Architects plans for extending Gate House - are we missing something?
First time posting but have been lurking with interest for a while!
We have just bought a lovely Gate House to a huge country mansion. We love its old style - its sweet and pretty, but its not big enough for a horsey family of 4, who usually all come in with boots and muddy wellies to be taken off! Our architect has drawn up some plans for an extension, but I'm not in love with them but can't put my finger on why not. I'm concerned that it now just looks like a big square house with no character?
1. What material to do the second story extension in? Brick, render, weatherboard (don't like cement board as it looks very modern and we want to keep it looking like an old building from the front at least), hanging tile? I like old brick but concerned it will never be the same as original brick and so will stand out. Will render look like Premier Inn?! Will it crack (I know you can get flexible, coloured render but not sure if budget will stretch to it).
2. The current staircase is incredibly steep which is why the architect has changed it.
3. To get the space the architect has upstairs, he has removed the chimney. We have been told this will be a cold house as no cavity walls, so although we will add insulation externally, I think we need a log burner. He has added a corner one with an exposed flue, but I love the traditional oak mantle over a central log burner type style?
4. Is this the best place for the downstairs toilet? Right next to a living area?
5. I'd like a spacious entrance for guests with the boot room used by us and our muddy gear.
6. Is there TOO much glass making storage/furniture difficult to place?
7. Dont love a flat roof but apparently there isn't much option for the single story extension as the back of the house ground level is already higher than the front as its on a hill. What material should this be in? I was thinking this could be something different to the rest? Architect has suggested buff bricks but I'm struggling to find any photos or existing houses to show me what that might look like and I have no vision!
Any advice gratefully received! Budget is approx £120k and this will be a once in a lifetime opportunity so really don't want to mess it up or build something that I don't love!