So, a year on and how did we do? Around the time of my last post everything was hotting up with Stan’s building team putting the effort to get us in for the end of July, and with us moving house from Manchester for the… Continue reading
Now we’re getting to the really interesting part, the point of no return with the floor! Putting in the underfloor heating is a job involving three different teams from Stan’s building firm, and slowly (quite quickly really!) the inside of the house takes on another guise. Continue reading
Stanley Brash and his team of builders have moved unbelievably fast this last 2 weeks. Foundations are done and approved. Drains are done, tested and approved: “Perfect” no less from the building inspector. So now we’re ready for the concrete to be poured for our… Continue reading
There’s a faintly moral tone to some of the terminology surrounding planning applications and permissions. Maybe it’s a Scottish thing. Anyway, when you get planning permission to build a house, there are often conditions attached to the permission, and you have to formally apply to… Continue reading
The building team has done well this week. Trenches dug Tuesday, concrete poured into them on Wednesday and walls built up to floor plate level by the end of Saturday. It’ll be tough keeping up with them. Here’s the concrete in the trenches. (click on… Continue reading
We’ve cleared the last official hurdle before we can start building. Our long suffering architect Andy Black who not only designed the house but also acts as our agent with the local Council rang me this morning to let me know.
Building Control at the Scottish Borders Council have asked their last question and got their last reply, they’ve applied the rubber stamp to the building warrant and now there’s nothing to stop us going ahead. Continue reading
Being out in the country has its benefits. Wildlife and a quiet life being just two. What you can’t do though is assume you’ll have access to mains services like gas, electricity and water. Gas we can live without, electricity is just a matter of linking in to the nearby network. But water, that seems to be a challenge. Continue reading
Just over 12 months after buying our plot of land, we are nearly ready to start building. After a tense January waiting for builders to get quotes back to us, we have now selected our builder (or has he selected us?). We have agreed a start date of around the 25th February. It’s really great to get going at long last. Continue reading
With a new build the greatest area of uncertainty is underground. Foundations need to keep the house up, and when like us you have no access to mains drainage, you need to be sure that the foul drainage is going to work too. Whatever you do try and uncover problems under the surface, there’s always the possibility you’re going to be surprised when you come to build. Hopefully we’ve covered that! Continue reading
Looking back over the old maps, even though it might appear like a quiet rural backwater, things never stood still for long around Edenmouth.
Since Edenmouth appeared on maps in the 18th century, the settlement has steadily increased in size as more houses and farm buildings were added. Now there are plans to add three more houses, including ours. Continue reading
Well, the good news is: the sheep dip won’t kill us. And much more importantly, it won’t kill the salmon in the Tweed either!
The bad news was that the Planners wanted us to prove it. So when we got our planning application approved, among the many conditions attached to it was the requirement “to identify and assess potential contamination on site.” Our hearts sank – another thing almost designed to add delays to the project. Continue reading
You’d have thought we would have had SOME ideas of what to do with a clean slate. After all, we’ve spent the last 20 years considering the failings of our last attempt at designing a kitchen. Surely we must have learnt at least something from that? Hah! No chance. Continue reading
To help us with our choice of door colour, our friendly windows supplier sent us a colour swatch. We’d tried looking at the brochure, and we’d looked online but it really isn’t a safe thing, choosing colours like that.
We thought we wanted Anthracite Grey. We knew we wanted Anthracite Grey. No, in fact, we were adamant we wanted Anthracite Grey Continue reading
Right now there seems to be a steady stream of decisions to be made. This is definitely a good thing – too many things left until the builders get on site mean rushed choices later on. And potentially a bigger bill as a result. Anyway today its the turn of the external doors for the Prior/Ambrose decision making process. Andy the architect is pressing us to make a decision, any decision, and so we do with our usual trepidation. Continue reading
This week we felt we made a couple of big steps forward. Borders Council responded with some queries on our building warrant application. Easy things like what stove were we planning to install and does the access road support 14 tonne fire tenders. (Of course it does!) Continue reading
Like everyone on a budget with a dream of building their own house we started off looking at timber frame kit manufacturers. Pretty soon we cobbled together some basic decision parameters. They were:
Large rooms rather than many rooms – we don’t need lots of different rooms but those we do have must feel generous.
At least one bedroom and bathroom facilties on the ground floor
Scope for nice views across the garden
Oh, and no bloody dormers. Continue reading
We often wonder how it was we decided to build a house! We’d been living in a pretty ordinary 4 bed detached house on a development on the edge of Oldham and now here we are, about to start building a beautiful, modern well-insulated house out in the countryside in the Scottish Borders. Continue reading