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ebuild is sad to announce its closure - it has become too time and resource intensive to develop, manage and maintain.

However, ebuild will remain on-line in archive mode (ie no posting facilties) for several weeks so that users can use it as an information resource.


Part 1 - In The Beginning...

Posted by Calvinmiddle , 05 June 2014 · 1,083 views

Where to begin? – Well the start is normally the best place so let’s start there.

We moved into our house about 6 years ago when we were both working in London, but being a boy from Northern Ireland who had been working and living in London for 8 years at that time I was missing the countryside so we decided to move out.

The house is a detached, 3 bed home with a very large back garden in the middle of a small town only a mile and a half to a train line where trains into London only take 35mins meaning the commute to work didn’t really get any longer – and I got a seat on the train as opposed to standing on the tube!

The garden was split into 2 with the bit furthest away from the house being used as an allotment with a couple of old apple trees. The area proved to be a nightmare to control with huge amounts of time being needed to control the brambles, pyracantha and holly hedges. After the birth of our first son we decided to rip all this out and grass the area so give a bigger garden and a safer environment for him. After the yearly trim of the holly and pyracantha hedges (about 100m in total) I looked like I had come second best in a fight with a cat – the stuff was truly evil.

When we bought the house the vendor had some notion that if anyone got permission to build in the garden in the future he wanted a share of the uplift – the estate agents said he shouldn’t have it and I discovered he had had a few builders round to get their opinion and they said he had no chance of getting permission. We had no intention of ever building as we loved the size of the garden and just wanted the space.

So we offered a price on the condition of no clause and when the estate agent came back and said the vendor still wanted the clause I said that was fine but that would mean a reduction in price of 10% as he essentially wanted an option from me and as we didn’t want to build I thought it was a good way to knock the price down. After a bit of to-ing and fro-ing we agreed a price with no option.

We had grand plans for the property, side and rear extension to create a large 5 bed house with a big open plan kitchen living diner with a separate snug and office.. Then the Financial Crisis hit – and there was no way we could afford to extend the house as planned as it just wouldn’t be worth it.

After a few winters in the house we opened up the fireplaces again down stairs and installed from nice modern stoves as the house is only single brick and freezing in the winter, this is not not helped by having a wife from Sydney who complains it's cold even in our summer. We also decided to refurbish the house with a new kitchen, bathroom, re-plaster all the walls and a new central heating system and generally give a 1930s house that was trying to look Victoria a modern interior.

But the house was still cold in the winters and the layout really wasn’t working for us as a family. So after too many years of watching Grand Designs we wondered about building a new house in the back garden for us to live in that would be the layout that we wanted and super insulated to cut our heating bills.

May 2018

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