A rather large project: My house

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  • The architect will be talking about using a quantity surveyor for many reasons, one of the most important is for keeping costs under control. If the work you are undertaking is in any way complex I would definitely use an architect, and would look at using a traditional contract so they take the project all the way through to completion. Otherwise a huge amount of responsibility will fall to you, including design, quality control, specifying, defects, etc. The only other way to go is to get a builder to do the work and have them do design work, building and manage costs. Which may suit you, and you may find an excellent builder.

    I am biased but would use an architect.

  • So plans are going in for planning permission this week, and we have had a first pass at internal layouts.

    attached are the existing layouts, will put proposed in the next post.

    2 Attachments

  • They've cracked on haven't they!
    Just a couple of points/ questions:
    Is there no intention to connect the living room/ playroom? I can understand keeping the kitchen and dining room separate as you also have the breakfast area, but feel a connection between these two rooms could be good?
    Secondly... and being fussy, the door swing on Bedroom 2... I'd flip so the door opens against the wall
    Oh, and the means of access to the loft room, this has been checked to suit Building Control for means of escape? otherwise it may become a "room" and not a "bedroom". Just as the doorway looks narrow

  • Hey,

    Yes moving on!

    We are thinking of connecting the lounge and playroom, but two things are stopping us, first we like the idea of having a room we can keep most of the kids things in (and maybe a lock on the outside!) and also the wall separating them is a nice cobb wall so would like to keep it as a feature.
    I agree of the swing of the door on bedroom 2, good spot.
    Yes going to have to work with the regs to make sure the loft room has means of escape, may mean modifying one of the roof lights I guess to be able to get down onto the single storey extension.

  • I am very jealous of this project. Looks dead good.

  • How have I only just found this thread?!

    Let's meetup at some point Sam! Have you done finger in the air budgets for all this yet? Personally I'd re-build (claim your 20% VAT back and upgrade the fabric of the building so it lasts another 1,000 years) but it's extremely cool that you'd decide to renovate it. Is there not a halfway plan, such as keeping the footprint and re-using the materials for render/landscaping, but otherwise re-building from scratch?

    I hope the family's well? Let me know if you're free this Saturday for a meetup in the SW?

  • Hey!

    Well we did think about rebuild but the house has been standing for 200 years and been in the family 100 years and survived an indirect bomb hit in the war so seems a shame to knock it down now!

    We aren't starting work till March next year and by that point the house will have been empty for 2 years so we will only pay 5% VAT, so probably going to be cheaper to renovate anyway.

    You will have to come and do a site visit! How's progress on your place?

  • Good: archaeologists found nothing during their dig and planning condition has been discharged. Now having to work out a marginally more complicated raft foundation than planned as too much clay/movement on site (probably going with a few strips under a normal passive raft as a fix).

    Services are going in later this year, but the build doesn't properly start until Spring 2017. I've spent too much money already and the budget is very tight, but I'm enjoying the experience!

  • Yeah amazing how quickly bills rack up. We may have to underpin, not looking forward to that expense.

    Sounds like we will be starting to build at the same time... I'm aiming to be in by Jan 2018...

  • So been five months since I updated this. Things have moved on slowly but steadily.

    We now live on site in a mobile home, with a log cabin for my home\site office.

    Planning permission has been granted, structural engineer and designer are currently pulling together building regs drawings, aim is to start building in Feb\March.

    Will find somewhere to upload plans, although probably too late for major alterations!

  • Here are the plans as signed off by planning, already a load of changes made to meet building regs, but nothing major.

  • Forgot about this thread...
    So a bit of an update, we are nearly there, should be in for Christmas, all going well, which is only 3 months late, not bad considering we increased the size of the extension and have rebuilt a triple garage.
    Random photo dump: https://photos.app.goo.gl/wi4loTybdRYeks­8z2

  • good job! even the dog looks pleased :)

  • Haven’t been down to the blackdowns for ages. How are things?

