First Blog post – eeek – 1 more sleep!!!

23.4.17

Vince and I thought it would be fun, motivational & reminiscent to document the stages of our journey, from finding our plot to building our family home, before a spade even enters the ground. To capture the highs and lows that we are likely to experience, and to share and receive helpful advice along the way… so here I am twiddling my fingers on a 12 hr flight back from Thailand (after a whirl wind trip, minus the kiddies) thinking now or never…..

Firstly apologies for my writing, spelling and grammar I haven’t written properly since my uni days……

Our plan is to do weekly updates (or more as the build kicks off) so if you fancy joining us on our journey here goes……

After a little longer out than anticipated; playing mummy to my boys and pa to my hubby Vince (aka bubs) I am throwing myself head first back into the Interior Design world starting with the design of our family home (a small project to ease me back in)! pinch me, yep its really happening! Building our own house!

We have been very happy for 9 years in our little 3 bed semi but it has always been our dream to build our own family home together and more so since having our first bubba, Leo (4).

Vince and I together have over 9 years experience in the industry yet whilst really exciting it is also very daunting so will be a huge learning curve. It’s already proving a somewhat alien task to treat ourselves as ‘the client’ working to our own brief and budget is actually to date proving rather difficult. Vince is by far the most demanding client I have yet to come across!! 🙂

To set the scene, our plot is approx 0.5 acres, has an average gradient of 1 in 10 levelling out at the bottom of 100m driveway. The driveway is currently a very over grown unused rear access to what was a small woodland located at the end of the rear garden of another property.

IMG_6382-1
Driveway on a sunny day

We thought we would have a long battle at planning stages but to our surprise and excitement it only took two years!! The timing of which came a couple of weeks after our youngest son arrived, Austin (18 months), so as I am sure you can imagine its been a crazy year and half.

To date 22.4.17
Our second application for amendments has been granted for inclusion of a basement. After much welcomed advice; what to do next…

Taking into consideration comparable prices, start dates and various personalities …(With a potentially stressful process we knew we wanted to work with someones we could trust, rely on and who shared our humour) we decided to run with our chosen builder; ’Builder Ben.’ 🙂 who will act as our project manager.

Now the scary part; With our preliminary quote in we have begun to finalise our financial situation. As you can imagine we are drowning in paperwork! Top of my to do list (I love a to do list) is setting up our budget spreadsheet to keep us on track from the outset (hopefully).

First set back
Our soil survey could not be done due to the length & gradient of the access in its current poor ground condition. Due to this we decided to commence the build asap (initially set early May now 24th April… 1 more sleep!!!) They will start on the driveway so that heavy goods can use the access with ease, planning for worst case 2m deep trench foundations! Apparently!!

The gradient on our plot is likely to add additional costs in comparison to a level plot as more dig out is required & engineering the retaining elements is more complicated. Luckily Vince has a handle on this as it’s a bit over my head at the mo.

The fun stuff
Involving the boys was fun picking bricks and slates at local building merchants, sourcing samples to satisfy the councils planning conditions.


Leo is already sporting his high vis jacket and hard hat, wanting to help Builder Ben on site, he’s counting down the sleeps to starting!

The serious stuff
In the mean time every minute I get spare (thank goodness for my parents; nanny and pop pops) I’m getting stuck into the interior layouts.

Builder Ben is on our case daily! 2x A4 sheets of requirements we need to decide on ASAP…. yikes! ie, windows, doors, lighting plans for quoting, kitchen, bathrooms. So I need to get stuck into my laptop in the evening when the kids are in bed, instead of my go to reality tv programs! (Vince loves them!)

Consented trees for removal have been taken down (either diseased or rotten) & Vince with Builder Ben have fenced off remaining trees and boundaries in prep for the Ground workers to roll in on Monday!!

Next on our agenda this week is a meeting to discuss our kitchen design and ….
START GROUNDWORKS 🙂 the big boys are rolling in!!!

See you soon

Lucy and Vince

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