Completion and some statistics

Today was a big day for any self builder. The day the second most important bit of paper ever arrived, the building control Completion Certificate (The most important bit of paper being the granting of planning permission)

This “ends” a long chain of events that has taken way longer than we ever expected.

It all started in October 2013, that’s a staggering 8 years ago, when we completed on the purchase of the building plot, though it was at least a year before that we started looking for a plot.  Construction did not start in earnest until Spring 2015 when the final design, planning and building warrant was in place.

Construction started well with a local building firm contracted to do the foundations and build and errect the timber frame.  But that all ground to a halt by Spring 2016 when it became clear there were no buyers for our old house in a stagnated housing market and we had to terminate our arrangements with the builder, thankfully on good terms with them.

Since then it has been a slow “build as you earn” self build doing way more of the work ourselves than we ever expected, and building to what turned out eventually to be a very low cost, and somehow against expectations, we finished the house that we could not afford to build.

The VAT reclaim was paid out a few weeks back and that paid off some interest free borrowing we had accumulated finally leaving us with no debt and a very modest amount of savings left.  Phew.

The house is about 150 square metres in total floor area and the final build cost has come in just a shade under £1000 per square metre not including plot price, services and professional fees.

So now the house is “completed” does that mean we are “finished”  No of course not.  Some things have been left out for now and some not fully completed.  So our “to do” list still includes the following:

Bedrooms and stairs still need carpets and most rooms still need curtains or blinds.

An airing cupboard needs to be formed around the hot water tank and we might still build the pantry in the corner of the kitchen.

Outside there is the balcony still to build, some decking and paving, at least one more shed, a bridge over the burn, and the tarmac entrance still needs it’s top coat and some drainage installing.

Then there is fencing and making something of the garden.

So at least another 2 years work to “finish” which will make it into a 10 year project.  No I would never have believed at the start it was going to take that long, and it was not until I typed this and looked up the dates that I realised that we had been working on this for 8 years already.


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