The house and garage will have some unusual and interesting features which will appeal to many self-builders. Some were dictated to us, others we have specified.
The main problem we faced throughout the planning process was that wanted to build outside the development area. This placed significant restraints on us. To allow our development we were told that our plans must be for a house that:
- Was sympathetic too and in keeping with the style of the village
- Was not significantly taller
- Used only high quality "appropriate" building materials
- Matched and did not detract from the surrounding and in particular the
Grade II listed building on the opposite side of the road
In general, I had no problem with these restraints. In fact I wanted my house to reflect these views anyway.
In material terms it has meant:
- Using brick and flint walls (attractive but very expensive).
- Having a slate (or reconstituted slate) roof for the house and pantiles for the garage (both very attractive)
- Having to choose a brick specified by the planners (in fact very similar to the one we had chosen)
- Making the house in a "U" shape to reduce the roof height (again attractive but adding to the expense)
In addition, my own personal specifications include:
- A whole house ventilation system (eliminating the need for trickle vents and extractor fans)
- Air conditioning for part of the house
- Hot water and heating provided by a Heat Pump (eliminating all fossil fuel dependency apart from electricity)
- Recycling the rainwater for toilets, washing machine and garden use
- An integrated electrical loom for internet, phone, TV audio etc
Below are some photographs of the plans for the house. I apologise for their quality, they will be updated shortly and the garage plans will be included.
The garage will be a 3-bay open-barn style supported by Oak beams at the front. It will have a large workshop upstairs and an implement store to the rear.