Quite a few updates over the last two days, so we have split this update into four sections…
Yesterday morning, we made some further progress with the kitchen planning, making a new mock-up in the online planning tool. We have now added wall cupboards all the way around as we worked out that the vent in the ceiling does not prevent us doing so.
With a print out in our hands, we then went and had a great discussion with a kitchen consultant at a local furniture store, who kindly made a draft version within his planning software and gave us an approximate price for the cabinets, electrical devices and installation.
The price for the cabinets as well as the hob, oven, dishwasher, fridge/freezer and installation were roughly in line with our expectations (only a little bit higher, but you can always spend more than you first want to!)
The only item, where we may have underestimated, was the cooker hood.
Because of the energy efficient construction of the house, we need to have an air circulation hood (which puts the filtered air back into the house) rather than a traditional extractor hood (which puts the air through the wall and outside).
We learned that there are two types of air circulation hoods available:
- one where you need to buy and change the filter every few months
- one where you don’t have to change the filter (for 10 years or more) which works by filtering the air and then splitting the remaining molecules with a plasma catalyser so that only oxygen, carbon dioxide and water vapour remain and get put back into the room (see here for a more technical / accurate description of how it works.)
The second option has (of course) a much higher initial cost but this should be recovered over time by not having to buy filters, and the overall air quality of what is put into the room should be better. We will probably go for this but haven’t finally decided. Maybe it depends on the groundwork costs, which we (frustratingly) are still waiting for.
Since we need to have the plans for the kitchen finalised quite soon (so that Viebrockhaus know where to put the water and electrical installations) we have made an appointment for 8th October to go back to work out the final details for the kitchen and to place an order.
Draft Contract for the Plot
Today we finally received the draft contract for the purchase of the plot which we have been waiting for for a while now. We have one or two small questions but in general, everything seems to be in order and as expected. Our meeting with the notary for the formal reading and signing of the contract is now confirmed for next Monday.
Also today, we had another short meeting with the bank to hand over the KFW 40 paperwork (which confirms the Energy Efficient Construction and eligibility for the reduced interest rate and €10,000 bonus) as well as the construction specification from Viebrockhaus. Everything is now in place and the mortgage contract can now be prepared.
Updated Draft Plan
Later, during the afternoon, we received the latest version of the draft plan from Viebrockhaus, and have checked it this evening. There are a few small mistakes which still need to be corrected during our ‘Service Meeting’ next week, mainly caused by changes that we had earlier made and then unmade not having been completely reset.
- The utility room and downstairs WC are slightly the wrong shape and size now, caused by us having previously added a shower in the downstairs WC and later removing it.
- One of the cellar window grates is directly under the utility room door, which is not where we originally had drawn it – at the moment is not clear whether this is intentional or not (it may be actually a good place to have it). We have made a note to check this
- The carport is still drawn in the wrong place – actually where it is drawn is outside of the area it is allowed to go (as it cannot be more than 15 meters from the boundary). We need to make sure that this is correct on the planning permission request so that we don’t cause any delays.)
- The outside tap has jumped from the sidewall (behind where our fence/gate will originally go) to the front wall. This may be unavoidable – we read somewhere that for hygiene reasons it is not allowed to the last tap on the pipe – in which case maybe it makes sense to have it at the front. We will just need to find a way to ensure that no-one steals our water!
- The bathroom layout (Shower and wash basin) needs to be reset to the original plan as we have now decided NOT to have the L-shaped wall for the walk-in shower, and to revert to having glass shower walls. When we looked at the 3D model provided by Viebrockaus we realised that the L-shaped wall would block most of the light out from the bathroom (which we might not like)
Our adviser at Viebrockhaus continues to be very helpful and patient with all of our changes and un-changes, and we are now very close to being done with the plan, ready for the planning permission paperwork.
Hopefully, the groundwork costs will be here soon…