design, what do you think?

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Hi THere,

I was wondering if you'd care to throw a few comments my way about this House design please? 

Overall appearance  (Please see 'Approved' file)

 

and of course, most importantly, the internal layout (Please see the second file)

 

Thanks for your ideas/input

 

The upstairs 'Cinema/kids room' will be accessed through a Stira Stairs over the Garage, THe space above the Garage will be just Storage/ HRV unit space.

The Master Bedroom has an ensuite and Walk-in Wardrobe beside it.

 

 

Approved.pdf

36-afterplanning-Layout.pdf

Edited by magnethead

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Hi and welcome. 

All looks quite tidy at a glance, but the layout of the master ensuite cant be right as everything is in the doorway :S

Im assuming your looking for feedback on room definitions and sizes as opposed to what's where in the rooms? 

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Welcome ...!

 

First comment is why change to a spiral staircase ..?? They are intrusive and impractical and at that size you are talking about a custom design so probably no change from £7-8k min. 

 

What ceiling height does the cinema room have ...? Looks to be too low..?

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Hi Guys,

Yeah the ensuite is not settled yet, the Idea is that there will be no door there, and the doorway will have the splitter wall (between the toilet and walk-in wardrobe) directly lined up with the middle of the doorway.

and Nick, any feedback for anything is welcome.

 

Peter, yuor right about the custom designed staircase, It is a Helical staircase, but not that wide a sweep, so not a million miles from a Spiral Staircase. One fancy company out of Mayfair was quoting about 12.5K :( 

Why Do you say impractical, They do look beautiful though :)

 

The ceiling height in the Cinema room is restricted, you can see in the section view of the 'approved' drawing.. It's above head height for about half the width of the Room.

 

 

 

 

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4 hours ago, PeterW said:

Welcome ...!

 

First comment is why change to a spiral staircase ..?? They are intrusive and impractical and at that size you are talking about a custom design so probably no change from £7-8k min. 

 

What ceiling height does the cinema room have ...? Looks to be too low..?

We owned a house that had a beautiful spiral staircase It looked amazing Totally impractical to live with

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Welcome, a really nice design.

 

I like the ground floor and would make minor changes.

 

I see the utility room changed due to a supporting wall. I would move the door to the right swapping it with the kitchen unit that has been left sitting on its own in the corner.

 

I agree the original stair looked better.

 

Upstairs seems out of proportion relative to downstairs and the amount of public space. You have just 3 bedrooms and one is a small double and one a single.

 

How about -

 

Move the bathroom to partly where the cinema room is. It would fit in the area with full head height. You may also be able to fit a hall cupboard in here. The bathroom would work well with a Velux.

 

The cinema room can move down towards the front of the house, I don't see why it wouldn't take up the whole space in there

 

Then make the second bedroom larger by making the bathroom a smaller en suite.

 

Punch a cupboard through the supporting wall from the small bedroom.

 

 

 

 

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I think you’re kitchen will be a bit dark. The kitchen island is over 6 meters from the dining area glazed wall. The kitchen window that faces to the rear garden and east has the living wall running beside it preventing a lot of natural light getting in. In addition I think you’ve nowhere near enough head height in the proposed ensuite / wardrobe area. It’s 2.4m in the corner and reduces from that. It’s going to be very tight on head height. 


I’m an architect so will always propose better space rather than more space. Therefore what I’d like to do is have a huge higher ceiling in the kitchen area. The attic area above the kitchen or proposed ensuite and wardrobe would just be a full height kitchen making it feel bigger and brighter. You could potentially add high level rooflights to this also bringing more light into the kitchen. I’d keep the cinema above the utility but enter it from the landing at the top of the stairs not from a stairs in the attic.


I’d also consider a higher sloped ceiling in the upstairs front bedroom 02, the master bedroom and the downstairs rear living room. You don’t need flat ceilings with tiny attic areas above these. Get more height and a better feeling of space into the rooms.

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The "West Wing" extends further south than the main south elevation.  This will mean the living room looses direct sunlight earlier in the day.  I would "flatten out" the south elevation, though that is a radical re design.

 

The garage is too short for a car. You need to combine the utility room to make the garage big enough and find somewhere else for the utility room.

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I had a quick look and my initial thoughts are the kitchen is facing north with one window looking east across a wall, it seems a bit dark and mean.

And I agree with @ProDave about the west wing, its too long facing south and after midday shadow will appear across the front of the dining room and living room. 

