New Houses - any good?

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It's sad, I know, but at the same time as the garage survey (update: had a few recent brochures which were not included, and the widest single garage is now 2.71m, up from 2.65m) I also did a bedroom survey on 4-bed houses.
The conclusions are a bit odd because I looked at the largest and smallest dimensions of the rooms rather than just the floor area, but for 4-bed houses, the average "large" dimension of the 4th bedroom was 3.11m and the average "small" dimension was 2.48m. This from a sample of 30 house plans including some from Potton (timber frame makers), Westbury, Persimmon, Barrat, Wimpey and Wilcon (all developers). There was however considerable variation, unlike with the garages.
Hwyl!
M.
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Martin Angove (it's Cornish for "Smith") - ARM/Digital SA110 RPC
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"Peter Ashby" wrote | > I'll grant the convenience of en-suite shower/bathrooms. However, | > I've yet to see a modern (as in less than 10 years old) with a "study | > room" that would actually be capable of holding a decent sized desk | > and a filing cabinet :-( | I've looked at some new ones to rent where the stated 3rd bedroom would | barely fit a small 2 man sofa.
My aforementioned friend in Milton Keynes can barely fit a small 2-person sofa in the sitting room.
Oh well, Builders From Hell on ITV shortly, should cheer us all up.
Owain
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So why not take the third option and build your own?
* Opportunity to specify *exactly* which fittings you want inside, at build time so no thinking "oh, the bathroom wil do and I'll change it later". Can be built to as high a spec. as you can afford.
* Can design exactly the right layout of rooms for your own lifestyle.
* Plenty of opportunity to d-i-y on aspects you feel happy with, and get tradesmen in for the others.
* It won't be exactly the same as all the other houses in the area.
* Can use whatever construction method suits your taste and budget - i.e. if you want masonry and wet plaster you can have it; very few developers are doing anything except timber or metal studs with plasterboard.
* If you are involved with the design and the build then you know exactly what is what structurally, and which services run where so when you *do* come to some major d-i-y in later years it's all much easier - and you have the plans so no need for invasive surveys.
* Why pay in terms of space and cost for four bedrooms with three bathrooms, when you can have four (larger) bedrooms if you only have two bathrooms?
* Why build a garage that is only large enough to be used as a tool store?
* Can build-in extra insulation if you think it's worthwhile.
* Easier to add features such as underfloor heating, rainwater collection, structured cabling and so on at build-time rather than retro-fitting.
* Can use traditional construction or "attic" trusses for the roof which will make loft conversion much easier should you need to do it later.
* Land price will be similar to a developer house, but build cost can be a *lot* less as you're not paying for his company and its profit.
Ummm... I could go on, and I know there are others here who have actually done it (I haven't yet, but am planning to soon) so maybe I'll leave the rest to them.
As far as I can see, there are only a few downsides to self-build.
* It takes time. Probably at least 12 to 18 months from finding a plot to moving in, depending on size of house.
* Must keep tight control of budget or things might get out of hand.
* Finances might be fun, though there are more and more lenders aware of the need for self builders to live somewhere while the house is being built!
Hwyl!
M.
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Martin Angove (it's Cornish for "Smith") - ARM/Digital SA110 RPC
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"Martin Angove" wrote | * Why build a garage that is only large enough to be used as a | tool store?
So you don't get into the habit of parking the car in it!
Owain
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wrote:

I whole heartily agree with this, this is what i'm doing and have high ceilings 9ft down 8 up and 12ft in the loft/ boys&#8217; rooms. I wanted a big garage so i've built one 30ft by 20 ft, the list goes on. I can&#8217;t push self-build enough but it&#8217;s taken me 3 years from buying plot to now and we are still not finished. It&#8217;s Very hard on her indoors having to choose everything its a lot harder than you think. Rob
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Julian Fowler wrote:

You obviously bought an up-market home then ;-) I put SWMBO's Metro in ours and could only just get out of it. I'm tall, 1.9m (6' 3" in old money), but not wide.
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"parish" <parish_AT_ntlworld.com> wrote in message

