Dreadnaught

Floor plan — comments welcome

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Posted (edited)

This is what has gone to planning for approval. I would welcome people's opinions, observations and suggestions for floor plan tweaks.

 

  • The aim was to design a floor plan with an eye on saleability
  • The constraints are that we are forbidden to overlook to east or north. Even roof windows are not allowed on the east but are allowed on the north. We are limited in height. And we cannot remove any trees.

 

BuildHub_version_of_plan.thumb.png.bacf153471dfbe8ee230826fa2fc890a.png

Edited by Dreadnaught
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Any particular preference for having the utility room and bathroom that way round?

 

It seems a bit crowded where the snug is, perhaps swapping this around with door now opening inward might be better?

 

Also the roof lights above the snug, is it worth going for two large ones rather than four individual ones? Would probably save some installation time and allow more light to come through with less frames.

 

Does the Verandah/outside sitting area have any privacy/view or is principal job to create a break between the parking and the building?

 

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Posted (edited)

 

Excellent plan for saleability. Well designed to the planning constraints imposed.

 

1 - I am not sure you need the wall between the living room and the kitchen at all, given that you have a snug.

2 - I would put a storage loft, designed so as also to be a possible sleeping platform, above the utility/bathroom area. Probably storage above the utility, perhaps more open storage/sleeping above the bathroom.

3 - Given the location and that it is a bungalow, I would add a large wheel-in shower in the bathroom and verify that there’s space for a hoist - check location of roof beam or have a stronger bit of wall?, even if it meant moving the utility room wall by 200mm or so. Ditto disabled friendly cooking facilities in kitchen.

4 - I concur on rooflights with the above.

5 - I might have a layout in my back pocket demonstrating how it had originally been a 3 bed proposal that I had had to modify in ways that could be reinstated in order to get approval 😎.

6 - Are you sure you cannot have translucent roof lights instead of solar pipes on that side? Or is that personal insurance rather than planning condition?

7 - If I was living in it I would take a careful look at that horse chestnut for the longer term; they are notorious.

 

Elysian Fields for dinkies or early retired academics. (*)

 

F

 

* Checking, I find that the Elysian Fields are a Classical Greek nirvana, whereas I was introduced to them by Olga da Polga and thought they were a construct of guinea pig mythology.

 

Edited by Ferdinand

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Posted (edited)

You hit a bulls eye on the main compromises.

 

6 hours ago, Thedreamer said:

Any particular preference for having the utility room and bathroom that way round?

 

Natural light. The bathroom has a skylight. We could not fit one in the roof in the corner so moved the utility room there.

 

6 hours ago, Thedreamer said:

It seems a bit crowded where the snug is, perhaps swapping this around with door now opening inward might be better?

 

That areas is a bit of a compromise. It's a flexible space. We could even enclose it in walls to make an office.

 

6 hours ago, Thedreamer said:

Also the roof lights above the snug, is it worth going for two large ones rather than four individual ones? Would probably save some installation time and allow more light to come through with less frames.

 

 

Possibly yes. My architect thinks four in a grid looks better. I am open.

 

6 hours ago, Thedreamer said:

Does the Verandah/outside sitting area have any privacy/view or is principal job to create a break between the parking and the building?

 

 

Privacy yes. View: not really, just sky. It exists because of a window in the building to the left which as a high-level (above head height) window there (just visible marked on the plan). By pushing our wall back it prevents even the impression of obstruction of that window but in doing so creates the small sheltered area, which is a flexible space with could be used for outside seating or even just sheltered storage. That's the idea.

 

Thanks for your comments. If you have more, please don't hold back.

Edited by Dreadnaught

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TO add, how will the fence on the West boundary be maintained?

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21 minutes ago, Ferdinand said:

Excellent plan for saleability. Well designed to the planning constraints imposed.

 

Pleasing to hear. Thank you.

 

21 minutes ago, Ferdinand said:

1 - I am not sure you need the wall between the living room and the kitchen at all, given that you have a snug.

 

Good point. The snug however could conceivably be contained by walls to make an office/library. What do you think of that idea?

 

22 minutes ago, Ferdinand said:

 2 - I would put a storage loft, designed so as also to be a possible sleeping platform, above the utility/bathroom area. Probably storage above the utility, perhaps more open storage/sleeping above the bathroom.

 

Very interesting idea. I would like to explore this at timber-frame-design time. Note that the area above the bathroom area is constrained by its skylight.

