Send your questions to my Instagram @micro.house.scotland

Can I have your Sketchup model of the build?

Thought you'd never ask! It's available via my Patreon. In this model every part of the build is broken down and can be analysed independently. Hopefully a very useful tool for anyone looking to build or understand how a house is put together :)

Did you need planning permission?

No, I'm building the micro house within the terms of 'permitted development', which allows me to build upto 4m tall since it's a pitched roof. The area within 1m of the boundary must be <2.5m tall,  hence the asymmetrical design of the pitched roof. I did however apply for and received a 'certificate of lawfulness' from the council, which gives you written evidence that the building is within the terms of permitted development. 

Why do you need building standards approval / warrant ('regs' in england)?

Basically one reason - the presence of a toilet and shower (referred to as a 'sanitary facility' in building standards). Having a bathroom means I must build to full building standards for the building to be legal. I think this is only the case in Scotland, and if I was to build the same thing in england/Wales I would not need 'regs'. The way it works in Scotland is that you need a 'building warrant' before you start building, before you even lift a spade. Even digging the foundations is explicitly illegal before you have the building warrant. Retrospective application is possible, but you're effectively fined for it.

Then why include a bathroom?

I want to extend my house, and I want to build the extension myself. So I thought this would be a good opportunity to practice/get accustomed to the building standards process. I also wanted to create a space that is as flexible/useful as possible for myself and any future owners of this house. A toilet is in effect the difference between a shed and an annex. It means the space can be a viable office/workspace/studio/annex/anything.

What are the negatives of building to building standards?

Number one is cost - building to Scottish building standards means you're building to the exact same quality/standards as a house - in effect I am building a small house (hence the micro house name). The quantity of insulation/fire protection/documentation etc that is required is expensive. I expect the total cost will be around 3-4 times higher than if I were to have built without adhering to building standards. Building to standards meant I needed a structural engineer and an architect, because the level of documentation required by the council is well beyond my capabilities. In fact I think it may not be possible to build to standards without an approved structural engineering report. 

How long do you expect the build to take?

Planning alone, inclusive of building warrant/architect/structural engineering etc has taken around a year. I expect it to take about another year to completion.

How much will it cost?

I expect the total cost to be somewhere in the region of £35-40k all inclusive. If I'd gone with a company to build it, it would've been in the region of £100-150k at the spec I'm building to.

Have other questions?

Feel free to contact my instagram @micro.house.scotland , or if you'd like a detailed video response gimme a shout on Cameo!