Read the full latest edition of Exeter living here.
It’s always exciting to see a project that you have created coming together.
The greyness of the day didn’t attract from the immensity of the building as it has begun to take shape, complementing the plot with its innovative structure and creative design.
With the main structure built, and character of the interior being established, we are well on our way to completing the project in time for our May target.
So, what makes this project so unique?
Even at first glance it is clear that this property doesn’t fall in line with convention. Its dramatic pitched roof, high ceilings, glass exterior and timber structure give it a different feel to the brick houses that Britain has grown so accustomed to. Its open-plan design and use of windows and glass allow it to capture sunlight and create a bright and modern place to live.
What inspired the design?
Our client came to us with a brief of creating a house with a similar feel to the award-winning German Huf Haus design. Big open spaces and natural light appealed to them, however they wanted the house to have a little more privacy and a more ‘homely’ feel than the original German design. We therefore designed a house with some Huf Haus characteristics, such as the pitched roof, high ceiling, terraces and large glass windows to capture natural light, while maintaining some more British features of a home and tailoring the property to suit our clients preferences, such as supplementing a brick wall on the outside ground floor.
What other features does the house have?
We decided to use innovative construction for the new building, settling on Structural Insulated Panels (SIP) from Kingspan TEK. These are made of wood, but their invisible structure gave us freedom with the interior design. Furthermore, their prefabrication meant that construction time was less and there was limited on-site waste. The panels also have high energy efficiency, allowing for a thinner construction than usual insulation.
What comes next?
Although our Stoke Poges build has begun to take shape and acquire character, there are still things to be done before our May deadline. Currently, underfloor heating and electrics are being fitted and then decorating and finishes for the property will commence. We can’t wait to follow the progress of this contemporary and modern design, and are looking forward to seeing the finished product!
This week, two of our architects attended a three day ‘Building Information Modelling’ (BIM) training session in Bristol, equipping them with the insight and tools to more efficiently design, construct and manage buildings and infrastructure.
BIM is an intelligent 3D model-based process that uses innovative software to better quantify data and manage information and costs for elements of the build. It is often used by large firms, as it increases the ability to deal with larger scale builds. It also allows architects to make more informed design decisions, build more efficiently and cost-effectively, and maintain buildings with greater ease.
A rising number of government and commercial organisations are making the use of BIM mandatory, and with increased work with local authorities and larger scale projects, Living Space Architects were pleased to be able to participate in the training.
“BIM training allows a firm to develop from a micro-practice and take on larger-scale projects” said Stuart Bayley, Director of Living Space Architects. “With the training, we can continue to step up and achieve the scope of our ambition.”
BIM is managed by Autodesk, which claims that the software not only allows businesses to operate more productively, but also produce higher-quality work, attracting new talent and winning new business. The benefits of the software are evident throughout the project building lifecycle, from enabling better design decisions, to accommodating efficient building and guaranteeing predictable managing costs.
“We had a great grounding in all of the software functions which will enable us to get modelling our schemes from an early stage” said Living Space architect Kate Sammons, who attended the training. “It allows us to gradually build up the levels of detail and building information until we have a really intelligent model.”
With this competitive edge, Living Space Architects is looking forward to realising its creative visions using these innovative technological solutions and fulfilling its promising potential
“The training was excellent” Stuart commented. “It was very detailed but also quite interactive. We’ve come away with the feeling that we can take it on and get stuck in!”
Our beautiful house extension and refurbishment project in Grey Wings, Cornwall has been featured in the ‘Design Guide’ for Real Homes Magazine under ‘Sustainable Style’.
This was a wonderful project to be part of, and we worked with obsessive detail to make the property the best it could possibly be.
The result was a highly sustainable and innovative design, embraced the stunning views and location of the property in a contemporary, stylistic manner.
To read more about the design, and see more pictures of this impressive extension, click here.
Decided to take on a property development opportunity? We don’t blame you! There’s something incredibly rewarding about seeing a property come together through your own planning, dedication and hard work.
