Today we popped open a bottle of bubbly. It’s a tradition for us when we complete on the sale or purchase of a new home. Today we’re celebrating the acquisition of a 3 bedroom detached bungalow in Park Street, conveniently less than 2 miles from where we live now, making for a pleasant commute when we’re working on this baby! It’s fairly run down, but on a decent detached plot, so great potential to turn it in to something bigger and better. The plan? Initially we submitted plans to put 2 semi-detached houses on the plot but as expected there were a lot of complaints raised early in the planning process from surrounding neighbours. We could have still tried to get it through planning, with modifications where requested, but as it was called in to local committee this would delay the process, and with this development we’re looking for a speedy turn around. We therefore resubmitted plans instead to keep it as a detached single home, just larger than the current footprint to create a chalet bungalow, and we expect this to sail through planning seamlessly. We also think this would be an easier sell down the line. With 230 new two bed apartments and three and four-bed houses going up presently across two large developments in neighbouring Bricket Wood less than a mile away, a chalet bungalow should appeal to a diverse market and are increasingly hard to come by, so we’re hoping it will still have a captive audience. Plans were submitted post exchange to get the ball rolling ahead of completion so that once we take possession of the property we can hit the ground running.
The last 3 chalet bungalow developments we did were complete knock downs and new builds – see our completed projects online. This time we’re working with the shell of the existing house but extending it out to the front, the back, and raising it 1.4m to put a new truss roof on the top creating space for 4 bedrooms upstairs. With a chalet bungalow, we always allow for one room downstairs to be used as a bedroom with accessible bathroom for those with mobility issues to appeal to a wider audience when we come to sell. All the chalet bungalows we’ve sold so far have welcomed this. This is the room referred to on the floor plan above as “living” room – given there’s already a kitchen/diner and separate lounge and study reception rooms, this other front room is intended as a further 5th bedroom which would be made with accessible ensuite too. The good thing around floor plans submitted for planning is that internally, as long as you’re not moving windows or doors, all the internal stud work can be moved around as required when you come to build so you don’t have to stick to plan for the internals, and once you’re inside and working you can determine best usage of the space you have and where to build dividing walls. That said, you need to decide early on where everything is going to be to allow for the necessary plumbing and electrical first fix installations. However, first things first, let’s pull it apart and see what we have to play with – look out for our next blog on the rip out!