Are you looking to build a new home next year?

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Whether you are looking to build new or refurb and extend, now is the time to have a chat with us, we offer a free consultation session to discuss your ideas and help you really understand what you need to do.

To give you some ideas, we’ve listed 10 things you need to start thinking about now for your project next year.
1. Finding the right plot in the right location at the right price – don’t worry over 13,000 people do this every year.
2. What space do you have now? Is it a new build or a renovation or an extension you need.
3. Sorting out your finance – what will it cost? How do you fund it?
4. Setting your budget – what is realistic and does it align with your dreams and vision?
5. Choosing a good architect whose work you like & is fully qualified; trust and a good relationship is valuable over a long-term project.
6. Work with your chosen architect to manage the planning stage early and handle liaison with your local planning officials effectively.
7. See your ideas turned into realistic building plans that will convey exactly what you are going to get.
8. Decide on your building journey – what do you need? What kind of build do you want? How will it be managed? What materials would you like to use and do you need specialists?
9. Before you start any project, plan and get your appropriate building consents and building contracts in place
10. Safeguard your investment – check warranties and insurance options.

At Fibre Architects, we have the expertise and knowledge to get you on the right road before a single brick is laid; why not give us a call for a free consultation to discuss your ideas and ensure you have all the right foundations in place before you move ahead.

Call us now on 01484 544 410

Self and custom builds increasing annually

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New figures have shown that the number of self and custom build homes being built in the UK is on the rise.

According to new research, 2016 saw the third consecutive annual increase in the UK’s self and custom build housing market.

This particular market is growing at 6.25 percent a year. This, if it continues at this pace, will lead to 16,500 homes being built in this way by 2020!

And experts don’t seem to think this trend will be slowing down anytime soon. The three-year forecast indicates an industry growth of 41 per cent, valuing the sector at £6 billion.

So why the recent shift, and why now?

There are many potential reasons behind this increase, with the most prominent being the shortage of good quality housing leading to people taking matters into their own hands in order to own their perfect home.

Here at Fibre Architects, we have seen first hand an increase in the number of self-build projects we that are approached to design. Our clients have often opted for a self or custom build because finding the right house in the right location at the right price is notoriously hard.

More and more people are realising that if the perfect home isn’t available in your chosen area, finding the right plot of land to build on and creating your own home from scratch can harbour amazing results. At Fibre, we offer free evaluations of potential plots for building on, to advise on the initial viability of gaining planning permission for the projects you may have in mind.

That being said, the increase in the number of these types of projects may not purely be down to changes in personal preference. There may also be politics at play here, as it has been said that self and custom builds play a strategic role in contributing to government house building targets. The government recently implemented measures in order to make it easier for aspiring self-builders.

Whatever the reasons behind the increase, we’re very excited about this from a design perspective. Self and custom builds allow the client’s imagination to run wild and build an amazing new home from scratch. At Fibre, these are often our favourite types of projects as we can get our creative juices flowing and really bring each client’s dream home ideas to life!

We’re looking forward to seeing even more self and custom build homes being built in the future, and also to seeing what exciting and varied design opportunities will come with a continued shift towards this way of housebuilding.

 

What changes can we expect to see in planning regulations this year and beyond?

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It’s coming up to the midway point in 2017 and there are some exciting developments in the world of planning regulations that are either already underway or that lay ahead. We’re taking a look at a couple of the changes to the planning process that look set to affect the construction industry as a whole.

Residential approvals on the rise in 2017

Government statistics have shown that there has been an increase in the number of residential planning approvals in 2017 when compared to last year. According to the figures, there has been a total of 12,300 residential planning approvals in the first quarter of 2017 which is certainly encouraging.

According to statistics, of the 12,300 approvals, 1,700 (up 17 per cent year on year) were major developments and 10,600 (up by eight per cent) minor developments. With approvals on the rise, and with Fibre Architects’ growing involvement in development projects we’re happy to see this trend continuing to at least somewhat address the housing shortage.

Numbers show that the actual amount of planning applications have also increased. The number of district level planning applications increased by three percent between January and March this year, when compared to this period in 2016. While this may not seem like much, it again represents at least an increasing optimism in the UK housing market.

Raynsford Review

Earlier this year former housing and planning minister, Nick Raynsford, undertook a review of the English planning systems in an attempt to see how it can be made ‘fairer, better resourced and capable of tackling the major challenges which confront the nation’.

The review will look specifically at the shortage of housing and tackling climate change, and making sure that the planning process is able to deliver places that successfully balance the needs of economy, environment and community wellbeing.

The review will gather evidence into 2018, and we will be unlikely to see the results of the findings of this report until at least next year. At Fibre we pride ourselves on having a good knowledge of current planning regulations, and where possible only submitting proposals on behalf of our clients that are likely to achieve planning permission, but this is not always easy. With this review potentially a key factor in overhauling the English planning system we are again very encouraged – watch this space for more updates!