However, at the beginning, such a project can seem a little intimidating and daunting and it’s difficult to figure out where to start. So how do you go about developing an existing property- or building on from scratch?
Here are some ideas on how to find that perfect project so that you can get to work!
1. Make contact with the local commercial agents
A quick Google search will point you in the right direction.
2. Research old and redundant buildings
Look at examples of others who have undertaken this type of work to draw inspiration. Then do some research into old and redundant buildings- do any have potential?
3. Auctions for land
Land auctions are a good way to find suitable plots but transactions are conducted on a ‘sold as seen’ basis and therefore require a quick sale, leaving little time for research:
4. Local authorities
Cash-strapped councils often have parcels of land they are willing to sell.
5. Utility companies
Some utility organisations such as water, gas and electricity companies have surplus land available to buy:
6. Previously approved schemes which have not been built
7. Change of use on office to residential
The objective is to allow changes of use of a building or land from B1(a): offices to C3: residential to happen more easily. The intended effect of the proposal is to support an increase in housing supply, encourage regeneration of offices and bring empty properties into productive use.
8. Barn conversion under permitted development
Agricultural buildings can be converted to a flexible, educational or residential use under permitted development rights:
With the news full of uncertainty in the financial markets many of us are choosing to stay put rather than sell our houses and move, but that doesn’t mean we can’t make the most of what we have and there are plenty of projects within all budgets that could make a real difference to your home without having to up sticks and move. By making changes and improvements to your home not only can it make your property feel like new but it will also add value once the market improves again.
Adding and Extension
Adding extra floor area is a guaranteed way of making your home feel like new.
Not only is finance more difficult to find but moving home costs a fair bit of money too with stamp duty on a £500,000 home amounting to £20,000. It’s these factors that have made staying where you are and extending a really good option.
“It’s true that it can be more difficult to make a big profit now on any work that you do to your home, but you will more than likely get back what you spend” says Kirsty Curnow Bayley at Living Space Architects. “In some cases, especially with homes at the top end of the market you can create a good extension for the same price as moving”.
Rear and Side Extensions
This is the most popular type of extension, often opening up to the garden at the rear of the property with the kitchen diner leading onto the garden. Families are looking for space where they can all be together that connects better with the garden and this will definitely add value to your home. Expect to pay in the region of £1500- £2000 per square metre including fit out. Consider employing an architect for the project, although it will add around 10-15% to your project the extra spend is definitely worth while; architects are space planning experts and will make sure you get value for your money. They will also help you negotiate the planning maze and can manage building contractors to help ensure a project is on time and within budget.
A loft conversion will cost in the region of £40,000 and is a great way to get another bedroom and can be a good option if your family is expanding but you don’t want to move. You may not need planning permission for a loft conversion although it is important to check that your house still has it’s permitted development rights before you start work. Always contact your local planning authority to check or speak to an architect who will be able confirm how big your extension can be to comply.
Adding a basement is one of the best options if your priority is to gain extra space as you can effectivly gain a whole extra floor. You can draw in extra light by adding a lightwell and extending into your back garden. Compared to an extension at ground level a basement is a more expensive option with costs of up to £3000 per square metre and can be disruptive. Make sure you employ a good architect before you start to make sure your basement is as light and airy as possible.
The traditional upvc conservatory extension is a bit of a quick fix solution and many people regret not having considered other options.
Again a small conservatory may not need planning permission and it is worth checking before you start.
When planning your sun room think about its orientation – south facing sun rooms are great but you do need to consider how to avoid overheating. You can create a sun room with a solid roof and rooflights to help control temperatures whilst still letting in light. Large roof overhangs can provide solar shading and some protection from summer showers.
Sliding folding doors are now extremely popular but large slim framed aluminium sliding doors are becoming more popluar as they give the best visual connection with the garden and look a lot more stylish.
We’ve been working hard over the last few weeks creating our new website. Let us know what you think, we’ve created it in wordpress using a theme by web designer Kriesi and we’re really pleased with it. Over the coming months we will be adding to our blog to keep you up to date with Living Space News.