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Best 5 Things You Like About Your House?


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#1 mike2016

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Posted 08 April 2016 - 08:09 AM

Hi,
I was just curious what are the best 5 things you like about the house you are living in, self-built or otherwise? These can be small features you added in or something the Architect or builder added that you couldn't imagine living without. I've been renting all my life but am hoping to build a Passive House if all the holes in the slices of cheese line up (!). I was curious what you would list in your top 5 that might inspire myself or others? Looking forward to the answers from the knowledgeable forum folk here!

Regards,
Mike

#2 SteamyTea

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Posted 08 April 2016 - 08:22 AM

It is in Cornwall
It has naturally soft water
The Climate
Generally nice neighbours (at the moment)
Cheap to run

Now, I have a huge list of things I hate about it :angry:

#3 ProDave

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Posted 08 April 2016 - 08:22 AM

My list is probably a little contaversial

1: It's location.

2: The outside space

3: The orientation with respect to sun in the house and a sunny garden

4: Interior layout

5: insulation and comfort.

That list deserves some explanation.

I place so much emphasis on outside space, location orientation etc as those are the fixed things that you cannot change about a plot. It's why we bought our first plot, and why we were so happy given the chance to buy the second plot 2 doorrs up the same road with all the same attributes.

If any of these things are not "right" there is precious little you can do to make them right, which is why when buying a house or a plot that is what I look at first.

The interior layout etc if it's not dight you can usually change. If you built your own house and don't like the interior layout then you know who to blame, and time to buy another plot and learn from the experience.

Edited by ProDave, 08 April 2016 - 08:24 AM.


#4 notnickclegg

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Posted 08 April 2016 - 09:01 AM

Assuming you're asking about house design features:

1. Large kitchen/diner. We were terrified that it would be echoey and loud (concrete floors, lots of glass, double height area), but it isn't. It isn't perfect - I'd change the layout and size of several windows if I was doing it again - but it's a really pleasant place to spend time.

2. Decent sized hallway - I've always hated squeezing my way through front doors into Victorian hallways and turning sideways to get around stairs where the hall narrows. Our hall is 2.4m wide and I think it makes more of a difference to the overall feel of the house than just about any other single thing. We gave up a little space in other rooms to achieve this and I'm glad we did.

3. High ceiling downstairs. They're 2.8m, and didn't add that much cost in the scheme of things. I think this is a good value choice if you have the budget and the ridge height. Our upstairs ceilings are 2.5m from memory, but bedrooms and bathrooms should feel more intimate, so that works fine.

4. Big windows. These were our main "splurge" purchase. We paid extra for oak (well worth it), and maximised window sizes where appropriate. The house feels lovely and airy.

5. In-slab UFH. I know it was largely a mild winter, but we got through it very comfortably with our ASHP supplying 25-28 degree water (I put in a mild weather compensatation curve - might not have actually made much of a difference). People coming in from the cold always remark on how warm and comfortable the house is, but the floor itself doesn't really feel "warm" like traditional UFH (incidentally, I can't stand the feeling of traditional high temperature UFH underfoot).

They're the first five that jumped to mind.

Jack

#5 gravelld

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Posted 08 April 2016 - 09:16 AM

Bearing in mind I haven't actually done anything to the house yet, the things I want to retain are:

- Location
- Sat in the middle of a 1ish acre plot
- Generous 1950s proportioned rooms and windows, with ample living space
- Ample and practical drive and garage space at N side of plot off the road
- Big S facing kitchen with great views down a valley and space for everyday dining

Pretty much everything else is a bit crap though :D

Edited by gravelld, 08 April 2016 - 09:17 AM.


#6 Crofter

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Posted 08 April 2016 - 09:29 AM

I'm going to describe my previous house, where I did a top to bottom renovation and loft conversion, rather than my current house about which I have barely changed a thing yet, nor my self build which is not designed for me to actually live in. So...

Wide hallway- not as wide as Jack's above, but about a foot wider than it strictly needed to be. Changed it from a functional corridor to a pleasant room, and the spare bedroom from which I stole than foot barely noticed.

Connected living spaces- I took out a wall between the kitchen and dining room and then added a set of French doors from that space into the living room. This halved the time it took to get from the sofa to the kettle which I felt was fundamental to my happiness!

Woodburning stove- not the right solution for everyone, or for every house, but in my poorly insulated 80s bungalow it worked lretty well and was the focal point that the house needed.

Range cooker- probably the single factor that sold the house within six weeks of going on the market. And it was a £500 bargain off eBay too.

Slate tile splashback- for a modest outlay this made a budget kitchen appear more upmarket.

#7 declan52

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Posted 08 April 2016 - 10:06 AM

1. Running costs.
House costs about the same to run as my last house even though it's 2 1/2 times it's size. Well insulated and PV to provide hot water as well as all appliances are A rated min and all lights are led.
2. Location.
House was built in my Mums front garden so was free for a start. Faces south at the back so get loads of free heat from the sun. Nice quiet area with 4 pubs and 2 shops within walking distance.
3. Mvhr.
The air in my house is nice and clean. No condensation anywhere unlike my last pad which you could have grown rice on the walls.
4. Ufh
Was one of the hardest choices I made as I had only ever heard of horror stories about it. Now I couldn't imagine the house without it. Nothing like walking on the tiles in bare feet and they arent cold.
5. My wbs
I have a large cuddle chair in front of the stove and just sitting there when it's smouldering away and I am lying up watching some film or TV series is like heaven to me.

Edited by joiner, 08 April 2016 - 10:19 AM.