Planning ahead…

With all this considered, this seems like a good time to not only be an architecture firm, but also a housing developer or just someone who has an idea for a home they want to be built! It has long been the view of many that the planning system in England needs to change in order to get the high-quality, well thought-through homes that many people desperately need built. With evidence that more applications are being approved, and with potential changes to the system on the horizon, we’re very excited about what the future holds for residential development especially in the Yorkshire region. We will therefore be sure to keep you updated with all things housing and planning as they develop further.

Fibre’s sustainable design building tips

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As time goes by, we are becoming increasingly conscious about issues like climate change and the impact that our lifestyles are having on the planet. Many of us are making choices to try and reduce the harmful effects we have on the environment, whether that is by using public transport instead of driving, recycling or using low energy light bulbs.

There are numerous options to live our lives in a more environmentally friendly way, and there’s also another great opportunity for you to help fight climate change with the way your home is designed too.

Sustainable architecture carefully considers design factors such as the materials used, energy efficiency and the location and orientation of the property to try and ensure the finished building is as eco-friendly as possible.

Here at Fibre Architects, sustainable home design is at the forefront of our minds when advising our clients, so we thought we’d put together a few tips on how to design an environmentally sustainable home.

Use sustainable materials

Locally sourced sustainable building materials should be a top priority wherever possible. and using reclaimed or recycled materials as well as more natural products that don’t require a lengthy manufacturing process can all reduce the environmental impact your home has on the environment.

East-facing homes are best

If possible, there is potential for energy to be saved by opting to build an east-facing rather than a west-facing home. This will maximise your home’s sun exposure and reduce the amount of time you have to have the heating on, saving you money and energy. South facing pitched roofs are usually preferable for solar renewable technologies though.

Install a rainwater harvesting system

Rainwater harvesting systems collect rainwater from your home’s roof and store it in a tank. This water can be used in sprinkler systems and toilets and can reduce your impact on the environment.

Smaller homes are better

The unfortunate truth is that the larger the home, the more money is spent trying to heat it, and the more resources and land it takes to build it on. Opt to keep your home a manageable size in order to maximise the sustainability potential, and keep your carbon footprint down.

Insulation, insulation, insulation

Make sure the design of your home allows for it to be sufficiently insulated. Having a well-insulated home reduces the amount of energy that is used to heat it. Read more about the importance and regulations for home insulation here.

Air tightness within the building fabric is also important (with controlled and adequate ventilation) to reduce heat loss and therefore energy demand.

Have double or triple glazed windows fitted

As you have probably gathered by now, keeping heat inside your home is one of the key ways to save energy and reduce your home’s impact on the environment.

Make sure any design for a new home includes double or triple glazed windows as standard, and of course – if you live in an older home, you can still install more efficient replacement windows or consider secondary glazing options.

But remember you should also ensure that the house is not inadvertently designed to suffer from overheating due to excessive solar gains through too much glazing or heat generating appliances such as computers, so solar control glass, shading or mechanical ventilation may also need to be considered.

These are just a few ways that your home can be designed in an environmentally friendly and sustainable way, and we haven’t even mentioned Passivhaus design, all the renewable energy options, smart home technologies (including motion sensing lighting and heating), bio-diversity and sustainable drainage solutions amongst other things!

If sustainable home design is something you have been thinking about, here at Fibre Architects we are experts in this field! So why not get in touch to arrange a free telephone consultation today?

 

Reasons to build an annexe

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If you need more space in your home, building a home extension may naturally be the first option that springs to mind. But, if you haven’t already, why not consider a new-build annexe instead? An annexe can provide all the additional space you need, whilst having a few select advantages over other building options such as an extension.

To house a lodger or loved one

There is a reason that annexes are often referred to as ‘granny annexes’, and that’s because they are often built to house a loved one. With an annexe comes the opportunity to allow this person an increased level of privacy.  If you need more space to accommodate a family member or a lodger of some kind, it may be important to them to have a space which they feel is their own. An annexe can offer a space that allows a feeling of separation and independence, whilst still retaining easy access and strong links to the family home.

For a self-contained office space

Similarly, if the reason you’re looking for more space is because you need to work at home, your very own self-contained office annexe could be the perfect answer. An annexe offers a workspace of your own that is separate from the inevitable distractions of the family home, allowing you to work more efficiently and with a clearer head, and even a separate entrance for visiting clients. Also, when compared with work in a ‘normal’ office, walking across the back garden to get to work seems a lot less strenuous than the average commute!

To allow your design dreams to run wild!

For us here at Fibre Architects, the most exciting thing building an annexe can bring to the table is the opportunity for great design. As a separate entity from the main house, you can often go much further in terms of design than you would with an extension. Sometimes free from the constraints of having to match with the main house, you can often create something exciting and original on your property. Alternatively, you can create a self-contained building that has echoes of the main house, whilst having features that make it its own. The possibilities are endless (as long as they adhere to planning and building regulations of course).

An annexe can be the solution to space issues that you never even thought of! We have years of experience bringing clients’ annexe ideas to life for a variety of purposes. If you want more information on how we can make an annexe that is perfect for your property contact us here.

Happy New Year!

Hello and welcome to our new blog!
We’ll be using this blogging platform to communicate latest news and events in the world of Fibre Architects.  So please check back regularly for updates.

Watch this space!