We are very happy to say our client was giving full planning permission to bring a 100 year old cottage and ex post office back to life. Having a Planning Permission Application Granted in Westmeath is just another success story for MORE Architecture and we are delighted for our client. The real excitement starts here.
The Project and its Problems
When we received the call from our clients to design an extension onto their very old and derelict cottage we were very excited. The cottage sounded like it was full of character. It would make us very happy to be able to give that character a new lease of life. We visited the client on site to discuss their project in more detail. That’s when we seen we were going to have some major issues. We were concerned that the site was just too small.
“How will we design a comfortable home on this tiny site?”, we asked.
Situated in the country side of Co. Westmeath, on a beautiful but restricted site, stood a quint stone cottage that was just dotted with character.
The cottage faced north while the garden was south facing. Another question we found ourselves asking was;
“How much of the old cottage can we save, is it even safe to extend onto?”
There was also the question of the entrance into the site and how can we provide safe passage for all users. There was an existing entrance to the rear of the site built with two large stone piers. One of the piers is actually constructed into an old stone outbuilding. We knew we wouldn’t be able to touch that pier. However we have to make it safe for our clients to drive in and out everyday.
How to Maximize Space on a Small Site
One of our major concerns was the size of the site. Our client’s were looking for a two bedroom house, with walk-in wardrobe, en-suite off master bed, new open plan kitchen dining living area and a utility. They also needed a decent size garage and not to mention space to park their cars. This is a lot to squeeze into such a small site.
So we began with a comprehensive site survey. This would ensure that we knew exactly what areas we were working with. We then developed a number of concepts that would maximize as much space as possible. We integrated concealed utilities, the use of high or vaulted ceilings to create a sense of space and partially solid walls.
Below is the concept board that was approved by the client and developed further for a planning permission application.
An Old Cottage ready to Crumble and Fall Down!
The looming question was, is this old cottage safe? Can we renovate it and build and extension on to it or should be demolish it? We were afraid for the health and safety of the workers but also our client’s investment. What if they spent all their savings on this project to find out it is unsafe and not insurable? What if the construction is complete and some of the old cottage elements fail, resulting in pricey alterations.
First things first, and thats to assign a structural engineer to do a report on the existing structures and the stability of the site. Thankfully we were giving the all clear. Once the highlighted areas in the report were removed or made good we would have no issues.
It turns out the old cottage was built extremely well and continues to stand the test of time.
Wide as a Gate
So because of European legislation and obviously it’s good practice, we are obliged to provide safe access for anyone entering or exiting the site as well as motorists and pedestrians passing by. As you can see from the image below there is an existing entrance into the site and it is extremely narrow.
We proposed to widen the gate to accommodate a car to easily turn in from the road. However we could only widen the gate from one side as one of the piers was built into an old stone shed.
Once we provide a safe entrance we will get approved.
The Devil is in the Detail
There are a number of details designed into this house that are unique. These details aim to enhance the old details and character of the existing cottage.
One of these details is the hidden gutter and down pipe system. Essentially we moved the gutter further up the roof and designed the rain water to flow out of the gutter and down between the wall build up. The down pipes are sandwiched between the structure and the cladding. We specified that the remaining roof under the gutter should be dressed in copper to prevent any moisture penetration.
Planning Permission Application Granted in Westmeath
Now that the planning permission application was granted the project is ready for the next step. Next we send out the drawings to contractors, builders and tradesmen to price off and send us quotes backs. Once we have the relevant nominated builders we will complete the last of the paperwork and get ready to turn sod.
Another successful Planning Permission Application granted in Westmeath for MORE Architecture.
Purchase the plans?
If you have a similar cottage that you wish to renovate and extend but you don’t have the budget to hire an architect, you can now purchase the plans for this cottage. You can make amendments to the plans to personalize the design. You too can have your planning permission application granted in Westmeath or your own county.
To get your cost effective plans click here and fill in your information.