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Have a spiral staircase if you like them, I like them. The original stairs will also look great in the space, as it'll be open an light anyway. 

The sloped ceiling in the cinema room will be a quirk that works for the space imo, as I've never stood up to watch a film. 

Losing that stray kitchen unit is a good shout, but I'd keep the utility as that's a good space for the un-pretty kitchen stuff. Saves on expensive looking integrated alliances where they're not needed, plus a big house wants a big washer and a big drier which you won't get if integrated. 6 of us in mine so big washer & drier is a no brainer. 

Can you rotate the house in the plot ?

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More time to look at it now I am not sneaking a look at work!

 

Before addressing the issues we have all been talking about re ceiling heights etc, I have noticed something.

 

The original drawings had a wall at the first floor holding up the roofs with no support underneath it. I can see that this downstairs wall has been extended but still there is a 6m span above the kitchen with no support. Not only that, but there is nowhere to support the end of a steel there in the living room. Instead you would have to have 2 steels meeting at right angles and both over 6m long. It would make a lot more sense to move the living room wall to be in line with the east wall on the kitchen and make it blockwork to support one steel and lose the other. Unless you are determined to have that extra few hundred mils in the living room, this could probably save the best part of £10k. Also there is a chance that the steel will be very chunky and difficult to hide in the ceiling. My experience with architects is they will just say that this kind of thing can be sorted out. I can be it is very expensive.

 

In the planning drawings, there is a step down from the main house to the area above the garage/kitchen of 200mm. I am guessing that this step goes away if you turn that area into rooms and it is a floor rather than just a ceiling.

 

This makes quite a big difference when the ceiling height there was already compromised. I would check with the architect. You can probably lower the garage ceiling a little which would help at the front area, although you would have a step down into any room above the garage then, but above the kitchen you may be looking at less room again than shown. As @Dudda said, these could feel like compromised rooms. Really any room with less than 2.3m height at least over part of the room will probably feel uncomfortable. I really think you have to check the ceiling height on those areas.

 

If this is right, then I would go with @Dudda's idea of a double height kitchen with roof lights and the cinema room above the garage where you can lower the ceiling to keep the head height acceptable upstairs.

 

So if you have a cinema room above the garage, around 5m long, again as @Nickfromwales said you can work with the ceiling height and put a sofa below the low head height. I specifically designed the play area in the eaves of our house like this. However, you still need to have around 2m of head height at the front edge of the sofa so people can walk up to it and sit down. With this in mind the cinema room would only be 2.75m wide if you can keep the floor where it is now by lowering the garage ceiling and basically a non starter if you have to raise the floor to the first floor level as it would only be 2m wide. At 2.75m wide you would be able to sit far enough away from a large TV mounted on the south wall. I don't think the distances would make a projector worthwhile.


The idea of having the bedrooms go right up into the roof I think would be very nice.

 

What I said before about the lack of cupboards and the second and third bedroom being too small still stands. If you can't move the bathroom I would at least make it a little smaller to allow the second bedroom to be a decent double. I think you could move it by lowering the utility ceiling as well as the garage. If you lowered these to 2.4m then that would create a space roughly 7.5m long with a much better ceiling height at first floor level that could take the cinema room and bathroom and then you would have the double height kitchen behind them. I am not sure how I feel, however, about a step down into the bathroom, but maybe that is just me.

Edited by AliG

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My God, I'm overwhelmed with the Feedback and the high caliber of it!! Why didn't I come here last year....damn :)
Thank you everyone.

ok, Here is the two staircases, After talking with my wife who was only 'going along' with the spiral because I liked it so much, we've decided that the straigher type would be better.

 

Options.jpg?raw=1

 

Something MORE like this:

Lovely Curved Staircase - Stainless

 

Nod: when you say impractical, what was the biggest issue you had with a Spiral staircase (bring a clothes basket down, or furniture up?)..baring in mind, this stairs was going to be a helical style one, about 0.5M inner diameter, 2M on the outside dia.