 

23 minutes ago, Ferdinand said:

 3 - Given the location and that it is a bungalow, I would add a large wheel-in shower in the bathroom and verify that there’s space for a hoist - check location of roof beam or have a stronger bit of wall?, even if it meant moving the utility room wall by 200mm or so. Ditto disabled friendly cooking facilities in kitchen.

 

Good point. Will do that.

 

25 minutes ago, Ferdinand said:

 4 - I concur on rooflights with the above.

 

Fair challenge. Aesthetically better having them in a cluster? Or is that overridden by reduced cost/less frame of having fewer? Unsure.

 

26 minutes ago, Ferdinand said:

 5 - I might have a layout in my back pocket demonstrating how it had originally been a 3 bed proposal that I had had to modify in ways that could be reinstated in order to get approval 😎.

 

Oh, interesting thought. I don't know how planners view number-of-bedrooms for a site like this. Is more always better? I imagined two was plenty for the site.

 

27 minutes ago, Ferdinand said:

 6 - Are you sure you cannot have translucent roof lights instead of solar pipes on that side? Or is that personal insurance rather than planning condition?

 

Yes sure. It was like drawing teeth to negotiate even the solar pipes. That neighbour, the seller, is (understandably) concerned by unsightly light pollution on that side. It is close to his house. 

 

27 minutes ago, Ferdinand said:

 7 - If I was living in it I would take a careful look at that horse chestnut for the longer term; they are notorious.

 

Notorious for? Unfortunately for those who are fans of that tree (and there are many) its quite sick. The tree specialist says it has bleeding canker and honey fungus. I (a non expert) suspect it wont last more than 10 years. But it is in a conservation zone and has an army of fans. Its located just off my property in the unadopted road (no known owner).

 

27 minutes ago, Ferdinand said:

Elysian Fields for dinkies or early retired academics. (*)

 

* Checking, I find that the Elysian Fields are a Classical Greek nirvana, whereas I was introduced to them by Olga da Polga and thought they were a construct of guinea pig mythology.

 

Haha, sounds about right. The location is plumb, even if the plot is a squeeze. It is just 10 mins by foot to the centre of town, opposite (across a river) from an ancient meadow (which has the town's annual fireworks display), within 200 yards of a Michelin-starred restaurant, etc.

 

Thanks for your comments. I'd welcome any more.

 

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24 minutes ago, Ferdinand said:

TO add, how will the fence on the West boundary be maintained?

 

Good point. That is a (gated) path there between my plot and the neighbour. The path runs behind the neighbours gardens. Easy access.

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Posted (edited)

THe 3 bed bit is for the Estate Agents not the Planners :-).

 

Just good House Doctor stuff. EVery room needs a purpose; bedrooms set the basic price band, and kitchen/bathroom attractiveness make the sale.

Edited by Ferdinand

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Just now, Ferdinand said:

THe 3 bed bit is for the Estate Agents not the Planners :-).

 

 Just good House Doctor stuff. EVery room needs a purpose; bedrooms set the basic pric band, and kitchen/bathroom attractiveness make the sale.

 

Ah, I see what you mean now. Makes sense.

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Posted (edited)

For a bit more background, there have been a couple of conversations tangential to the loft space convo here.

 

This piece is about a bungalow of mine on a tight plot, with a roof quite like yours. THis has a loft storage space and everyone loves it.

https://forum.buildhub.org.uk/blogs/entry/94-space-efficient-house-means-cash-efficient-budget/

 

THere was also a conversation about this with @Calvinmiddle back in 2014 on EBuild. He built his bungalow, sold it, and is now apparently in Australia chasing kangaroos up Eucalyptus trees.

https://web.archive.org/web/20150424213045/http://www.ebuild.co.uk/blog/20/entry-186-part-3-the-planning-saga-episode-2/

 

IMO THe key to a loft space storage area working is to have easy access, which means a loft ladder of a type that  people can easily walk up carrying things. MIne has something like this:

https://www.laddersukdirect.co.uk/wooden-loft-ladders/dolle-hobby-1200-x-700-wooden-loft-ladder-648.html?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI_vTm9fva3wIVhrHtCh2IFgjwEAQYDSABEgJtbfD_BwE#/467-loft_ladder_sizes-1200_x_700mm

 

You would need a solution practical for your context.

 

Ferdinand

Edited by Ferdinand

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If it's only a 2 bed for now, might there be anything to be gained with chopping out the communal bathroom, throwing another en-suite at it and then moving things around with that in mind

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If you put walls up in the snug could that be a study / bed 3? Mine is a 5 bed but we decided not to put the stud wall in to make bed 5. It’s an open plan upstairs seating area currently but has been designed so that a single stud wall and door opposite the family bathroom would make the 5th bedroom again. 