Widen the garage then. There is a good DIY project for you. Most 1930s garages are very small too.
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We've been in a lot of new houses over the last 12 months or so, and picked up a fair number of brochures. I even went so far as to do a survey in these brochures of garage sizes. A "single" garage varied from 2.45m to 2.65m wide.
We have a Renault Scenic which is 1.7m wide without the mirrors. Ignoring the width of the door itself, this leaves between 37.5cm and 47.5cm (14.75" and 18.7") to open the side doors; *nearly* impossible to get out. On top of that the two "detent" opening positions on our Scenic leave the edge of the door 60cm or 1m from the body of the car, so it is genuinely impossible to get into or out of the car without bashing the door on the garage wall.
Absolutely pointless.
The only decent sized garage I've seen recently was by a small local developer in South Wales who built something others would have called a "double" but honestly described it as a "one and a half". My sister and her husband only have one car anyway, and it's a great size for that. They can even strap the baby into the car seat while the car's in the garage; there's no way you could do that in a 2.45m wide garage.
Ooh, I love a good rant.
Hwyl!
M.
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Martin Angove (it's Cornish for "Smith") - ARM/Digital SA110 RPC
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Who puts cars in garages anyway? The police recommend not to put them in as a car outside is a deterrent to burglars.
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wrote:

Well, I used to leave my car outside and for my pains the bl**dy burgler smashed the window looking for stuff before attempting entry to the house!

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Well, forgive me returning to the rant but in that case, what in the name of all that is sane is the bloomin' point having a flippin' garage in the first place?????
If it's an integral garage then 5m by 2.5m is a nice size for a dining room.
If it's a separate building then 5m by 2.5m probably cost three or four grand to build which could buy you a *very* nice kitchen or a landscaped garden or...
As for a car outside being a deterrent, I doubt that very much. Any sane criminal is going to know when you're in or out, and any opportunist isn't going to care. And what about the perp who wants to steal the car itself, or the contents thereof?
My point is this:
If you want a garage, at least build it big enough so that you can get into and out of the car comfortably, and preferably large enough so that you can fit a child into a car seat and open the boot too.
If you can't build it that big then it is no more than a glorified garden shed filled with lawnmowers and bikes, so why not build it so that it is accessible from the garden and come clean that that is what it is?
Grrr!
M.
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Martin Angove (it's Cornish for "Smith") - ARM/Digital SA110 RPC
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I dunno. I've yet to come across a garage which is as usefully close to the garden as it is to the "driveway". Integral garages usually seem to have a utility room between them and the garden when what you really need is a door directly into the garden so that you can get the lawnmower out without too much hassle. Separate garages are usually just too far away to be useful as garden stores - most developers seem to put them in front of the house if possible.
Hwyl!
M.
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Martin Angove (it's Cornish for "Smith") - ARM/Digital SA110 RPC
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Most new houses I have seen (depending on plot of course) tend to have the driveway at the side of the house and the garage behind with the garage having a door to the garden.
Lawnmowers and garden tools are best in an insulated shed.
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IMM wrote:

That's a point; this is the first integral garage that I've had and tools etc. don't go rusty anymore (and it's not too cold to work in there in winter).

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Martin Angove wrote:

ATM the back of my garage has a door straight into the garden which, as you say, is handy for getting the lawnmower etc. out. However, the extension that's about to go up will be across the back of the garage so I'll lose that benefit (hence the need to retain the path down the side of it). At least I will now have a door into the garage from the house so I won't have to go outside in the middle of winter to reset the mcb when a light bulb blows.

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Who puts cars in garages anyway? The police recommend not to put them in as a car outside is a deterrent to burglars.
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Who puts cars in garages anyway? The police recommend not to put them in as a car outside is a deterrent to burglars.
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Who puts cars in garages anyway? The police recommend not to put them in as a car outside is a deterrent to burglars.
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And for crying out loud, why the heck did your newsreader see fit to post this drivel FOUR times? And get the sig. sorted eh? It's TWO dashes and a SPACE, not three dashes.
Hwyl!
M.
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wrote:

Blame the ISP.

Automatically done
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