My ex-council house semi is basic in design, but built like the
proverbial brick "outhouse". Since all the internal walls, ground
floor and first floor, are of solid masonry, the joists in the loft
seem really strong with no discernible spring when one steps along
one. The joists are now partially boarded over, but I was wondering
what a brand new house is like in the loft. In a modern house, the
walls are usually stud type, i.e. not load-bearing. So how strong are
the ceiling joists in the loft in a modern house? How to they stay up
without load-bearing walls to support them?
Only on the upper levels usually and around the downstairs toilet.
They are ruff trusses. Each truss is all one piece and spans the width of
the house. The internal walls usually have a wood piece here and there from
floor to roof trusses giving extra mid way support on some.
Some modern house are very well made and very sturdy. The problem with
older houses is they lack insulation and cost a fortune to run.
The problems with most modern houses are that the ceilings are too low and
the rooms too narrow. No dount all thanks to ergonomics - the science of
making things just too small to be comfortable.
Today's obsession with environment (only the outdoor environment, mind,
which is not where most people spend their time) means a lack of fresh air
and higher levels of pollutants indoors. When I lived in a new flat, I felt
like I was always getting a cold (that bunged up feeling). As soon as I
moved to a draughty old victorian house with single glazing and open fires,
I felt much healthier.
Stuff the heating costs, health is more important than some eco nonsense.
Making each room a foot taller won't affect land useage. Adding a couple of
feet in each direction to the rooms could be done too, with a minimal
reduction in the number of houses on a plot (just put them closer together
if needs be). That's all it needs to make most new homes massively more
liveable - and it wouldn't add much to the building cost either.
The problem is not lack of land, but lack of regulations specifying minimum
dimensions for new builds.
No, it's taller walls that make ceilings higher. Downlighters just make
them brighter. I'll still scuff my head on a dangly light fitting, no
matter how well lit the surrounding walls.
No ventillation that would pass any eco-test is as good as my draughty
windows and open fireplaces for keeping the air fresh. Inefficient, I know,
but I feel better for it.
Near where I live, there are plans to build 6500 new homes, with associated
schools, hospitals, indistrial units and a science park. The homes are
going on greenfield sites, the industry on brown. The floodplain area is
going to be parkland. All fairly sensible.
The site is only 350 acres, so it's going to be a squeeze as usual, but I
bet if the developers had twice the land, they would build twice the number
of houses, not make each one bigger.
I'll say again - there needs to be some regulations covering minimum room
dimensions. That is what will make a difference to the vast majority of
people who can only afford one of these cookie-cutter estate houses.
Parker Morris in the 1960's laid down minimum floor areas for
Council housing but I don't think it place of HMG to tell people
how big their rooms should be - if people want to pay big money
for a Barratt house or Victorian cottage with tiny rooms that is
their choice. We could (in places already are) adopt the system of
quoting the internal floor area so you could very quickly see
whether it was spacious or poky, and such information might (or
might not) change buyers perceptions
Tony Bryer SDA UK 'Software to build on' http://www.sda.co.uk
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I'm not suggesting the room size is decided by HMG - just some *minimum*
dimensions - just like you have minimum standards applied to other aspects
of building. Why shouldn't room size be included as a measure of quality?
It's not the choice of most people to live in a pokey rabbit hutch. Not
everyone has the luxury of enough money to have a true choice. The price of
the smallest hosues will always tend to creep up to whatever the maximum the
average first time buyer can afford. If the smallest houses were a bit
bigger, they wouldn't necessarily be more expensive to buy, but it would
mean an improvement in the quality of the country's housing stock, and in
the living conditions of its population.
In fact, rather than build ever smaller starter homes, perhaps the planning
authorities should encourage the building of lots of large houses instead.
That would take the pressure of housing prices by reducing the demand from
people with loads of cash. Eventually this would come through to more
sustainable prices at the lower end.
But don't forget that HMG get extra taxes by having more houses, in
the form of council tax which is applied to each property, so it's not
in HMG's interest to expand the footprint size of new houses - in fact
the reverse is true.
If you have two houses occupying AxB footprint then I believe the
council tax for those two properties will give government rather more
than having a single dwelling occupying 2xAxB. Not forgetting that the
latter house might well be in the topmost band so no matter what size
it was increased to it would still pay the same council tax.
Sending email to my published email address isn't
guaranteed to reach me.
I think it is. At least the minimum sizes. A 3 bed house should have
minimum room sized as they generally have 5 people in them. You need a
toiler downstairs, so they can give minimum room sizes, and also minimum
sized plots and proximity etc.
In certain price brackets you have no choice, they are all poky.
Not about buyers, it is about minimum living space in new houses, although
the squ foot is useful.
Not as bad as "link detached" (which are joined by the garage) and are,
in my book, called "terraced".
One of the requirements when we started looking for detached houses was
that you should be able to walk all the way round them.
"The road to Paradise is through Intercourse."
[email me at huge [at] huge [dot] org [dot] uk]
On 13 Feb 2004 23:27:51 GMT, firstname.lastname@example.org (Huge) wrote:
No way! Actually, some detached houses that are so close as to be
practically touching each other, are *worse* than link detached.
Because all the link detached properties I have seen are linked by the
garages, the main house shell being further away from its neighbour by
a greater distance than other so-called detached houses where the gap
between is barely wide enough to walk down.
In London in the late 1930's Wates built thousands of link detached
chalet houses, flank walls about 3' apart with a linking arch across
the front. I was told that at the time for rating purposes they had
to be classed as s/d as they were unarguably joined to another house,
but in terms of noise etc they were detached.
See typical picture at
Tony Bryer SDA UK 'Software to build on' http://www.sda.co.uk
Free SEDBUK boiler database browser http://www.sda.co.uk/qsedbuk.htm
Typical of London. All the front gardens are being stripped out, paved and
car parks made of them, giving hideous appearance. In Chiswick, etc, the
gardens in front of the terraced houses have virtually all gone, giving the
streets an appalling appearance of car butted up to the front windows.
Making car parks of front gardens should be stopped. And those converted
turned back to gardens. The more you encourage people to have and park cars
the worse it gets, where the car takes over our lives. The more obstacles
you put in the way the less people will use cars. In London few people
really need a car.
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