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For me that bathroom is in the wrong place - I would swap study/snug and bathroom positions make the utility smaller to give more room for study/snug and build a ceiling in the utility to give some roof storage space as storage is very limited in the house and no garage.  I would take down the wall between the kitchen and living room.

 

Having said all that is there some rule that habitable rooms have to have an opening window?  Roof light in present bathroom may not suffice to swap it into study/snug if so.

 

Glad to see you have incorporated a tiny outdoor space for a table and chairs.  

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Not too keen on having the front door directly into the main living space.  Did you see @AliG's plans for a bungalow? 

I thought you could do similar and incorporate the hall and study space by moving the front door.plan.thumb.png.8051b8c645e945c38f02c8f41b234877.png

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4 hours ago, Mr Punter said:

Not too keen on having the front door directly into the main living space.  Did you see @AliG's plans for a bungalow? 

 

Thanks. Had a look. Interesting thought. Will talk to my architect about it.

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Posted (edited)

Here are my thoughts using those check points mentioned in another thread.

 

Does the plan clearly convey an objective?

Yes.

 

How well does the plan achieve that objective?

Pretty good.

 

Would I enjoy a short holiday let in the property?

Strong yes with its walking distance to central Cambridge but mostly it is a refreshing alternative to most British domestic house design.

 

Would I want to own or build this property?

Strong yes. I think the market would financially reward the builder, it provides a non car based lifestyle in a global ivy league university city. The design provides something different in a city where buyers should be receptive to innovation. As a buyer of the property I would start discounting from the asking price to fix the elements of the internal design that do not work for me.

 

Specific comments:

  1. Like others I had a bad reaction to the sky light arrangements. The sky lights look like adhoc retro fits implemented to fix a design error, the net result is a roofline that resembles a maintenance depot shed. Suggest fewer larger non square roof lights. Having said that I do appreciate that black and white technical drawings tend to over emphasize detail and in real life these skylights might visually melt way.
  2. I would want to rework the landscaping to create a late afternoon patio outside the main bedroom to catch the late afternoon sun though I appreciate your current focus might be internal privacy from the road.
  3. The snug simply does not work and it would take some particularly creative internal decor to improve this. I cannot think why I would head for the snug when leaving the kitchen because the living room is the same number of steps away with much more window area. If you wish to retain the snug you could adopt some ideas about creating a cosy space by looking at traditional rural spanish houses that have a hunker down for the winter inner living room.
  4. I would swap the utility room and bathroom around and have the bathroom door facing down the bedroom corridor. The occupants of bedroom-2 should find the bathroom closer and this will also improve the coupling of utility room and kitchen.
  5. Keep the kitchen/living partition wall. The design is already open plan enough and that wall helps specialize the spaces.
  6. Finally and a biggie. I don't like the 1960's aspect ratio of the principal windows. I would subdivide them with pillars though I fear this would cause havoc with you carefully crafted solar gain calculations.
Edited by epsilonGreedy
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23 hours ago, lizzie said:

For me that bathroom is in the wrong place - I would swap study/snug and bathroom positions make the utility smaller to give more room for study/snug and build a ceiling in the utility to give some roof storage space as storage is very limited in the house and no garage.  I would take down the wall between the kitchen and living room.

 

Having said all that is there some rule that habitable rooms have to have an opening window?  Roof light in present bathroom may not suffice to swap it into study/snug if so.

 

 

You are quite right about the bathroom Liz. We looked at it but failed to find way to have a window with the bathroom in the corner. The roof ridge constrains it.

 

You are right about storage. I will look to add an attic space somewhere when we design the frame.

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Thanks @epsilonGreedy. Those are very helpful observations.

 

9 hours ago, epsilonGreedy said:

I would want to rework the landscaping to create a late afternoon patio outside the main bedroom to catch the late afternoon sun though I appreciate your current focus might be internal privacy from the road.

 

Good idea. I will look to do that.

 

9 hours ago, epsilonGreedy said:

I don't like the 1960's aspect ratio of the principal windows. I would subdivide them with pillars though I fear this would cause havoc with you carefully crafted solar gain calculations.

 

Very interesting comment. Thank you.

 

To help me understand, could you expand a little on what do you meant by a 1960's aspect ratio. Is it their horizontal nature perhaps, or is maybe to do with the wood cladding section beneath? 

