The time approaches for us to design our house and apply for planning permission to build on the decrofted part of the land.
There is already outline planning permission granted for a one and a half storey house, but full planning permission and building warrants will be needed next.
We’ve been working with Dualchas, Skye based architects. They design homes based on the original black houses of the Hebrides, houses that are long and low, that tuck into the hillsides, and are built to cope with the high winds and rain.
It became apparent quite quickly that by the time we factored in the groundworks, a long access road, a sewerage plant and everything else, that this was going to be an expensive exercise! A custom designed house with everything that we wanted was starting to look like a stretch too far.
Dualchas also however have a series of SIP (structured insulated panel) kit homes that contain all the best elements of their design – big volumes in the living areas, lots of light, great energy efficiency, remarkable build strength – and which prove marginally less expensive for what we want.
Our wish list:
*For the house to be super efficient in terms of energy consumption and to be cost-effective to run.
*To have big windows on the south side for solar gain and to make the most of the views.
*To sit quietly and naturally in the landscape, respecting the local vernacular.
*To be built of natural materials (slate, wood, stone).
*To have enough space for a utility room, a boot room and a larder for food storage and preparation.
*To have generous living space, with room for our massive book collection.
We have lots of work to do now to try and balance our budget with our desires and find a compromise that works for us and the land.
Let the balancing act begin ! ☺️