348.1 Castles in the air | Scoins.net | DJS

## 348.1 Castles in the air

We were building castles in the air and wondering if we could afford a similar sized house with a relatively large amount of land. Which served to rediscover how very bad estate agents are at communication, and how they fail to conform to any common standards, not even a unit of measure. But, as an example, we both separately spotted a horse-lover's house with 21 acres. Which sounds like an awful lot, doesn't it? So suppose it was a square plot enclosing 21 acres; estimate the length of a side. Take a guess first, like choose from {200m, 300m, 400m, 500m, 800m}.

Subsidiary question: if you think half an acre of rectangular house plot is 'large' and your frontage is maybe 20 metres wide, how deep is it?

I postulate a 'house index' for housing, which is the building footprint expressed as a percentage of the whole plot. This house is then 30-33%. Of the outside two thirds, just less than half is hard surfaces, so I suggest a second, 'gardenable' index which is the area of soft surface (grass, planted spaces, ponds) divided by the area of hard surface (drive, pathways, garden walling, steps, etc). Here, that is just over 90% but, as a measure, it moves around a lot if measured inconsistently.  i think I prefer to express the gardenable area as a % of the non-house area, in which case here would be 52%. Explore

21 x 4840 sq yards / 1.0936² is sq metres. 85000 m². Square root this; 291m on a side. So one might easily have a 1km boundary path.

I acre is 4047m² to the nearest integer, so a half acre could be 20x102, about 100 metres long. Yes, that's a long garden. A half acre on a square plot is 45m on a side and it is quite likely that 20-25% of this is buildings and hard surfaces. Our 500m² is about an eighth of an acre.

A cricket field is about 4 acres. A soccer pitch 1.7 ±0.2 acres (yards, 100x50 to 130x100).

One of my neighbours has no soft surface at all, so zero.  My parents' house was around 2.  Our house in Wallsend was around 1. The house in Stockport nearer 2.

The Blackpool house is pretty evenly split into three; the buildings footprint, the hardstandings and the cultivatable land. So my house footprint on plot is 33%. Hard surfaces is 170m², soil (and grass) area 182m², house & sheds footprint 164m² total close to 500m². Total built floor area is a different thing altogether, because that's internal floor area, generally something like 120-180% of footprint. Upstairs generally adds less than you'd think. If you look at living space, the numbers come down again, because you lose the communication areas (halls, corridors, stairs); the measure 'habitable rooms' means you ignore washing areas (bathrooms, toilets, kitchens and utility rooms). all of which can result in some oddnesses in design when this becomes a measure (such as one used for taxation purposes), so that communication space becomes part of a room so that it is still declared to be habitable space. Conversely, you might (rarely) find a corridor-type space with some habitable purposes, such as a bookcase on the stairs, or a grand hall, technically corridor, but in practice large enough to be used a s a reception space.  ReadingLonger reading. That last link has good content, though I thought the units and measures needed clear definition that I didn't find. Examples: if your back garden is say 15 metres, that is a length not an area, so that corner plots are somehow excluded; a bedroom has 'usable floor area' defined how? Subtracting the bed, the storage and the door swing would make many bedrooms 'usable floor' really tiny; my rented room at university had a residual floor area much less than a square metre by such a measure. Pp41-43.

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