House hunting, part 2

After visiting only a handful of places, we have given up hope of finding a new house in Edinburgh. First of all, Edinburgh house prices are silly. The kind of house we were looking for (4 or 5 bedrooms, garden, a decent nursery and school nearby, and within easy reach of a public transport link) was unlikely to cost anything less than £200,000. And with the Scottish “offers over” property auction system, it’s very hard to look at the price of a house, and actually know what you will have to offer to actually win the bid.

So we’re now thinking about building an extension to our current house. We have a garden here, we live on a very pleasant street, with Alex’s nursery and a major bus nexus about 5 minutes’ walk away. Looking at it rationally (i.e., setting aside the lust for something shiny and new), we have a great house, and the only thing we lack is a bit more space.

With this in mind, we have put together some ideas for extending our garage outwards an upwards, making space for a utility room, downstairs toilet, another bedroom, and a new bathroom. A sun room to the rear would be nice, too, but possibly out of our budget range. A variety kitchen, bathroom, and other renovation projetcs might also get folded into the mix.

Last week, we scribbled down some diagrams and floor plans, and contacted three architects whose web sites looked inviting and promising. The results so far have been mixed. The first firm replied with a curt, dismissive email whose message boiled down to “go away and stop bothering us, you silly people.” The second architect was the exact opposite: he gave us a bunch of useful information about initial costs and suggestions about further steps for us to take. The third firm hasn’t even acknowledged our email yet.

I would much rather have had three promising and inviting replies to choose from, but as it stands, the one good reply we’ve got has been from the filrm whose web site gave us the best “vibe” right from the beginning: David Olden.

We’ll let you know how we get on….

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2 Replies to “House hunting, part 2”

  1. When Andrew and I lived at Geddes’ Entry (this will mean more to Abi than Martin!), David Olden (an architect) was our landlord. If its the same David Olden, which I think it probably is, he was a very, very nice man! He put up with an awful lot from us, but was always helpful when we had real problems, either with money, very noisy neighbours, or broken fridges.

  2. Wow, small world, if it is him. How many architects called David Olden can there be in Edinburgh, though? 🙂

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