Next stage…the groundwork

With the garage gone, next stage was the groundwork. We contacted an excellent local firm some months before called
We drew up some plans using the topographical plans we’d commissioned in the early stage and spent some time locating a road stud (datum point) that would provide us with our exact altitude from which to calculate ‘finished floor levels’ and thus our maximum permitted roof height (not a cm More than the original garage ridge height).
We then covered the site in spray paint – marking on the ground its dimensions, doors, car parking spaces, exterior steps, paths.
Not long after Ross Morcom arrived with a mini-digger. After much pouring over the plans the first footings were dug. Retaining walls are required because the house sinks into the ground at one end and is built on three levels with two sets of steps.
The digger driver came across, and expertly dispatched, the previous garage foundations and the pile of spoil earth has grown into an imposing mound – so large we need to remove it before we can drop down the remaining 900mm – The house drops by over 3m from front to back.
Before we pour the first new footings we are required to contact Cornwall County Council  and seek building permission. You’ll need to be ready with the right answers when you make that call.
1. If one is adding to an existing building any work done is deemed an annex. This costs less than a new dwelling. Despite our build being detached from the main house it can still count as an annex.
2. It’s also worth being aware that if you ask for building regs you will incur higher charges and they’ll require full plans ( which may incur architect fees etc). Instead we avoided all this by asking for building notice.
3. Be clear beforehand whether your build is for holiday let. We specified this in the planning permission but also described its use as an annex for overspill family use. We were able to argue this and avoid the further charges / inconvenience had it been solely
Holiday rental.
We could then give one days notice by phone and someone arrives to sign off each stage – in this case the footings.

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