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Hi, would be very interested in people's thoughts on these plans.

 

We've had a chat with the local planning office and had a green light for the outline we proposed to them which is similar in scale/size to what is below.  It's extremely unlikely that we would build a house with a basement that big but we will definitely put the storage and plant room (don't think that's big enough) down there. Obviously it's a big house put it's replacing a house that is actually bigger above ground than this.  For guidance on size the house is 30m long and each window bay is 3m. Have also included a site plan, the purple line on the site plan is the boundary of the AONB and Green Belt which runs right through our garden, house used to be a farm house many years ago which is probably the reason for that. The house cann't go any further back in the plot than that line without considerable planning hurdles.

ground floor.jpg

first floor.jpg

basement.jpg

elevation.jpg

site plan .jpg

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Looks pretty good on the face of it, this is just at a glance, but I would try and arrange bathrooms to keep water and waste/soil runs simpler and reduce water noises etc. I hate the noise of waste pipes. I am actually looking at the acoustic Marley stuff at the moment as I just cannot stand that splashing/sloshing noise in walls and ceilings!

 

Master and bed 1 are fine, as they keep water and waste within 1 wall, I would then copy the footprint of bed 1 for bed 2 so that en-suite moves to the left which lets that tie into the master and bed 1 plumbing. Then I would have the laundry directly next to the stairwell, then bed 3 then guest, this would centralise the laundry closer to the stairs and mean only 1 wall of the laundry was next to a bedroom from a noise point of view. 

 

Make the plant room a bit bigger. 

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Posted (edited)

Hi @Cheib

 

Just been back and read your initial thread; it is good to see you taking the time. My comments:

 

1 6000ish sqft on 2+ acres. Yes it’s large :-). I can’t resist noting that the size is exactly the same as Southfork from Dallas! 

 

2 I grew up in something on that scale, also 4/5 bedroom. Ours was old, with multiple extensions. What we found was that there were too many - 4 - 20ft reception rooms incl reception hall and landing, so two of them were very little used. So it is a good idea to combine them as you have. Though do you have enough separate spaces for 2 x arguing teens plus a refuge?

 

3 Have you done any of what I call ‘lifestyle testing’? What I mean is imagine how you would live in this house in your 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s etc, and make sure that it would fit each age. The aim is not to push you any way or imply you will be there until 2075, but to make sure that it is practical, or can be made practical easily, for each set of needs. That will help you should you stay, or give you a wider range of purchasers should you eventually move out.

 

4 A similar exercise can help plan for if eg you both end up working from home and need a live in nanny or carer as well. Eg where would two people work?

 

I will add a bit more later.

 

(Bonus comments:

 

5 To me the design has a slight feel of "normal house writ large" rather than "larger house". Everything is bigger, but should it actually be different - in terms of mix of rooms etc? Developing that, barn conversions tend to have a 'wow' double height space somewhere - do you want that (or have I missed it)? 

 

6 Looking at that music space, are the acoustics OK at a 3m ceiling height? Have you considered making the space suitable for private performances? (Being mischievous, what about making that the double height space, switching that end room around for a full height space across the end, and big double doors to outside?)

 

7 I am unsure about that big study window looking onto a blank wall. What about moving the garage to align with the end, which would also give you a more open entrance court.

 

8 - Turning space on road side of main gate - to avoid Amazon and Tesco chewing up your verge. Could just be a grass area with grass-car-park type reinforcing.

 

9 - Personally I would want an annexe, for nanny or granny or semi-independent child. I would put it beyond the studio, but perhaps not build it yet - or identify on Plans as 'site for future annexe', so I do not have to build it for the Completion Cert for the VAT reclaim.)

 

10 - Where is your garden storage and workshop - for ride on mower etc?

 

11 - Are you planning a landscaping scheme? It is imo crying out for a treescape.