  • All good down here in the blackdowns, particularly now the worst of the rain and snow seems to have passed, and we have brilliant blue skies.
    In terms of the project, we are pretty much wrapping up stage 1, with the actual house build down, we did have a fair bit of fun with it, as we discovered once we stripped off the render and plaster, things were in a worse state than we hoped for.

    All the internal wood was completely rotten ( a combo of dry rot, wet rot and beetle infestation!) which meant we had to strip the house back to 4 walls. Then we had to make a tough decision, as the stone walls were in such a bad condition we have to make a choice between knocking the whole house down and starting again (the cheapest option!), rebuilding the walls with original stone (the nicest option but unfortunately budget wouldn’t stretch to it), so we made the decision to make a Frankenstein house with it rebuilt with block where needed.

    Anyway we got round it all, and with only a few minor hiccups for to a point where we have a finished house which we are happy with. Have spent the last few months sorting out the front garden, which involved hand filling gabion baskets with about 50 tonnes of stone which I have dug out of old collapsed barns in the garden. Once those were in place, we bought in about 40 tonnes of topsoil to level it all up, then turfed, hopefully once all done and grown up we will have a nice cottage garden.

    Next stage is to get the back garden sorted, have already converted the old calving shed into a workshop.

    Next is to level with gabions again and then build a deck that wraps around the back of the house, but that involves digging 55 posts into the ground…

  • The pictures don't seem to work

  • Cheers, hopefully working now...

  • That looks great! What a project.

  • Cheers!

    Yeah it has been a labour of love that is for sure (it has to be as I haven't made a lot of money on it!), the slightly scary part is when I look out of the back door and see the amount of work that still needs to be done...

  • Looks utterly fantastic- and glad to hear the update.

  • any update on this?

  • Agreed.

  • Yes, lots! Will try and dig out some pictures. Have spent the last year landscaping around the house, after the house build the plot was completely destroyed, piles of rubble everywhere, a massive trailer full of asbestos, and nothing but an acre of mud! The biggest issue we have had is that the house is actually sunk into the ground a bit compared to the rest of our land, and the ground round here is completely clay for around 4m deep, so drainage is a bit of a nightmare. Because of this we have spent a lot of time digging down around the house and then using gabion baskets to make retaining walls, and digging in drainage all over the place.

    Front garden has now been in place for about a year and is really taking shape, lots of roses coming out in flower alongside every random plant my wife gets her hands on, we have a lavender bank next to the drive to try and attract as many bees as we can.

    The side garden where we had our mobile home whilst we renovated has gone through its third iteration: gone from our house, to the kids play area and has now settled into the veg patch, we have 8 veg patches, green houses and a few fruit trees which are showing their first bits of fruit this year.

    Back garden has been the main thing for the last six months. Spent most of Nov and Dec building a composite deck around the back of the house, giving us two decks with seating area and a walkway connecting them to the garage and log cabin we have as well.

    I’m the middle of the recent dry period, we finally got turf down in the back, makes a massive difference having some green after two years of mud!

    Next to the new lawn we have built an all weather play area for my daughter, artificial grass with swings, trampoline etc.

    The next big project is the workshop out the back, I recently bought a artic lorry trailer, cut the axles off and dumped it on a hardcore base as a dry storage area, next step is to build a tractor shed in front of that as well as a little workshop to tinker around in.

    Then in the autumn I have to try and sort out the back half acre of the plot, I borrowed a 13 tonnes digger for a couple of weeks, so cleared the ground and built some banks all around, I then spread around about 200 tonnes of 30 year old cow muck to supplement the horrible clay, this has now grown some very high weeds, so this will need spraying, raking and rolling in the autumn before we seed it.

    After that the only projects left are trying to sort out the driveway, which is currently a mix of compacted scalpings, old cobbles and mud, but that is going to be a nightmare to sort, and will take hundreds of tonnes of hardcore to level I suspect.

    At some point I will also look into have the old cow shed that is left standing made into some sort of freestanding bungalow, either as a holiday let or for family to use.

    So lots of things happening, but still some pretty big stuff to do!

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A rather large project: My house

Posted by Avatar for Sam_w @Sam_w