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Grand Designs 14Th October 2015 - Marriage Guidance


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#21 jsharris

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Posted 16 October 2015 - 09:25 PM

I've not seen it yet, but we have 25 panels and that's not enough to be off grid. It's enough to get us to below zero energy, but only because we can use the grid for night time and winter energy supply, consuming some of the energy we've exported on sunny days.

#22 SteamyTea

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Posted 16 October 2015 - 09:51 PM

Wish I had a large enough roof to put on 4 kWp of PV, and my orientation is less than optimal.

Not watched it either, but may try and justify time for it as it is getting a lot of chat on here. May just go to the beach instead though.

#23 joiner

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Posted 17 October 2015 - 09:37 AM

At least one person on here has hit the rocks below the surface of self-build, so advice to newbies asking what they need to consider before starting out on the journey will include the suggestion of marriage guidance and will be delivered in only a marginally half-joking way.

#24 jsharris

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Posted 17 October 2015 - 12:27 PM

View Postjoiner, on 17 October 2015 - 09:37 AM, said:

At least one person on here has hit the rocks below the surface of self-build, so advice to newbies asking what they need to consider before starting out on the journey will include the suggestion of marriage guidance and will be delivered in only a marginally half-joking way.

I've admitted I did. The stress creeps up on you, and if other things come along at the same time it can seriously derail your mental stability. I look back on how I was a few months ago and cannot believe how on earth I let things get to me. If anything, the fact that depression creeps up on you in such an insidious way is the worst thing. I remember a chap on another forum who got into a similar state, and at the time I remember feeling sympathetic, but finding it hard to understand how building a house could get someone into such a condition. In my case it wasn't the big things, but the long trudge through sorting out all the finishing off jobs that was the final straw. I'm fairly sure it's partly the long drawn out nature of self-build, it takes a lot of commitment to stay cheerful and optimistic a couple of years into a build.

#25 SteamyTea

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Posted 17 October 2015 - 01:34 PM

I often wonder what happened to Ben. He seemed such a nice chap.

#26 jsharris

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Posted 17 October 2015 - 01:51 PM

He did, and I often think of his plight, especially over the past few months. I hope he finished his build and is now settled in, at least that's what I'd like to think the outcome was.

#27 joe90

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Posted 17 October 2015 - 07:15 PM

Well, I was determined to not get stressed about my forthcoming build but having to deal with planning officers has already blown that out of the water., I spoke to some bricklayers who I wanted on my build and they were so pleased with my layed back approach and lack of deadlines that they are determined to work for me. I know I am lucky in that I have no timescales and dont have to sell our current (temporary) home to complete the build and I am retired so my role of project manager is one I relish.

Plus swmbo does not want to get involved in the budget. ( wait till we get to pick the kitchen!)

Watch this space:)

Edited by joe90, 17 October 2015 - 07:16 PM.


#28 AliG

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Posted 17 October 2015 - 10:03 PM

I am about 2 years in and about to start building. We'll see how the stress is once that starts. I am using a main contractor so hopefully that helps.

I found planning very stressful as it was a situation I had little control over and I have a natural suspicion of officialdom. In the end it was OK.

My wife gets incredibly stressed by being asked to make hundreds of small decisions. We went today to check on the kitchen we have ordered and found that the colour has been discontinued. They said that we should be fine, but after half an hour of various phone calls as they tried to figure out what was happening she was done and had to go home. I like to look at something over and over again refining it until I am happy with it. I hate the feeling of buyers remorse. It drives her insane as she just wants to make a decision and be done with it. I know basically I have to get her in the right mood or just go through that process and only ask her occasionally when I know she would care.

#29 daiking

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Posted 18 October 2015 - 08:11 AM

Watching Grand Designs is like watching supercars on top gear for the most part but at least the top gear boys were entertaining. I much prefer some of the more realistic shows such as £100k house or building the dream.

Onto the wider subject, I feel like an imposter here. Only building an extension not a house, not self building as we have a builder and we are about as far from green/ebuilding as you can get.

Nevertheless the path we have taken is still stressful and I am flakes at the best of times. And on top of all the usual in our marriage relationship, our kids are being little shits at the moment. Which I would attribute to the build and their mother's and I distraction from looking after them.

It's hard work and we still have the hump to do.

I think it was an episode of building the dream I watched on 4od recently. Some farmers wanted to build a house so they and their 4 kids could move out of their in laws garage! Anyway the build budget was woefully inadequate and the build went years over programme because of the continued cash flow requirements. Really felt for them and thought if they can manage, anyone can. Then you have other events in life where friends die leaving young children and again you think, really what is my problem? So onwards and upwards, keep plugging away. And when it does get to you, try to remember what you need to do to escape.

