Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Milestone: Planning Permission Through

Three months and a few days after submitting our planning application, we finally received the ok (with conditions) today. It should have only taken six weeks, but with additional requirements regarding fire protection (because the barn is so close to the house, and always has been!), easement requirements and poor communication, it seemed to just drag out.

Planned front elevation.
Nevertheless, it's done, and we're officially able to begin the major works. Almost. Our architects need to finalise detailed plans for the works, and we're considering how to best find contractors. We'd prefer to keep as local as possible for all sorts of reasons.

This also means we can reveal a peek at what is planned. Already seen on the first post of this blog, the south, or front facade, will remain more or less as is. We do of course need new windows and doors of a type approved by the protection agency (meaning wood frames, with multiple panes in keeping with the period of the house). We plan on inserting four new dormer windows (Schleppgauben in this case) to bring more light into the second floor (first attic level).

The back of the house, Feb 2011.
The rear has some major changes planned, with the 70s bathroom extension being knocked down (itself subject to conditions, as the roof is asbestos, as are the cladding tiles) and being replaced with a nice new door leading directly from the kitchen into the garden. Above the kitchen, will be a new gable dormer, where the new bathroom should end up. This might be a little tricky, as it potentiallly means shifting a supporting beam to make more headroom, but it's either that or have a face-level oak beam running across the middle of the bathroom. Could be a nice feature!

Several roof windows will be inserted to bring light into the top levels of the attic rooms. Normally such windows are not allowed in protected buildings, but as it is the rear of the house, and we're not planning major remodelling of the interior, our request was accepted (considerably cheaper than building more dormer windows).
Planned rear elevation.
While the front of the house will have wall insulation on the inside, due to it being half-timbered, the rear and the east gable will be insulated externally. The east gable faces the barn, and there aren't so many windows here, with two old windows on the 1st floor having been blocked up in the past (not much of a view looking out on a barn wall). All the windows shown in the elevation below are original, with the red-marked one currently being hidden behind corrugated iron cladding. In fact, there's another one also hidden not shown on this, and that will also be opened up. This elevation also illustrates the change at the rear of the house, with the current extension shown in yellow, and the new dormer gable (not sure if that is the correct technical term) shown in red outline.
Planned east gable.
The west gable is also pretty much as is. Lots of windows here. This will be insulated from the inside. As we are not allowed put the normal German roller shutters on the windows, we plan on eventually having more traditional wooden shutters, at least on this gable. The hinges are still there from the old ones.
Planned west gable.
So, time for a minor celebration, and really getting down to work!


  1. Angele sent me your blog, Barry. Looks fantastic- was there any material culture of the old farm (pig slaughtering knives) still there? Do you have a garden out the back? All the best to everybody from us (we have 2 little boys, Cóilín & Dáire). Aidan

  2. Hi Aidan! Sorry for the late response. We just moved house (again!) and have had problems getting the auld Interweb linked up again...

    We've some old implements that were left behind, but most were given to a local museum before we bought the place. We've some nice spud forks and hay rakes though :) We found some nice old paint jobs when we started removing plasterboard, but that'll come in another blog post.

    Garden... yes, you could call it that. We call it a field for now, though we've reinstated the veggie patch :) You get some idea of the size from this blog post. But in total, we're just short of 0.3 hectares (3000 sq. m.). Bigger than Castle Gale (as I recall) :D

    Two boys now?? You've been (and are) busy! :D Hope all is well, pop me a mail at so we have your e-mail again!