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Green Building Bible, Fourth Edition
Green Building Bible, fourth edition (both books)
These two books are the perfect starting place to help you get to grips with one of the most vitally important aspects of our society - our homes and living environment.

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    we can't be sure until we try, but this plot is at the end of a track with no houses beyond, or either side, and they will say that they don't want development encroaching on the countryside. However our argument will be that they have allowed the garage building there, which is 2 storey
    • CommentTimeNov 19th 2013
    Got any more site pics? Specifically, outlook/southish horizon in various directions. Without seeing that, I'da thought that your newbuild cd almost be a replacement for the garage, if you say it's 2 storey and have already said you'd rebuild it elsewhere. In fact, how about a radical uprate and extension of the garage, as yr new house? Right at the end of the lane, maximised garden (liberating a future building plot?), as far as poss from the neighbouring bungalow, but wd it work for view to west?
    • CommentAuthorcreamcheese
    • CommentTimeNov 19th 2013 edited
    That's looking south-ish, taken from where the house would be if at the north end of the plot. @10.30 am
    Just to clarify, detached garage not yet built - but PP approved , only 6.5m high though. We would want more height on a dwelling - we dislike low sloping ceilings.
    • CommentTimeNov 19th 2013
    Yeah but that's the wedge in the door, which can be expanded, welcomed I'd have thought, if it means less footprint on the site (for now, till you sell off a southern strip/square as building plot for your pension!). Any replacement garage cd be more modest - who needs a garage these days anyway?

    That southerly horizon is just fine for winter solar receipt, from that viewpoint, esp bearing in mind that any collectors wd be higher up anyway. I'd not worry too much about view, down your garden, from this viewpoint, to a possible future 2 storey neighbour - well enough screened.
    "for now, till you sell off a southern strip/square as building plot for your pension!"

    sadly (or not) - outside of settlement area; that is until they decide to develop the land all around....!
    Yet another house-build TV programme watched last night - yet again the couple were almost "broken". Yet again I'm left feeling consumed by dread and the desire to run for the hills..... anyone have a nice, "finished", perfect rural house for sale?
    What was the programme? I was out last night and this one must have slipped through the net!

    The key is to double your budget, use that figure and have a decade to do it in, then anything better than that is success. Oh, and never aim to be in for Christmas, just about never happens! Try May or June when the chance of better weather means you might get a bit more done:)
    It was "building the dream" (which we'd recorded). The one with the couple building new house in back garden, with the basement.
    Two thoughts:

    1 - Pay a local architect to spend half a day with you working through your options and half a day running number/thinking about it and giving you a short report. That should cost well £300 - £500, which is a small price to pay for the extra clarity.

    2 - I'd say slice the plot in two and build two or sell half the plot, since 2 of you don't really need a 2500-sqft house. Do the economics improve much with 2 similar PHs?

    Or build one and appeal refusal on the other :-).

    • CommentTimeNov 20th 2013
    Yes, I'd at least lay the site out leaving plenty of garden space in one chunk, so that might become a natural possibility in future, with change of rules/govt etc.
    Hi Ferdinand and FT, Additional dwelling outside of the settlement boundary is a non- starter under current policies (except perhaps a low-cost local-need property), but it is a future possibility if we wanted to sell the whole with "potential".

    We spent a long time trying to find a house with no neighbours, and this was as good as we could get.

    Thank you for the architect idea, although maybe an experienced PM could do that also?
    • CommentTimeNov 20th 2013 edited
    Posted By: creamcheesean experienced PM
    Winston Churchill you mean?
    LOL project manager
    • CommentTimeNov 20th 2013
    Yes that's a classic pre-architect Project Manager's job - beware that many who call themselves PMs are just 'practical logistics/builders', by nature conservative, seen-it-all, so don't nec have the vision or experience to advise on unusual/architectural/advanced/eco building.
    Thanks FT, what's the best way to go about finding these guys? - we do have one in mind already who's very eco-focussed.
    Thanks everyone for the comments.

    The high performance new-build seems to get the most votes.
    The rebuild is certainly our favourite option if we can make the numbers add up, but that's a big "if". We're still looking at MBC/Viking and others. Pugliese says he built his low energy home for £1150 psqm with some luxury items, but he felt that he should have been able to do it for £1000 psqm. If we could be sure of that figure, we'd go for it, but without the unicorn head - although I did quite like that.


    If we end up refurbing and making good, then that won't be the end of the world. There is a lot of info on this forum as to the best way to do things, to improve the fabric. However there will be compromises, naturally.
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