AliG: My wife wants to 'hide' the entrance door to the Utility room, so that it blends in with the other cabinets. but that is a good point, there is no reason the blended door can't be the last 'cabinet' in that run.
That is an interesting Idea about moving the Cinema room forward and putting the toilet in there (I need to talk some more with the Wife about that)

Dudda: Well spotted: the kitchen light is something I am worried about, The height over the Kitchen at the moment is 2.7M. I see what you mean about making a vaulted ceiling all the way up...That would be HUGE :)  We were thinking, of having a ceiling box, with recessed led lighting, which would be on almost permanently, lighting that area.

something like this?
2a515cc3027c684f_8689-w500-h400-b0-p0--.
or maybe this is needed ;p

LED-ceiling-lamp-modern-minimalist-fashi
And the opposite idea is what we were thinking of in the sitting room, a recessed box, with recessed lighting, but maybe like you said, the Full height affect might be better

Here was the only Full height area we had planned before coming here ;p

 

Full_height_hall.jpg?raw=1

 

ProDave: Yes, the west wing, was a result of planning unfortunaltey, the origninal house occupied slightly less then half the garden space, and the planners rejected it, and one of the main reasons were, that it left room for another house in this tight urban area :) They have too many requests for kids building houses in their parents driveways..
Extending the front face of the house was one way to placate them. The Garage is a workshop and will never have a car inside it ;p.

JamesP: Natural light is not always on option unfortunately, we are hoping to compensate with a little artifically stuff.
You are right about that shadow, but it's about 3pm before the shadown starts to affect the dining room, I'll make up a shadown simulation if you really want it.

Nickfromwales: That Cinema room, is supposed to double as somewhere to kick the teenagers, when they reach the age in about 10 years. so not just for films.
No chance of rotating that house in the plot :) The Front faces onto the main road (See Page 3 on the 'approved file in the first post)


AliG: That's a big post ;p
That's a good structural point you make there, yes the plan was to have two steel beams like you say, meeting at right angles, not only did we want more room in the sitting room, we wanted double hanging doors, that slide into the false walls, so that the sitting room can be fully opened to the kitchen/dining area.

The stepdown you noticed, was the differene between, the poured concrete ICF floor of the bedrooms, and the proposed rafters (no floor was put in) over the Garage/Utility area.
That's a pure genius idea, I didn't think of lowering the floor area over the Garage Utility to help out with the rooms upstairs, but if I leave the floor like original giving 2.7M of height over the kitchen, there would be a transitiion for the HRV ducts..might be manageable though.

I hear you on the low ceiling heights, 2.4M is a minimum for the bedrooms, and downstairs, it's 2.7M everywhere we'd normally be living, but the Utility and Garage are up for adjustment :)
I'll play with that now, using your standard "2m of head height at the front edge of the sofa"

Would raised bedroom ceilings, not make the house less energy effcient? because of the extra space needed? We are using a warm roof, with 225mm thick slabs and hopefully an airtight finish.

you don't think roughly 12M2 is enough for a kids room?
If the upstairs toilet stays where it is(need to discuss the major idea of moving it to the cinema room with my wife), we'll move the window to the south for sure, so this means an AMENDMENT to the planning...so I better get any other ideas fixed as soon as possible.


 

Edited by magnethead
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I have not read the plans in detail, but one of the advantages of a half-landing staircase is that when you have older people to stay (or you are older yourself because you could never face another self-build after this one), you can put a chair in the corner of the half landing, and have a rest half way.

Edited by Ferdinand
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Thanks for coming back to us.

 

I wish I had done this exercise with my house but it was all approved before I started posting on here. I am sure people would have come up with some good ideas.

 

If you have a concrete first floor check how much clearance you will need for services. I asked for 2.8m ground floor ceilings then lost 100mm as we had to lower the ceiling to fit cabling, pipework etc under our concrete first floor. Especially if you have MVHR where the pipework can take up a lot of room.

 

I wouldn't worry about the extra heating cost of high ceilings, it would be negligible in a well insulated house. We have a few double height spaces and they feel so nice. Well worth it if you have the space.

 

12sq metres is enough for a bedroom, but I would want it to have a built in wardrobe on top of that. Partly it is personal preference, I hate free standing wardrobes. But I do think a fitted wardrobe tends to be more useful. By the time you put a wardrobe/drawers/desk in these rooms they won't have room for more than a single bed.  I think a house of this size would be expected to have at least 2 nice size double bedrooms. It would make the house a lot more saleable, of course you may never plan to sell. Other than the nice big utility room, you are quite short on cupboard space which is one of those things that makes a house more liveable even if it isn't very exciting. I'd maybe be tempted to make the office slightly smaller and put a hall cupboard in along the wall between the office and entry for coats/shoes etc.

