Country Boy wrote:
Just in the process of buying a bungalow despite my aversion to the design. The package is good mainly 6 acres of land and on a nice quiet country road!
As far as bungalows go its not the worst I've seen but it lacks something - probably many things....Built 5 years ago - red brick but usual long dark coridor etc.
I want to expand upstairs and use the space probably for 2 large rooms and also a nice sun room on the west end just off the side of the kitchen to catch the evening sun....
Is it worth employing an architect? I don't want to do major surgery as it is all fairly new and also money is an issue....
I am based in Louth - and will be looking for someone to do just the design, drawings and planning work.
The pictures don't give a full impression of the house.
For that you'd need at least a plan and a section, with some square-on pictures of the elevations or else elevational drawings.
While the building looks competently built the window to wall ratio seems low and those bay windows will not let admit much light to the rooms they serve.
The brick and presumably recon stone quoins suggest a cavity wall construction, which should be opened up in a few places to assess the level of insulation as well as the security of its "fixing" against the inner leaf.
This will allow a competent BER assessor issue a comment in relation to its level of heat retention.
My own concern in terms of design is that in a rural area the fussy bay windows, the small windows overall, the lakc of a sun room, and possibly low attic height internally after upscaling the joists and insulating following the line of the roof will all conspire to give you something that may not sell well later on.
Enlarging windows needs to be carefully considered as does whether or not you are going to work within the traditional idiom of the dwelling as it stands, try to tack on a modernist "extension" or totally reinvent the building - that's a basic design decisison that will affect everything else.
There is a lot do to with this house - raising window heads and windowns to admit more light and take advantage of the aspect of the house towards views and the sun path will not be cheap and from the design it looks as though this has not been done.
In addition to Paul Clerkin's suggestion there is one other method of giving "space" to a small dwelling.
Consider revising the roof structure over the kichen/living/dining ot make this space storey-and-a-half height. It may be possible to open up the whole area if this is currently boxed off in a room/room/room arrangement.
This alone will "modernise" the mode of living that the house can support, since many houses in Dublin in the boom got the "sun room" treatment for just this purpose.
Also in place of Paul's "room removal" a modified approach might be to replace a bedroom with a smaller wheelchair accessible compliant WC - this will still add space to a hall while allowing the existing WC to be "turned" to form an En Suite.
All of this depends on your specific needs, but at this stage - before anything else is done to the property - talk to the planners!
I am suspicious about the level of finish and the detailing.
This may have been required in the eyes of the LA to improve the visual amenity of the dwelling to faciliate the granting of permission in this area.
Also area-related, you may find that there is a restrictive condition in the permission which requires the house to be occupied by the applicant/relative of the original land-owner for ten years from the date of completion [or whatever].
Such permission conditions are well-known in country areas and you need to satisfy yourself of this possible burden via the Permission as well as any other burdens on the lease from rights of way, ground conditions and local flood conditions, potential for landslips due to recent Wind Turbine installations, etc.
Ans make sure they owners take that big Alsatian with them when they leave...