#30 Woodgnome

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Posted 18 October 2015 - 09:05 AM

Joe90 said..I spoke to some bricklayers who I wanted on my build and they were so pleased with my layed back approach and lack of deadlines that they are determined to work for me.

John, if they do it on a price, make sure they are aware of the different approach needed when doing a 300mm full fill Cavity. Don't underestimate the time it takes for you to do the Cavity insulation to keep up with them.

Edited by Woodgnome, 18 October 2015 - 09:08 AM.


#31 joe90

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Posted 18 October 2015 - 09:15 AM

View PostWoodgnome, on 18 October 2015 - 09:05 AM, said:

Joe90 said..I spoke to some bricklayers who I wanted on my build and they were so pleased with my layed back approach and lack of deadlines that they are determined to work for me.

John, if they do it on a price, make sure they are aware of the different approach needed when doing a 300mm full fill Cavity. Don't underestimate the time it takes for you to do the Cavity insulation to keep up with them.

Quite, I must admit our conversation was about the garage ( single skin) with just a comment about the "house next year". Also they have to prove they are good with the garage if I am to use them for the house. Yes the logistics of a wide cavity need careful thought.

#32 ProDave

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Posted 18 October 2015 - 09:50 AM

Re this stress thing. It comes at you from somewhere you least expect.

Our build is going well, the builders are doing a fine job and are easy to work with and nice guys. So what's the problem?

In our case it's the lack of interest in anyone to buy our old house. I don't know why, but I hadn't expected to be in this situation, or the complications it adds to the situation.

So we have a part built house under way, and a fixed pot of money slowly quickly getting smaller. And the problem is we don't know if that shrinking pot of money will get us a house shell that's externally complete or not.

It's lucky our builder can understand the situation and are happy to keep on working and keeping us up to date on the ongoing costs, knowing that at any point we might have to tell them to stop.

The current assessment is we might just manage everything except the roof tiles, in which case the building will just get a couple of tarpaulins over the roof and battened down to protect the roofing membrane for when we can afford some tiles.

But it's a truly horrible situation to be in, and one can't really make any plans as to how the build will progress beyond that stage other than very very slowly.

It totally buggers up your plan for the build, and indeed your life plan when you hit a situation like this where you are totally at the whim of decisions that other people make or don't make, and there's precious little you can do to change it.

EDIT

A bit more of the things that are bugging me.

Our present house has solar PV which gives us free electricity. At the outset I fully expected the same on the new house. But I hit a brick wall that you can't claim the FIT (at least not the full rate) without an EPC, and you can't get an EPC until the building is complete. So at that point I had resigned myself to the fact that I would just have to wait and by the timeI was eligible the FIT rate would have dropped a bit. But the bombshell we have is from 1st January the FIT will drop a LOT to the point it may not be worth claiming. This could leave me in the ludicrous position that my new low energy house actually costs more to run than my present ordinary house.

The only glimmer of hope I am pursuing is to get the FIT now and claim the reduced non EPC rate, which is still higher than what the "full" rate will be after the new year. But that adds a lot of stress trying to organise that in a short timescale, and the added stress (see above) can we actually afford it by the end of the year? and what else might have to give if we do that.

Edited by ProDave, 18 October 2015 - 11:43 AM.


#33 joiner

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Posted 18 October 2015 - 10:45 AM

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Daiking said above: "Onto the wider subject, I feel like an imposter here. Only building an extension not a house, not self building as we have a builder and we are about as far from green/ebuilding as you can get."

I've said before that the forum has evolved into one that gives the impression that it is all about self-build from the ground up, and moreover one that is wholly concerned with "green" building.

Despite the name, it never used to be that way and actually remains one concerned with ALL types of construction and all types of buildings, whether new build, conservation/restoration, or extension - or just upgrade in terms of energy performance.

When I came back to this forum, after leaving a certain other forum because of the way it had treated Jeremy (and my comments concerning that whole episode getting me publicly threatened with expulsion), I was eventually asked to join the existing moderating team on here and after my (otherwise rewarding) experience of the other place I suggested to Admin that he might consider adding a whole new section to make this place more amenable to a few others in that other place who were as mightily pissed off as I was about the way Jeremy had been treated. David agreed and hence the 'Environmental, Alternative and Green Building Methods' section was born.

Jeremy also returned to this place and Steamy Tea and Damon started dipping in and largely as a result of their invaluable contributions the new section started to develop.

