Category Archives: Plans

Grand Staircase Ideas

Now I have a ballroom I’m thinking about a grand staircase.   Something like the one in Beauty and the Beast or Cindarella.

The staircase might fit in the old dining area.   It would turn one of the upstairs bedrooms into a shower room, but it would look fab!  I’m thinking something heavy in oak rather than the modern staircase in the renderings.


Space is tight for a grand staircase.   But it would be a great opportunity to merge that awkward pillar into an actual wall.   I tried to avoid winders on the first landing but I’ll need them if I want to keep the outside door.


I’m very much in the thinking phase.   It would fix a lot of problems upstairs at the cost of a bedroom.   Though it would make another bedroom more useable, add another WC, and give me a window in my shower room.  Downstairs I can position the Ladies behind the stairs and then add a new en-suite guest bedroom downstairs where the toilets were.

More much later.  At the moment I’ve decided it is a bad idea.

More Artist Impressions

I will need to tell the council what materials I want to use before I can start any work.  I struggle to visualise what things will look like before I see them so I’ve put together some more artists impressions to help me figure everything out.

Here is the garage from the road with a shingle driveway and cheaper clay plain tiles. I had a very helpful chat with the Conservation Officer who felt a shingle driveway would soften the approach to the garage.


Here is the same view at the moment.  It’s only nicer because you can see the whole willow and a very fine Renault 5.


I’ll go with shingle as I’ve still not figured out any good way to make the exterior ground level lower than the interior floor level and shingles will help a lot with drainage. (I will post more later about the snug with the rot but it turns out the damp proof course that can be seen at exterior ground level is actually built on top of the 12 inch plinth that supports the timber frame).

The garage is well set back from the road.  It was originally going to be black but Kae thinks that will be too dark.  We will propose a natural wood finish and can always add a stain later if it doesn’t fit in.  The picture above is as close as I can get to natural wood on the computer.

I have a thing about courtyards.  The idea for the garage is to create a courtyard at the rear of the house which frames the willow when you look from the kitchen window.  This is how that might look from the garden:


I’m not sure how quickly the garage will be built – costs are looking a lot higher than expected and planning conditions will likely add another 10 grand.  Here is how the same view looks at the moment:  There is a wooden shed and fencing we will need to knock down, and a load of tarmac to scrape off behind the fence to keep the willow happy.


I’ve also updated an earlier artist impression of the front of the house to see how the more expensive hand made clay tiles might look. They will never match as they haven’t had 100 years of dirt and decay, but look reasonable.

I’m still not happy with the windows in the toilet block.  There was a door there in 1900 which would be prettier, if less practical if the toilets are retained.


It’s based on an old photo before the house in the car park next door.  This is how it looked before:


On reflection 5 years later it might not have been a great idea to apply for the planning so early.  Most of my ideas have changed enough to need another application.  I’ve not got onto the the new bits yet as there was so much to fix in the rest of the house.

Planning Permission Granted

Planning Permission was granted on 14th November 2013 (see the plans).  We also have permission to reduce the willow and remove the conifer.

It’s scary now!  The architect is available for consultation but it’s up to me to progress things from here.  Currently I’m working through the planning conditions that are supposed to be agreed before we start.

I’m putting together a schedule of works, or more a sequence of works at the moment.  Things like remembering when we re-lay a floor downstairs to put drains in for the new bathroom we’ll build later upstairs.  It also currently includes things such as “demolish shed” followed by “don’t demolish shed yet”.

Budget is a bit frightening.   It is very difficult to cost some of the inside work, but it does lend itself to being done bit by bit when we have the money.  On the other hand that approach could ensure nothing is ever finished.

I’ll probably feel more confident when I actually start doing something.


The planning application was validated at the end of September and we should have a decision by the middle of November.

The main changes are adding a garage for my elderly Renaults, putting a pitched roof over the flat roof extension to make it look a bit nicer, and making the void into a bedroom with a new window above the big bay window.

Click on the images below to see the plans.
elevations-smsections-sm floorplan-smsiteplan-sm garage-sm

Initial Ideas for Plans

I don’t like the flat roof so I’m going to apply to add a pitched roof to make it prettier. I’ve put together an artist impression based roughly on the architect’s ideas. Only roughly – he reckons the conservation officer will prefer roof lights to windows. I’m tempted to propose some windows as I think roof lights at the front would look ugly.

I’ve painted in windows for the void and a new bathroom. Downstairs I’ve no idea what to do with the area that is currently the gents, but it looks nicer with a window or two.  Might look even better with some bigger windows.  I need to chat with the conservation officer to see if the gents toilet look is really worth preserving.


This is how it looks at the moment:


Building a new gable would leave a lot of 1960s style brick on the end view.  It might be nicer to finish the gable with weatherboard or render



I’ve taken on the architect that I liked. We’ll be working together on plans over the next month or two and will hopefully organise something that planning, the village (and me) will like a lot. I guess we’ll be able to submit an application in April. More on ideas as they progress.

The flat roof part you see after turning the corner from the hill looks really ugly and wants sorting. It’s a fiddly shape to do anything with. The architect drew a sketch of a pitched roof at first floor level matching the slope of the existing roof, then another pitched roof connecting it to the barn. I’ll post pictures when I have them. Looks like it was supposed to be there.

Inside the changes will hinge around sorting out the stairs. They don’t go up high enough to meet the corridor, and the 2 extra steps from the landing make it risky to go to the bathroom in the dark. Though building regs will require 2m height for stairs if we fiddle with them, and there isn’t quite the room. Architect can figure that one out.