 

Ferdinand

 

Edited by Ferdinand

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Bloody love it. Can't say i've paid a great deal of attention to the area itself, but the house. top bloody notch. I really like the stretched out oblongey sort of look. Were it mine i'd probably integrate the Studio into the garage part, but then I don't know what you're going to be using it for or what the actual views are like. really like the idea of the laundry on the top floor. Makes perfect sense. I'd quite like to see some way of having a laundry shoot and then a dumb waiter type arrangement between top floor and basement and have a laundry room there, but then that's a needless extra cost I suppose.

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One thing that jumps out at me is the distance between the walk-in wardrobe and the ensuite in the master bedroom. Get out of bed, walk to the wardrobe to get out some clothes, walk all the way back around the bed to the ensuite. In an ordinary bedroom this would be bad enough, but at this scale, I know it would drive me mad in short order. We have a walk-through wardrobe, which we find very effective.

 

Along the lines of what @Ferdinand said, do some thought experiments about living in the house. Think about an entire week's worth of activities - what you do and where you go when you get up, head to breakfast, get the kids ready, have friends around and need somewhere to put the kids while the adults talk, etc, etc, etc. And then take into account whether your current layout makes all of these activities efficient.

 

As an example, we wanted a mudroom/laundry at a side entrance where we could come in with wet dog and muddy boots. We got one, but we never really thought specifically about how we'd use the space. The result is that there's no proper space for shoe/boot storage, and it's really narrower than it needs to be to properly perform its function. 

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Posted (edited)
7 minutes ago, jack said:

Along the lines of what @Ferdinand said, do some thought experiments about living in the house. Think about an entire week's worth of activities - what you do and where you go when you get up, head to breakfast, get the kids ready, have friends around and need somewhere to put the kids while the adults talk, etc, etc, etc. And then take into account whether your current layout makes all of these activities efficient.

 

I've been trying to codify such a concept, which I have called "Lifestyle Diary" - like a daily food diary but recording for a week who visits, how many people, what they bring, what you spend time doing - structured like a food diary. That, plus common variations, can then be reviewed against the design or with the designer. 

 

It won't fix everything, but it gives a top-slice through the heart of your life.

 

Not mushroom in the mudroom, thenm @jack. (Runs and hides)

Edited by Ferdinand
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10 hours ago, Carrerahill said:

Looks pretty good on the face of it, this is just at a glance, but I would try and arrange bathrooms to keep water and waste/soil runs simpler and reduce water noises etc. I hate the noise of waste pipes. I am actually looking at the acoustic Marley stuff at the moment as I just cannot stand that splashing/sloshing noise in walls and ceilings!

 

Master and bed 1 are fine, as they keep water and waste within 1 wall, I would then copy the footprint of bed 1 for bed 2 so that en-suite moves to the left which lets that tie into the master and bed 1 plumbing. Then I would have the laundry directly next to the stairwell, then bed 3 then guest, this would centralise the laundry closer to the stairs and mean only 1 wall of the laundry was next to a bedroom from a noise point of view. 

 

Make the plant room a bit bigger. 

 

Lots of great feedback from everyone I’ll try and reply systemitically to everyone.

 

Good point about the noise from the laundry, I suppose my concern would be if you put it next to the stairs the sound might carry down the stairs ?  We have two kids so it’s likely the three bedrooms that will be used permanently will be the master and the two bedrooms immediately next to it...although as the kids get older (currently 10 and 😎 that may change. 

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5 hours ago, Ferdinand said:

Hi @Cheib

 

Just been back and read your initial thread; it is good to see you taking the time. My comments:

 

1 6000ish sqft on 2+ acres. Yes it’s large :-). I can’t resist noting that the size is exactly the same as Southfork from Dallas! 

 

2 I grew up in something on that scale, also 4/5 bedroom. Ours was old, with multiple extensions. What we found was that there were too many - 4 - 20ft reception rooms incl reception hall and landing, so two of them were very little used. So it is a good idea to combine them as you have. Though do you have enough separate spaces for 2 x arguing teens plus a refuge?