So, if you want to knock out the chimney breast in your money pit of an energy-wasting single-brick-walled Victorian workman's cottage without killing either yourself or a neighbour, you're still as welcome as you ever were.

;)

#34 Eagerbeaver

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Posted 18 October 2015 - 10:52 AM

The subject of stress related to building is not one I'd seen before but have been aware of it in myself on previous projects. I thought it was just me. Seeing some of the comments above is very helpful.

#35 jsharris

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Posted 18 October 2015 - 12:04 PM

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View PostEagerbeaver, on 18 October 2015 - 10:52 AM, said:

The subject of stress related to building is not one I'd seen before but have been aware of it in myself on previous projects. I thought it was just me. Seeing some of the comments above is very helpful.

I think it's human nature, or at least social pressure, that tends to make people reluctant to talk about anything related to mental health. Although I've been fairly open here about it, it took a lot of thought before I decided it was probably a good thing to write a bit in our blog about the personal problems exacerbated by the stress of self-build. What I struggled with was that I'd held down jobs when I was working where the stress level should have been higher (managing a £1.4 billion new helicopter procurement, for example) so I couldn't see a rational reason for a modest (in financial terms) self-build project causing any stress problems. I now know that you treat things very differently when it's your own project, than you do if it's your employers. It may have a lot to do with scale and it being easier to deeply understand the problems with a smaller, more personal project.

In some ways it reminds me of a psychology lecturer that I thought a lot of when doing a senior management training course back in the 90's. She was trying to illustrate how we approach decision making in very different ways when the scale of the decision is different. She divided us into two groups and gave each group ten minutes to make a decision (we were being videoed whilst doing this). One group was asked to decide on the optimum size for a garden shed, the other group was asked to decide on the optimum number of nuclear warheads the UK needed as an effective deterrent. The group deciding on the best shed didn't reach a decision, and spent the whole time arguing about the merits of different shed sizes and types. The group deciding on the number of warheads finished early, and made a clear decision on which they had all agreed.

It's always stuck in my mind, as it's a bit like buying a car versus buying a house. People will spend hours researching reviews etc before short listing the car they want, then test driving them, then thinking a bit more before finally making a purchase. On the other hand, many make a decision to buy a house within minutes of looking at it, with only a bare minimum of research and consideration. Building a house, or doing renovations or repairs, is like buying a car, there are endless areas for research and comparison before deciding which path to go down.

Edited by jsharris, 18 October 2015 - 12:06 PM.


#36 ProDave

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Posted 18 October 2015 - 12:17 PM

There's no hope then if you want to build a house AND put several sheds in the garden. You will never get the sheds all the right size.

#37 joiner

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Posted 18 October 2015 - 12:22 PM

It was often my experience that customers wanted me to make the decisions for them, especially if I'd come recommended by their Conservation Officer, that "endorsement" serving to relieve them of all responsibility for what happened subsequently! :rolleyes:

Not that they ever had reason to complain. But then I would say that, wouldn't I! :)

#38 Fallingditch

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Posted 19 October 2015 - 07:29 AM

View PostAlphonsox, on 16 October 2015 - 07:27 AM, said:

Looks like a Ubbink system. Not sure what advantages it has (if any) over a standard rail based mount. I guess there are no roof penetrations required if that's an issue for you
http://www.buypvdire...Solar_Flat_Roof

I recorded it. I then freeze framed on the mounts - Renusol it said.

Haven't been able to identify the manufactured of roof covering made from 'recycled bottle tops' mind you ...

#39 DeeJunFan

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Posted 19 October 2015 - 08:15 AM

I'm trying to stay optimistic about our build and of course our Marriage. We have done a lot over the last few months and all of them have been stressful.

I took a new job that meant a 6 hour commute
We had our 2nd baby. Baby number one was 15 months when his little sister arrived (Now 4 months old)
We moved house from the south of Ireland (My wifes home town) to NI to start the build (and for me to be closer to work)
And we have started our build.

All in all a recipe for disaster but so far we have avoided any permanent damage.

Had our little girl Christened over the weekend and we went to check on the blocklayers as they were due to finish the footings.

Hopefully the build doesn't break us!

D

Edited by DeeJunFan, 19 October 2015 - 08:16 AM.


#40 declan52

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Posted 19 October 2015 - 08:35 AM

Most important thing is to accept that things will go wrong, delivery lorries will always get lost and you will be phoning all the trades to make sure they are still available on the day you need them. Have a laugh when the occasion arises and dont get to stressed when shat happens.