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Full house build.

Discussion in 'Your Projects' started by Curlewhouse, 22 Oct 2016.

  1. Curlewhouse

    Curlewhouse

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    Definitely my biggest ever project, we are about to start a self build. Unlike the Grand Designs stuff, and not being rich, a lot of this really will be a self build, ( a term often misused to describe custom build I feel) though with working full time and not being an expert by any means, naturally we will be using builders for the walls and roof, but all the internals will be done by me, my father and the occasional friend hopefully. The main structure is to be SIPs (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Structural_insulated_panel ) and the outer is natural stone (we're in a National park, but also nothing else would really look right near a Norman church and fortified medieval tower).

     
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  3. John D v2.0

    John D v2.0

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    Looks amazing, hope you've got a good lawn mower!
    What stage are you at? Got planning and a start date on site?
     
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  4. Mshepp

    Mshepp

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    Looking forward to following this project.
     
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  5. Curlewhouse

    Curlewhouse

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    Well after 3 years of to-ing and fro-ing, we now have both full planning permission (more complicated because it's in a National Park with a very strong restriction now on who can build a new house, and of course, what it must look like) and building Regs Clearance to start. Finalising the finance now and one last builders quote for foundations etc awaited next week. After such a long haul, now we're finally there I veer between excitment and moments of terror at the thought that once we start, that's our life savings committed... and if it over runs, unlike those Grand Designs and self build programmes where they suddenly find another £50k or whatever, with us there's NO more money! :LOL: But you only live once eh? I hope to put the first spade in the ground within 3 weeks...

    The house is to be super insulated, (hence the choice of SIPs, but we're adding even more insulation to that) and we're concentrating the money there in the fabric of the build rather than on the finery like a fancy kitchen, posh driveway etc, which can all come later.... if ever. As well as this being "green", we figure energy prices will only climb, so its an opportunity to try to ensure that our heating costs etc are as low as possible for when we come to retire. We've even put a sitting room in the design which could easily be turned into a ground floor bedroom if that becomes necessary in the future as we get old.
     
    Last edited: 22 Oct 2016
  6. Cgas

    Cgas

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    Good luck, (y) wish you all the best.
     
  7. eddieed

    eddieed

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    Good luck and looking forward to following this.
     
  8. Tin Soldier

    Tin Soldier

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    Good Luck, I'll be following this with interest

    I'm just finishing off Building Warrant approvals on our House Extension (125m2) which like your house will be SIPS built, stone exterior. Schedule to start in a year.

    Have you selected a SIPs supplier yet?
     
  9. Curlewhouse

    Curlewhouse

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    Yes, Clays. I sent out to several, but Clays use Kingspan and as it turned out where actually the most competitive quote on top of that. I've seen a few of their jobs and they were top notch, and as one of the biggest I was expecting them to be dearest, but was pleasantly surprised.
     
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  11. Tin Soldier

    Tin Soldier

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    Excellent, I've my plans to the local (as in scotland based) sips companies and found company who installs kingspantek to be the most competitive.
    Have you a start date?
     
  12. Curlewhouse

    Curlewhouse

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    Delays. Well, it's taken 3 years to get to this point (thanks to the National park just completely ignoring the statutory time limits on planning, solicitors trying to hold out to screw extra money out of us (failed) and on and on). But here we are with Planning Permission and Building Regs approval all ready to start. Sent the job out to 12 builders for the foundations and stonework/roof ..... got 3 back expressing interest and asking for plans. One couldn't fit the work in but could do some of it only, one gave a quote the same day in a "back of fag packet" way which suggests strongly it wasn't thought out properly and would very likely not be accurate, and one asked for full plans and never came back! So we tried one recommended by a friend... met that one and liked them, asked them to quote and then spent a month being told each week that they'd have the quote to us at the end of the week... a quote which has never arrived. So it's back to square one putting the work out to tender. :(
     
  13. Curlewhouse

    Curlewhouse

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    Last edited: 9 Dec 2016
  14. dom_k

    dom_k

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    Clays are decent. I have worked with them on two houses now. Hope it all goes smoothly.
     