#8 temp

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Posted 08 April 2016 - 10:07 AM


1. Rural village location
2. Nice brickwork detailing/arched windows
3. MVHR
4. Solid B&B first floor
5. UFH and WBS

Attached File  Front.jpg   69.17K   20 downloads

#9 shell820810

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Posted 08 April 2016 - 10:38 AM

These are the things I think I will like about my house if we ever get in!

Open plan living space
Much easier with a young family if we can keep to one room

Less (hopefully no) drafts
Current house feels uncomfortable,despite adequate heating, because of draughts

Storage
Walk in pantry, toy room and decent utility should organise some of the clutter (cluttered house, cluttered mind!)

Dislikes- House is twice the size for cleaning!

#10 joiner

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Posted 08 April 2016 - 11:00 AM

Victorian building in a rural location on the edge of a village, immediately adjacent to a country park and with a summer house converted into a pub at the top of the large-ish garden.

13 large 2g vertical sliding sash windows.

Large rooms.

Furnished with classic furniture, cheaply obtained because too large for the majority of houses.

Ground floor flat in a property jointly owned (outright) and shared with our daughter and son-in-law.

#11 Alphonsox

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Posted 08 April 2016 - 11:42 AM

Location - open countryside, 100m from beach, family down the road
Design - Big rooms, Setup for open plan living, large hallways, landings
Space - 4 Acres to play with.
Efficiency - Should have very low running costs if everything works out
Orientation - looks due south, out over the Irish sea, great views

#12 doofaloofa

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Posted 08 April 2016 - 11:46 AM

-Affordable to build, so...

-No mortgage

-The pride of having done it all myself

-Easy to heat in winter, cool in the summer

-Lots of happy memories (No. 2 child born in the front room)

#13 jamiehamy

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Posted 08 April 2016 - 12:08 PM

Flat we are in -

Views over Clyde and Arrochar Alps
Co-op across the road
Cheap to heat
Near two stations
Good neighbours

New house
Amazing views
Surrounded by wildlife
Lovely neighbours
remote but 5mins from town and station

#14 tonyshouse

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Posted 08 April 2016 - 12:28 PM

Very low maintainance

Quiet due to 3g and air tight

No heating bills, servicing costs, repairs

Lovely air quality

Warm in winter cool in summer with stable temperatures.

#15 JmS

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Posted 08 April 2016 - 02:20 PM

We've got a bit of an ugly box modern house but the reasons we got it are:

Large - 4 bed detached but big lounge, decent enough sized bedrooms, attached double garage
Quite cheap as we moved to Nottingham from down in Surrey (were in a 2 bed terrace)
Garden is perfect size for us (not very big) but does face North east so not ideal for sun and planting we want to do
Decent internet - sad I know but crucial as I work from home
Good neighbours

Then we have the dislikes
Hard to find cold draughts - being worked on this summer I hope
Awful conservatory - which we will basically knock down and keep some of the brick work and base (I hope if it's adequate) to build a proper room from (garden room) with 2 sliding doors so it opens completely up for the summer

#16 DavidofMersea

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Posted 08 April 2016 - 02:29 PM

View Postmike2016, on 08 April 2016 - 08:09 AM, said:

I am hoping to build a Passive House

A passive house is great engineering achievement, but apart from bragging rights, does it really make sense? It seems to me that the last few £'s being spent to get a passive house is not sensible. One of the craziest things about a passive house is the lack of letter box to save heat loss. The postman leaves the post in a box outside and you have to open a 2 square metre door to get the post, if there is any

#17 Crofter

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Posted 08 April 2016 - 02:32 PM

View PostDavidofMersea, on 08 April 2016 - 02:29 PM, said:

A passive house is great engineering achievement, but apart from bragging rights, does it really make sense? It seems to me that the last few £'s being spent to get a passive house is not sensible. One of the craziest things about a passive house is the lack of letter box to save heat loss. The postman leaves the post in a box outside and you have to open a 2 square metre door to get the post, if there is any

I think it can make sense from the point of view that you do not have to install a heating system, which can greatly offset the higher costs of better windows and thicker insulation.
The letterbox issue is interesting. The letterbox sits there leaking air 24/7 so whether or not it makes sense may well come down to how much post you get!

#18 tonyshouse

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Posted 08 April 2016 - 02:41 PM

We collect the post on the way in or put it in on our way out.

I don't particularly agree with passive haus but am strongly in favour of very low energy builds (lower than ph)

It does not bother me having an outdoor (in the porch) letter box, the thermal bridging and draughts would bother me.

#19 mike2016

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Posted 08 April 2016 - 02:46 PM

Thanks to everyone for the interesting replies!

The letterbox issue is a funny one - they've introduced a service here where you can mount a special letterbox on the outside wall here and the postman has a key and you have a key. If something needs a signature, they can open it and scan a barcode on the inside and then leave it for you. It's also big enough to fit most parcel sizes. What I really love is the junk mail brigade go wandering around looking for your letterbox when there is none, no more junk mail and they can't access the secure postbox!

Understand your reaction to the Passive House idea. I may not be able to go the whole way with it but am hoping to try. I've lived / rented in too many cold, damp, draughty builds thrown up by builders over here in Ireland that to have a house that actually performs would be a pleasant surprise! My budget may prevent it but we'll see! Just knowing the option exists and opening my new letterbox-less door (!) to those who want to experience it themselves I think will help kick those developers who still throw up 1980's designs with a bit of insulation to meet regs a bit.

Mike

#20 SteamyTea

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Posted 08 April 2016 - 03:13 PM

Mike
Make up a league table and see what people think is important.