 

Another thing that you could consider is doing away with the entry. Again it is a bit of personal preference. Our last two houses have had a vestibule as does my parents'. We found that they were so small you ended up standing in the hall with guests at the front door and the vestibule a kind of no man's land. You have a much better sized one here. I have done away with it in the new place and just open into a large hall. I think this will work better, but as I haven't moved in yet it's only a theory. I think an entry is one of those things that people expect a house to have but may not be necessary. Partly they were due to doors having very bad insulation and draught proofing, but this is no longer a problem. I would certainly move the doors from the entry to the hall over towards the garage so that it is easier to get into the house. As it stands at the moment, if you opened the door and were standing at the leading edge, you would be blocking people's route into the house due to the doors being off centre.

 

Final thing to mention is the fireplace in the living room. We designed our house with three fireplaces then discovered that we had to have much smaller than expected fires as they generate too much heat in a well insulated house. They also are shockingly expensive. A nice hole in the wall fire might cost £2-3000, fitting is very expensive also. Then you have the cost of the chimney, then you have to get the gas from the boiler to where the fire is. This all adds up to a cost of probably £5000+.  We are routing the gas around the outside of the house as people did not like to route it through the house although this is possible but again expensive due to strict regs. Assuming that you want a fire, which is a nice feature, you might consider pushing it out through the wall which will give you more space in the room and also having a rear flue which is a lot cheaper. It depends on if the chimney is a feature you like or not. We kept the chimneys but they are fake now!

 

 

 

 

 

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Hi again,

I'm still beaming after all the advice here :)

 

@Russell griffiths  The Software is called Chief Architect X8, and it's very easy to use, if you like those pictures, you'll love the photo realistic renders, but you have to fix your view before rendering it for 4 minutes, the latest version Chief Architect X10, you can render on the fly....Can't wait to ungrade.

 

@AliG  updated layout attached now, we redid the ensuite a bit, moved the support wall under second story(making the sitting room smaller) , we moved the stairway opening further north to make the kids rooms slightly bigger. We are still considering moving the toilet to the cinema area, but it a fairly major decision, so we'll think a bit more on that.

Moved the support wall up to the edge of the kitchen

https://www.dropbox.com/s/vphuloi6h0qdhaj/37-afterplanning-Layout.pdf?dl=0

 

The Idea is never to sell this house :) but you never know what life is going to throw at you.

 

The entry is necessary because it gives the house a much higher BER rating, you have to quarantine the heat in the rest of the house from the front door or it rushes out when you open it apparently, can't imagine it's that bad, unless you're talking to someone in the hallway for ages. and you're right about the new passive doors, are draught proof, but the BER rating would also affect the house price majorly.

We made this bigger now, so there's more room to get people in and a place for a table, hangers..etc

I can't move the hall doorway(glass windows) over towards the garage as this would give people a view into the open plan Kitchen dinning area, small window beside the front door would line up if that was the case.

 

I'm aware from internet research not to use a big stove in an insulated house ;p ...don't worry it will be a small wood burner only(Seal air supply and exit), and probably hardly ever used as we have underfloor heating.

WOW! Rear Flue, bloody genius!! I didn't consider that.... Thank you so much :)

 

Some Master bedroom shots of the tight ensuite...

Lad is 1.8M in this shot.

Master_Bedroom.jpg?raw=1

 

 

Master_Bedroom1.jpg?raw=1

 

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36 minutes ago, magnethead said:

 

 

Some Master bedroom shots of the tight ensuite...

Lad is 1.8M in this shot.

Master_Bedroom.jpg?raw=1

 

 

Master_Bedroom1.jpg?raw=1

 

 

Why is the doorway set into the sloped part of the wall?

WC where the basin is so your sat under the slope, door where the WC is ( still to entrance hall not room ) and basin opposite the WC. Pocket door if you can get away with it.

 

In the first pic, id go for slight 45 degree chamfers on the walls instead of the sharp corners. Will soften that choke point nicely for pennies and make the room look more spacious. 

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I didn't know the thing about a vestibule improving the BRE rating, I don't think that is a thing in the SAP rating. Typical arbitrary system, most vestibules are too small to be used like an airlock in this way.

 

I'd check that you haven't made the landing a little narrow outside the bedrooms upstairs, I'd want to stay at least 1m wide and ideally 1.1-1.2m for a landing.

 

@Nickfromwales is right on the en suite. Put the toilet under the lower ceiling like the sofa. Keep the door where the wall is highest. Also you need to think about getting a waste down from the WC and at the moment it is placed over the middle of the kitchen. The other bathrooms are stacked better. I would make sure your architect has allowed for MVHR and soil pipes as they are a pain to fit in.

 

 

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