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This Renovation Life

Oh the plans we have for Casa Knight. Here's what we submitted to the local planning department... 

As you can see, not a perfect or industry-standard set of plans and elevations by any stretch, but not too shabby either. (Plus, architects do not come cheap, kids.) 

Having spent a few bygone years working in a team of architects & interior designers, it seemed a bit daft us paying a fortune for drawings when I could dust off a few rusty CAD (Computer Aided Design) skills and hatch together a rudimentary set of drawings to work to for a fraction of the cost while Jim stuck his big builder's fingers on my laptop screen declaring what we could and couldn't do from a practical perspective. In fact, ignoring the millions of hours spent remembering how to use the bloody thing, the entire cost of producing this drawing package was down to the software.

After a bit of mooching around at various CAD drafting programmes online, I inevitably gravitated back to what I know and downloaded a free 30-day AutoCAD trial from AutoDesk. (Click here for info.)

After the free trial had ended, shock horror I still wasn't finished on the drawings (so crap with deadlines, just ask my editors) so I took out a month's subscription to AutoCAD LT at £48 to get the buggers finished.

So all in all, a grand total of £48 for a basic but acceptable complete set of working drawings, saving us quite a few quid on professional fees. Which is awesome! Particularly as applying for planning wasn't even part of the original plan for this house.

We weren't actually looking to do anything particularly radical with the place, we just wanted to prevent any further deterioration, fix what needed fixing and inject the place with a bit of much needed warmth and life. Well, lots of noisy Knight life actually. 

And then there was the mortgage... We'd taken on a renovation mortgage which brought with it various restrictions on the timescales we had to agree to have the works completed by, so the original plan was - knock the 2 flats together, get the main bits fixed, kitchen and bathroom in, and get the house to a point it could be remortgaged by a high street lender. Then? We could sit back, live normally for a while, see how we used the house as a family and decide what we really wanted to do with the place long term. 

So why the planning application?

Well... the first 'unforeseens' soon stirred. It quickly became apparent that we had a slight issue with scale. Mainly due to the considerations of being within a Conservation Area.

Yes, of course we could knock down walls within our own garden, but not if they were over 2m tall. We would need permission for that.

Demolish those huge sheds in the garden before they fall on someone? Sure! Go ahead. Unless they're over 115m3 in volume. In which case... you're gonna need permission for that.     

We very quickly realised, as we were going to have to put in for various consents anyway, we might as well get a few structural biggies onto the same application, so here we are.

Planning permission was granted August 2017 with conditions attached (read about those here), but finally we're all set to make some big changes around the place. We're about to rip the roof off and knock big holes through external walls, just in time for winter. Cos that's how we roll.

Now all we need is a plucky builder and we're away ;) 

Costs of Planning Application & all that stuff...

The planning application itself cost us £172


1 month's AutoCAD LT subscription: £48

Fee to discharge condition: £28 

Building Control Inspection Fee: TBC



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