 

By subdividing with pillars, may I ask what you had in mind. Might there be a google image you could grab which shows what you are imagining? 

 

(You guessed rightly that the avoidance of full floor-to-ceiling windows is driven by thermal modelling.)

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I came to this when my parents' house was referenced.

 

The design makes good use of space, by not having a hall you maximise living space, but it is not a design for everyone and I do think you have to be careful. It is easy to create a feeling you are inhabiting a hall/pass through space and not feel comfortable.

 

I think some of the comments re the snug reflect this. Also I tend to agree that I would not like the front door opening into the kitchen. I would feel quite uncomfortable if people make a delivery and we are all sitting down to dinner for example.

 

I am very curious why that cupboard has been put in next to the front door on one of the places that you can have a proper window, it seems a missed opportunity.


Having looked at it, I have very roughly annotated the plan.

 

Basically swap the snug and the bathroom. The bathroom will be nearer the bedrooms, it could have a door to bedroom 2 also if you like. Put a large cupboard along the bathroom wall and take away the current cupboard to allow another window. Actually even better, you could move the front door towards the corner and have a vestibule so that it doesn't open directly onto the kitchen rather than having an extra window.You would probably make the utility a bit smaller which you could do with a larger cupboard. 

 

The snug could be incorporated into a much larger kitchen, you might want to change the kitchen plan or separated by a wall. You could still leave it open to the hall but people would be walking past not through it.

 

This fixes the roof window issue that people have as you just continue the row across the kitchen roof, The small window in the wall will be enough for the bathroom. It could save you a couple of roof windows also. You also won't have the roof lights on the front of the house anymore, they will all be at the back.

 

This would also allow storage above the bathroom as there won't be a roof window there now.

 

I don't often comment on the aesthetics of houses and it is hard to tell from a black and white picture, but I feel it looks quite old fashioned.  Maybe it would look better in a render. Is the plan to have the outside of the windows natural wood and the guttering black? Maybe making everything black would be better (I might be biassed as that is what we have). I am not a fan of those small wooden panels below the windows, why not just have larger windows.

 

revised_plan.thumb.png.a549402fb6fbf61a0331f80a0dcddca8.png 


 

 

 

Edited by AliG
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8 hours ago, AliG said:

don't often comment on the aesthetics of houses and it is hard to tell from a black and white picture, but I feel it looks quite old fashioned.  Maybe it would look better in a render. Is the plan to have the outside of the windows natural wood and the guttering black? Maybe making everything black would be better (I might be biassed as that is what we have). I am not a fan of those small wooden panels below the windows, why not just have larger windows.

 

I won't quote aesthetics but practicality  of deeper windows.  We only have two in the house I finished and they work, let in  a lot of light, but they are in a huge room >100m2  (kitchen/lounge/diner) and don't dominate the room.  In our house in Latvia, where they have an obsession with them, they eat up wall space.  The lounge wall is rendered useless because of them, you can't put anything against it and in the bedrooms again you are limited to where you can put a chest of drawers, because of them.  In yous design I would consider do you need them in the bedrooms, have you planned out all the furniture.  The lounge one not such a  problem as it is a walkway.

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We have floor to ceiling windows in our kitchen diner. Wonderful for light and views. A bloody nightmare for furniture!

 

The kitchen/diner layout, including window/door positions and sizes, is one of the things I'd most like to change about our house design

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On 08/01/2019 at 10:14, Dreadnaught said:

To help me understand, could you expand a little on what do you meant by a 1960's aspect ratio. Is it their horizontal nature perhaps, or is maybe to do with the wood cladding section beneath? 

 

 

British houses built in the 20th century can be usually be dated from their predominant window aspect ratio and your design gives an impression of a 1965 to 1975 build. If I drove past your completed house at 30 mph and had 3 seconds to assess I think I would conclude "low rise custom designed property built round 1975". One problem with the outward aesthetics is the design seems geographically homeless, I reckon there are many similar suburban properties in mid latitude US states.

 

In general I find that L-shaped homes have an inviting approach though in your case this is lost to a degree because of the inconsistent fenestration, there is no balance or symmetry. In your position I would spend a few days walking around Cambridge college greens to find some critical window positions, lines and ratios. Cambridge is oozing with attractive examples of ground floor college residences that embrace a garden area, it should be possible to lift some concepts albeit with a modern interpretation.

 

You might already have a fully worked up plan for external finishing details that are not conveyed in the diagrams shown in this thread.

 

 

 

 

Edited by epsilonGreedy
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