Solo Timber Frame Houses

How To Design Your New Home

The design has to be the most exciting aspect of building your new home and there are many ways to approach this:

Designing your self build house.Our Designers are used to receiving fistfuls of photos, magazine cuttings and sketches with notes pointing out features our clients would like to see in their own home. Armed with this information and taking into account your Planners likely concerns and restrictions, they will draw up plans for you to peruse and comment upon.

Alternatively you can choose a design that has already been drawn up. There are lots of publications and websites offering ready made plans for sale free of copyright restrictions. Pass Solo Timber Frame your chosen design and we will prepare a quotation.

You may have already instructed your own Architect to design your dream home. Again simply pass your drawings to us and we will do the rest.

Although most of our designs are bespoke and start with a clean sheet of paper Solo Timber Frame also have a wide range of Standard House Plans available on our website.

Building Control and your Timber Frame Home

Once you have settled upon a design, we will draw up a second more detailed set that includes information relating to what buildings, if any, are already on your plot and showing sectional details. This is necessary to satisfy your Council's planning department.

Within 8-10 weeks you should have a decision back. If it’s a no you can choose to take into account the planning departments concerns and adjust your plans accordingly, or alternatively go to appeal which can be a lengthy process.

Hopefully you will get a positive decision; it’s at this stage that you need to start thinking about building control which is another department within your council. They will ask to see a third set of plans detailing exactly how your home will be constructed, as well as surveys detailing ground conditions and specifying what type of foundations are most suitable.

NHBCIf you are warranting your new home through a provider such as NHBC or Self Build Zone, you can opt to use their services to both inspect the house for Building Control purposes, as well as the regular inspections they make to ensure that construction standards are good enough for them to provide a warranty.

Setting out plans

Your builder will need to know how to build your foundations. We will supply a setting out plan giving precise measurements of width, shape, diagonals etc.
If you intend using a block & beam floor this same plan can be sent to your supplier, note that depending on whom you use, delivery of a block & beam floor can take up to six weeks.

Reserved matters

The planning department will also take an interest in how the house is to be built but will focus on the finished look. They may have stipulated certain restrictions and insist on being informed of what materials you intend to use. It is only when your council has agreed to your requests that you can accurately say you have ‘full planning permission’.

Panel design

Using a computer aided design programme (CAD) Our Engineers will design the Timber Frame Panels. Using the drawings they create, the factory will build the various panels your home will be made up from. These are a manufacturing requirement and you will not need to see or approve these drawings.

Other matters to consider

You'll also need to submit plans to the Highways Authority who will allocate a postal address and inform the emergency services among others that your new home exists.

Other organisations will ask to see copies of your plans including the various utility companies, who will only supply quotes for laying in new services if they have sight of the drawings.

When the house is complete you'll also require SAP calculations and pressure testing in order to meet the new building regulations relating to energy efficiency and in some cases, sound proofing.

The NHBC or Self Build Zone will also want copies

Download our Wish List Excel file to help
you design your dream Self Build Home.


The Old Dairy, Hodore Farm, Hartfield, East Sussex, TN7 4AR
Tel: 01892 771 354

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Download our  wish list to help you design your new home.