 

3 Have you done any of what I call ‘lifestyle testing’? What I mean is imagine how you would live in this house in your 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s etc, and make sure that it would fit each age. The aim is not to push you any way or imply you will be there until 2075, but to make sure that it is practical, or can be made practical easily, for each set of needs. That will help you should you stay, or give you a wider range of purchasers should you eventually move out.

 

4 A similar exercise can help plan for if eg you both end up working from home and need a live in nanny or carer as well. Eg where would two people work?

 

I will add a bit more later.

 

(Bonus comments:

 

5 To me the design has a slight feel of "normal house writ large" rather than "larger house". Everything is bigger, but should it actually be different - in terms of mix of rooms etc? Developing that, barn conversions tend to have a 'wow' double height space somewhere - do you want that (or have I missed it)? 

 

6 Looking at that music space, are the acoustics OK at a 3m ceiling height? Have you considered making the space suitable for private performances? (Being mischievous, what about making that the double height space, switching that end room around for a full height space across the end, and big double doors to outside?)

 

7 I am unsure about that big study window looking onto a blank wall. What about moving the garage to align with the end, which would also give you a more open entrance court.

 

8 - Turning space on road side of main gate - to avoid Amazon and Tesco chewing up your verge. Could just be a grass area with grass-car-park type reinforcing.

 

9 - Personally I would want an annexe, for nanny or granny or semi-independent child. I would put it beyond the studio, but perhaps not build it yet - or identify on Plans as 'site for future annexe', so I do not have to build it for the Completion Cert for the VAT reclaim.)

 

10 - Where is your garden storage and workshop - for ride on mower etc?

 

11 - Are you planning a landscaping scheme? It is imo crying out for a treescape.

 

Ferdinand

 

Hi Ferdinand,

 

 

1. Yes it is large ! As I said I don’t think the basement will be as big as it currently is. In some way the size is driven by wanting 5 bedrooms with en suites and a large master bedroom suite.

2.  We’re replacing an old house with similar dysfunctional living spaces. Again it was extended I think in total three times. Luckily the last time so badly (70’s) that it’s been de-listed.  The intention would be that we will have at least one partition on the ground floor should we want to use it. Most probably separating the music room (more formal space) from the res top the house. 

3. Our lifestyle testing is really for the next 20 years I think. I’m 51 and my wife is three years younger.  I don’t think we’ll want a garden this size when we’re much older than that! The one thing I don’t think we’ve thought about it where we could put a lift in if necessary which obviously “future proofs” us to a greater extent. I think we do have enough space for 2 x teens. We have the studio outside which I think will be used for teenagers to have friends over and potentially also the cinema room downstairs. We could also use the partition in the living room. It’s something we’d thought about as w elite in an area where there’s not much for the kids to do when they are say 16. 

4. I’ve just finished full time working last year. Doing a bit of consultancy work which can be done from the study. My wife is training to be a counsellor, intention would be to use the studio space for that. 

5. We originally had two schemes....one was much more wow than this. We went with this because it will be cheaper to build and has a better mix of living and bedroom space.  This particular scheme was originally bigger and had a double height space, we’ve lost it to try and reduce space a bit....might have a look and see if we can add some space back in and what the cost implications would be. One thing we could do would be to move the laundry to the basement and allocate that upstairs space to double height. 

6. Hadn’t thought of that, interesting idea! We’re intending to try and have the sooutherly aspect with as much glass/open up as much as possible. 

7. I was thinking about this last night re the study window...it’s not ideal and needs some thought! 

8. There’s no space for that unfortunately because neighbours share some fo the access. 

9. We won’t be having any elderly relatives living with us (both had dysfunctional childhoods!).  We can’t build further forward as we’re going to apply (and not build) for planning to build two houses on the front garden. We can’t have habitable space any further forward for that reason. There’s deifinitely a possibility of kids hanging around longer though, it’s the way of the world these days. 

