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Ask An Architect- free advice for anyone interested!


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Hi everyone,    I am an Architect, and would love to answer any questions you have on planning, design, construction etc etc.    I am starting a blog called AskAnArchitect, and will feature the an

Great question,    The most common mistake of newbie developers is definitely biting off more than they can chew.   Without this sounding too much like a pitch, the way to avoid this is to consult

Damian,    Thanks for the question- really great one.    There are 2 main reasons why I would advise using an Architect for PD developments:  1) Even when works are covered by Permitted Developme

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hello,

I am in the early stages of building a home from the ground up so i could use any and all information that you can spare. my hopes are to go an unconventional route which includes geothermal cooling, reed bed septic, and maybe some cob. my question today is what information do i need to find out, in order to know if i can sink my home about 3-4feet in the earth for better insulation? just so you understand my meaning, not a basement,  but open the front door and need to go down a few steps. what are the downsides and any advice for such a plan? 

thank you so much for offering a place to ask questions from someone with your experience

nikki

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Hi Oli,  I don't know if I am using this website properly but needed an architect to respond.  I so appreciate your help.  A new owner recently purchased the townhouse next door to me and our master bedrooms share a common wall.  He SNORES 12 hours every night like a buzz saw.  I am dying.  I attained the plans and it looks like there is only airspace in between our units.  I attach the drawing.  Don't know if I can blow in insulation due to fire codes and structure.  Would putting up another layer of drywall in my unit help?  Or what other measures can I take to get rid of this terrible sound nightly?  Thank you so much.  Chris

 

 

 

Common wall master.jpg

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Hi Oli

I have started building my 6m extension after obtaining approval from barnet council for prior notification of house extension, however now I have changed my mind to make pitched roof instead of the proposed flat roof. I applied for 4m pitch height and 3m eves heights for double sided pitched roof for my extension. Can you please advise if this is within the regulation and I can continue my building until I will receive the planning team approval. 

Many thanks.

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Hi Oli,
I have a question regarding Permitted Development.

PD rights are a legal entitlement.
Assuming correct materials and finishes are used ... do planners view PD rights when carried out - as having 'Impact', namely on the 'character of the area' and 'neighbouring properties' ?

How do Permitted Development rights trump Residential Design Guidance.
PD works do not satisfy the Residential Design Guidance - yet they are attainable under PD.

I am trying to ascertain whether a 6mt rear ground floor extension vs a 3mt rear ground floor extension - if sought as PD, would have any impact on further Full Plans applications - namely a 3mt first floor part rear extension - a precedent for these has already been set in the street, but so far only on top of 3mt ground floor extensions (sought under PD).

ie can PD applications - if gained - then go onto be viewed by planning officers as contributing to over development ?? or is it viewed separately when gauging impact and they are a legal entitlement.

Thanks

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I want to be an architect, but because of the job instability, I feel forced to switch to civil engineering. Once you graduate with architecture degree, how easy is it to get a job, how is the industry, people say that there is no designing in the industry, that's only in school.

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My boyfriend and I are looking to purchase this home.  We are wanting to make several changes to both interior and exterior and I wanted to be able to look up the type of house on line to get ideas.  Could someone tell me what style house this actually is? It has the partial basement windows showing in the front, but the back is two-story.  Also, if you would like to give me any ideas for remodel, I would love to hear them.  Thanks!

house.jpg

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I want to put some sort of exterior window on the second floor where there is a

large gap between two windows on the left and two on the right with nothing in between .

Any suggestions ? I was thinking of using a similar window to the small one on the farmers

porch to the right of the front door. Thanks !

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Hello!

My question is, how thick does concrete need to be to support its own weight?

I'm planning to build a 4 foot by 10 foot false slab that will pivot at a mid point to reveal the space below it, but i don't want it breaking in half when i lift it. 

I've done some math (probably poor math but hey) and i figure if four feet of the slab was 6 inches deep and the other 5 feet was 3 inches deep the whole thing would weigh about a ton. . .

The idea being that the thicker 4x4 foot section would help lift the thinner 5x4 foot section. My concern is first that this probably won't work and second that when lifting the thinner section it will break under its own weight . . .

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@Jamesschwochow I'm not sure if this thread is still live, but common sense prompts me to respond!

DO NOT DO IT! Until you have structural engineers/architects/surveyors whatever, all signing the plans off and taking responsibilty for the consequences....

FYI, concrete is bloody heavy. This was a joke wasn't it........

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On 8/5/2016 at 7:26 PM, oli_lowrie said:

Hi everyone, 

 

I am an Architect, and would love to answer any questions you have on planning, design, construction etc etc. 

 

I am starting a blog called AskAnArchitect, and will feature the answers on the blog too. 

 

Kind Regards, 

 

Oli

Hello

I am planning to redesign the exterior of my House & also want to construct stairs for first floor only from outside.. please suggest me best way, best design for my house. It has 30 feet of Front (image attached). 

1565191400964685067520.jpg

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Hi Oli,

This is just what I have been looking for.

I am looking to buy a property with the idea of building a second house on the side.

Are there restrictions to this even if there is enough land?

https://app.nimbusmaps.co.uk/Lookup/TitleNumber/NGL441533

The house above is an end terrace with just enough to build a second plot.

Regards

Robert

Screenshot-2020-02-27-at-11.51.24.gif

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Hello,

Question, I have custom windows on my building plans and it did not come with a window schedule. There are some details on floor plans but the custom ones are not correct. Is there someone who would provide that service? Should I ask another architect?

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Detached home. The attached two car garage is 2 stories high with access to the house in 2 locations (basement and second story inside the already finished garage). U can enter the bsement on grade in the garage or go up a staircase and enter the house on the second floor in the garage. All walls and ceiling are drywalled and insulated already. Approx. 20x20. Want to divide the top half from the bottom half of the garage to eventually utilize the top half as living space. Hoping for info on whether existing structure would be sufficient without paying an engineer 5 grand to tell me

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On 5/12/2020 at 1:51 PM, ardente said:

Detached home. The attached two car garage is 2 stories high with access to the house in 2 locations (basement and second story inside the already finished garage). U can enter the bsement on grade in the garage or go up a staircase and enter the house on the second floor in the garage. All walls and ceiling are drywalled and insulated already. Approx. 20x20. Want to divide the top half from the bottom half of the garage to eventually utilize the top half as living space. Hoping for info on whether existing structure would be sufficient without paying an engineer 5 grand to tell me

The simple answer ( IMHO ) is yes. If you actually want to ask the question, what do I need to do to conform to regs, that's slightly more complicated. However a normal 'builder' should be able to answer that. The main concern, as long as it will take the loadings ( which is should ) is the risk of fire. As far as I recall you will need to double board the ceilings of the gararges under with two layers of 12.5mm fireboard, staggered joints with imunescent seal around all the edges. Not have any holes more than 50mm wide ( spread of fire ). No down lighters downstairs ect. You don't need to skim over the fireboard. You will also need a 'means of escape' and you might need fire windows / escape routes if through a velux. Various ways around that.

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