  15. Curlewhouse

    Curlewhouse

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    Clays are supplying and erecting the SIPs, but its things like foundations walls and roof we need builders to do. Here we are another month on and still no one quoting for the work! Only in Britain do firms turn money down (then moan about business conditions no doubt!) when it's being waved at them! We are now waiting for 2 more firms to quote, but it's been a month for those 2 now too, although one of those, a fairly large local firm with a good name, contacted me only today to confirm what exactly it was they are quoting for.... 3 weeks in to when they are supposed to have started doing the quote (though checking my emails that detail was already covered in depth, which in itself is worrying, though I do know they are busy).... . The other firm have built around SIPs before and asked our architect for the engineers calculations a week ago, so at least they seem to be doing work towards it, but it seems if we're lucky we are going to have; 1. back of a fag packet quote, 2. One which has a good name but clearly hasn't done anything in at least 3 weeks toward the quote and only got in touch as I'd sent a polite reminder, and 3. one who really know their stuff but who I worry about the amount we're going to be quoted.... and when. Never, ever would I have guessed that when your offering work worth thousands of pounds would you struggle to find anyone willing to take your money! So we will now have tried 14 builders.....
     
  16. Ian H

    Ian H

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    I thought they would be queuing up to do the job.

    Have you looked into hiring your own digger yet? ;)
     
  17. Curlewhouse

    Curlewhouse

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    Yep. hired a digger to grub out the drystone wall ready for rebuilding. Really enjoyable actually. The waller has said he'll start to build it between Christmas and the New Year.

    On the builder side, we finally managed to get 2 to do proper quotes, and we've chosen one who tells us they can start in the New Year. Speaking to him after Christmas to get a date. I've seen their work before and really like the owners sensible and professional attitude. So progress at last! (y) :mrgreen:

    It's a relief to have that sorted the day before Christmas - I know logically it's just a date on the calendar, but we've lost probably 18 months so far, of purely waiting for people to do their job, planners who just completely ignored the statutory time limits, or solicitors dragging very simple jobs out for extra fees or just simple inefficiency (so far we've had to pay 2 lots of other organisations solicitors fees as well as our own, and there's a 4th lot of solicitors to pay for the building society) Plus ground survey & testing (even though we know the ground is perfect for building, we had to evidence it), even an archeologist still to come during the build. Then of course all these months trying to get builders to quote. So the timing is nice (though 2 years ago we fully expected to be in our house by this Christmas!).


    In truth it's got us down quite a few times and if we had not already sold our old house to help pay for it, I'm pretty sure we would have given up when we were just getting fobbed off for weeks on end or screwed over for extra cash. It's been embarrassing at times too - both of us have found people asking "how is the house coming along?" and we've had to explain for 2 years now over and over that we are "just waiting now for..." this or that person to do their job. After so long we even began to wonder if people may be thinking we'd just made it all up about building a house! What's kept us going is keeping in our heads the belief that one day it will be over and we'll be out of those peoples grasping reach and will have our dream home for the rest of our lives.


    I would estimate that solicitors fees, planners, surveys etc have cost about £4000 so far, and taken along with the lack of builders quotes, added an entirely unnecessary 18 months+ to the process over and above the actual time the work should have taken.

    So hopefully we will see the drystone boundary wall started soon, and meet the builder again after Christmas and get paperwork signed and an actual start date - that will be wonderful! I know there will be issues along the way, but at least they should now be "real" things, like stones, windows not fitting (seems to happen a lot on the self build forums) and so on - practical real things and not just made up paperwork to make money.


    Today I am working again on another spreadsheet - this time for the building society who want you to tease out the exact costs - so for example we know the total quoted roof price for the guys to do it, but the building society wants that teased out into the costs of slats, laths, leadwork, membrane and so on. What's interesting is we've had a proper costings company go through the plans, done a very detailed spreadsheet ourselves, and currently doing the building societies one - and they all come out at different sums! With the same data put in but broken in different ways and different contingency sums automatically added to the various stages.

    On the subject of costings, just 2 nights work going through the internet reduced the materials prices by several thousand. Here is just part of the spreadsheet I created. This is using the Quantity Survey costs (mostly they used Jewsons) with what I could get by shopping around, and a column showing the savings - they really add up!

    savingssheet.jpg
     
    Last edited: 24 Dec 2016
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