10. Good question. We have a wood shed and tool shed already. But under PD (once we have planning permission) we’ll be a wooden double garage as a garden machinery/bike store. It’s going to be to the right of where the new garage will be. 

11. We already have a number of mature trees. We have a very large Sequoia in the front garden (its marked inside the bend of the driveway) and quite a number of other mature trees. We’re going to look at whether one tree which would have to be felled can be moved, have people coming to see us next month about that.  But yes we do need a proper scheme, garden is disjointed at the moment. 

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2 hours ago, Big Neil said:

Bloody love it. Can't say i've paid a great deal of attention to the area itself, but the house. top bloody notch. I really like the stretched out oblongey sort of look. Were it mine i'd probably integrate the Studio into the garage part, but then I don't know what you're going to be using it for or what the actual views are like. really like the idea of the laundry on the top floor. Makes perfect sense. I'd quite like to see some way of having a laundry shoot and then a dumb waiter type arrangement between top floor and basement and have a laundry room there, but then that's a needless extra cost I suppose.

 

Thanks ! We went for the stretched barn as it’s the cheapest shape to build. The views to the north are over a valley (we’re in the Chilterns) Interesting idea about amalgamating them but my wife really likes symmetry which is why we’ve gone with the studio and garage being where they are. Also one of the things the planners liked about the scheme is that from the road the garage and studio sit within the silhouette of the main house. They are not fans when you have multiple out buildings creating a “complex”

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2 hours ago, jack said:

One thing that jumps out at me is the distance between the walk-in wardrobe and the ensuite in the master bedroom. Get out of bed, walk to the wardrobe to get out some clothes, walk all the way back around the bed to the ensuite. In an ordinary bedroom this would be bad enough, but at this scale, I know it would drive me mad in short order. We have a walk-through wardrobe, which we find very effective.

 

Along the lines of what @Ferdinand said, do some thought experiments about living in the house. Think about an entire week's worth of activities - what you do and where you go when you get up, head to breakfast, get the kids ready, have friends around and need somewhere to put the kids while the adults talk, etc, etc, etc. And then take into account whether your current layout makes all of these activities efficient.

 

As an example, we wanted a mudroom/laundry at a side entrance where we could come in with wet dog and muddy boots. We got one, but we never really thought specifically about how we'd use the space. The result is that there's no proper space for shoe/boot storage, and it's really narrower than it needs to be to properly perform its function. 

 

Astute observation about the master bedrooom suite....really not sure that it functions well as you have noted.  Our old place in London you walked through the dressing room to get to the bathroom which would work better. 

 

Good advice about working through the week. Funnily enough when you say that about the boot room in your house being narrow, the last iteration of this plan the boot room, pantry and study were all a meter narrower....we’ve made the house 1m wider for that very reason. 

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1 hour ago, Cheib said:

although as the kids get older (currently 10 and 😎 that may change. 

 

With mine, it changes every year... YMMV  :D

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Brick clad first floor and timber ground floor is unusual and timber is not great near to ground level. Is there a reason for this choice?

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8 minutes ago, Mr Punter said:

Brick clad first floor and timber ground floor is unusual and timber is not great near to ground level. Is there a reason for this choice?

That’s not right. Good spot! Working on elevations currently, we’re looking at brick clad for both floors. Might have to be some kind of screening on ground floor to eliminate solar gain though which might possibly be timber. 

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Although you mention some kind of screening, I think the house will suffer badly from overheating, especially in the afternoon. This is best designed out now, as it is very difficult to deal with later.

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3 hours ago, Mr Punter said:

Although you mention some kind of screening, I think the house will suffer badly from overheating, especially in the afternoon. This is best designed out now, as it is very difficult to deal with later.

Yes that’s the subject of the next meeting...there are some mature trees that will provide some shading. 

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