Getting stared soon (hopefuly)

Discuss hut design and construction here - DIY or hire a professional? Materials, style and function etc
Posts: 4
Joined: 22 Feb 2018, 13:13

Getting stared soon (hopefuly)

Postby oldtorrlee » 27 Feb 2018, 21:19

Since the Hutter's Rally in Kirkcaldy (2016)I have been thinking/planning/talking about huts and now have a group of six including myself planning to put six huts on a bit of our farm (owned by me and my brother) where there were 5 huts in the 1950s (one remaining). All have chosen sites and an architect has drawn up plans for each hut according to the wishes of the individual hutters. The wildlife survey has been completed and hasn't given us anything to worry about. We have avoided sites that would need any tree or scrub removal. The survey was expensive (£1600 plus VAT) as final sites hadn't been decided so had to survey the whole area of 35ha. Also had to have a topographical survey done of each site as they are distant from one another and also from roads and buildings(£400 plus VAT for each hut) This could have been much reduced by having the huts close together on one plot(one survey) but that wasn't ever our intention. Meanwhile, my ex partner, who is a joiner and has a workshop on farm has been building my hut in the farm yard in anticipation. I have kept track of the costs as best I can, the plan being that I can pass on this info to the others and anyone else out there who is interested. There don't seem to be many people using the forum as presumably everyone is on facebook. I don't do face book but I can do this or e-mail.

Estimate for a 30sqm hut, floor, walls, roof(single pitch), windows and doors using mainly new materials but without insulation or internal cladding/fittings was £7000 (or £250/sq m).

Here is a summary of building costs for my hut

Murray the joiner is not VAT registered but the figures include VAT on materials and tradesman’s mark up on materials of about 20%. Mark up will vary, that's what Murray charges.

To make the main frame (skeleton) of my hut from CLS, which is the standard framing timber, floor supports, roof beams and cutting out the window and door spaces was not much short of £3000 with materials and labour being about half each of that. As I work every day on the farm, there was always the possibility of doing some of the work myself with a bit of guidance and that would have saved a bit of money but I just haven't had the time.
Murray thought that making the hut a bit higher and factoring in a mezzanine wouldn’t add hugely to the cost. A double pitched roof also wouldn’t vary much from single pitch cost wise as although it would be a more complex structure it wouldn’t require the big heavy beams I have on mine which cost about £70 each.
The first layer of external cladding with sheets of OSB came to about £760 (materials and labour)
OSB for the floor which is heavier grade than the stuff for the walls (18mm instead of 9mm thick) was about £250. The floor can be left like that once its fixed down or have a covering of some sort or floor boards fixed on top.
The windows are looking like being the place where savings can be made. Murray made my windows to measure using hardwood (£400 just for the timber) He used hardwood as he decided on double glazed and apparently you can’t get softwood section for making windows to take double glazing. He also made them all to open. Hardwood, double glazed, opening windows he thought would cost about a third more than softwood, single glazed, non- opening. Single glazed would probably be fine for windows the size of mine. The main door and one back door were lying around the farm so cost me nothing. There’s a big saving to be made if you can find second hand(free?) wooden doors and windows to suit. Probably well worth the time and effort.
Cladding is sarking boards which came in at about £450.

I have had the last bills now for the labour costs so far and all materials apart from wndow glass and tin for the roof (tin estimated at about £500) and by the time that's added in it’s looking like being nearer £8000 that the £7000 Murray estimated for a hut that size. However I hope it also gives a good idea of where savings can be made and where costs can add up.

Not included in the estimate were internal cladding which can be done with OSB too unless you want something more refined and I guess would cost about the same as externally and glass wool for insulation, about £250. Better insulation(more processed) or sheep's wool are much more expensive.

It also doesn't include preparing the site or moving the hut to site and putting it all together.
A very rough guestimate for getting to site and making wind and water tight was £1300 to £1600. I don't think that included preparing the site or the materials, posts etc for supporting the hut. More detail as I find out.

The toilet will be in the hut but accessed by an outside door.I have a composting toilet, again made by Murray which cost £100+ not including a urine separator or containers which could take it to over £200 depending on what's used. I was testing it out in my shed last year but it's been a bit draughty over the winter!

Then there's just the stove to think about. The architect pointed out that because my hut is only round 2.5 metres at the highest point and a stove chimney has to reach a certain height above the stove that the chimney will have to extend some distance above the roof and will need to be braced.

Other costs:
Help from a planning advisor (soon retiring unfortunately) who visited the site, sounded out the planners, helped me with understanding how planning works drew up the statement for the planning application came to £700 over the couple of years I've been plotting and planning.
Architects fees still to come in but another big item as we drew up separate plans for each hut. Again, probably could have saved quite a bit here if the huts had been similar designs but again we wanted them all to be different (though planners might not like!). The plans are done for the application and there will be more design detail to add when/if we get planning permission. He also met with the hutters, found me a surveyor and submitted the application. More detail when the bills come in.
I have had a preliminary draft lease drawn up which I will be discussing with the other hutters while we wait for the planning application to be decided. Don't now how much that will cost.

Planning application went in on 5th July 2018. Had a letter of invalidation as they wanted roads marked on the site plan and the fee was wrong. Planning application fee was £2016 in the end.
All in it will have cost about £3000 per hut to get us to the point of starting to build, assuming we get planning permission
Planning Application has appeared on the Dumfies and Galloway web site(26th July 2018) Ref 18/1031/FUL.
IMG_1775.JPG (284.7 KiB) Viewed 1913 times
IMG_1753.JPG (267.99 KiB) Viewed 1973 times
IMG_1749.JPG (273.82 KiB) Viewed 1974 times
Last edited by oldtorrlee on 08 Sep 2018, 19:14, edited 4 times in total.

User avatar
Posts: 7
Joined: 23 Sep 2016, 23:15

Re: Getting stared soon (hopefuly)

Postby william.whitelaw » 30 Jul 2018, 11:56

Thank you for all the information you have provided here Lee. It will be very useful for other people who wish to have a hut one day. Good luck with your project and well done on making such good progress with your dream.

Return to “Building A Hut”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests