I've always had a love of architecture and design, from drawing house plans as a kid to reading books and magazines on this subject as an adult. So naturally, as soon as the possibility of building our own home was mentioned plans started forming in my head.
I immediately i knew I wanted a modern, open plan, single story home. I sketched up a number of designs and played around with the room sizes etc etc coming up with a simple two building concept connected by a large glass cube.
Something like this ................
We alined the plans to the plot and all seemed exactly what we wanted, large windows looking out to the view, a large open living space etc, etc......
So that's what we went with, Andrew started drawing the details on Revit, and I started dreaming about interiors.
Then we moved house. Part of which involved taking all our worldly goods to a shipping container in Fort William, which gave us time to actually visit the plot in the flesh. Up until then all our images have been from maps, google earth and the estate agent, so we really had no idea on how the plot felt and how it really sat in its' surroundings.
The visit happened on a lovely but freezing day at the beginning of Feb, there was snow in the air but the sun was out and we were shocked by how much sunlight the plot got - even on a winters day in Scotland. We spent the night there, in our camper van, and clocked when the sun came into the plot and tracked it's course throughout the day. Suddenly it became very important to us that we gathered as much solar gain as possible in our new house. I had not considered how light an airy it could be - usually my thought were of a warm and cosy retreat from wild, wet and windy weather.
Queue complete change on design. We threw out all our pervious ideas and dived straight into a new plan.
This new design will make full use of our plot, we would have a large surface area facing the sun and make a warm courtyard area facing south.
So the plan changed to something like this - our first rough plans, sketching out a simple layout of three barn like buildings, joined via glass walkways and facing the sun as well as the views to the North.
Once the two shipping containers are removed we will be left with a south facing courtyard and hopefully, plenty of sunlight flooding into the rooms.
Therefore it's really important to be flexible in design. Yes we had spent hours talking, sketching, sizing etc etc but if your lucky enough to find yourselves in this unique position of being in sole charge of all aspects of your design and build, it's really important to say 'Yep we got this wrong' and be prepared to alter or scrap idea however attached you are to them.
We are now really happy with our plans and this weekend will be submitting out planning application so fingers crossed
Enjoy your weekend