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Here it is: as accurate as I can get it. No pretense of getting it done cheaper than anyone else. Just the raw numbers and a few words to explain context if necessary (why did I buy a chain-hoist for example). Yes, you'll probably get it cheaper. That's excellent. The point is openness and telling it like it is.

March 2014
Home Building and Renovation Show NEC: £100, including fuel and tickets
Phone calls about £15:00 extra, and about £70:00 fuel.

July 2014
Land: already owned
Planner: £1050, plus £70 initial consultation fee, (in cash).
LPA Outline Planning Application fee £770
Phone calls: about £15:00 extra, and about £50:00 fuel.

August 2014
Ecologist: £1390.15 (works out at about £1 per Great Crested Newt – a further £2000 budgeted for. But see below June 2016)

November 2014
Topographical Survey: £540

January 2015
Trips to Timber frame companies and various local suppliers : £50 fuel
Subscriptions to various magazines: £70(ish)

February 2015
Architect: £4000 (design plus all other matters up to and including submission for Full PP application)
QS: £630 – feasibility study
Legal: £360; altering title
LPA fees: £385
Structural Engineer: £1782; foundations calculations
Land registry Fee: £40
Contamination Desk Study and Geophysics : £1260 (plus possible indeterminate decontamination costs)
Phone calls: about £20:00 extra, and very little fuel.

March 2015
Discharge of Conditions Fee £97.00

Health and Safety Services are being handled for free by a colleague: I’m coding his website in exchange.
Notice: no site insurance yet……. :huh: I’m just too mean. Projected cost £568.65 (May 2015)

August 2015
Architects fees £2000; from award of Outline PP to Full PP (6th of August) and
£40 for bottle of champagne to thank our him: his judgement in relation to what would pass was exactly right. Read paragraph 9 of the Delegated Report (here)

Trip to Swindon to visit the NSBRC
Fuel £36, overnight stay £85

Strimmer: Polycut head, and set of knives for strimmer
£46.60. (No lawn for Salamander Cottage: at last, no mowing…… bliss)

September 2015
Legal Fees; alteration to title status £232

Purchase a four wheel trailer (new) £2500
Purchase a Mutts Nuts (Nick’s term, not mine) Bosch Laser Level £250
First Aid Course (ref. H+S policy) £80
Chainsaw Course £130

Off mains drainage legal agreement
Legal fees and £1000 for access to the land to discharge to stream (wayleave?): £1862
(£300 over budget)

Preparation for processing the wood;
Serious Stihl saw (660) and ancillary equipment £2000
(resale value £1000)

Trips to open passivhauses 
£50 +

Off – road parking (ground matz)
£2800 (resale value £2500)

January 2016

SPONS Architects and Builders’ Price Guide 2016. Can’t do without it. And there’s an App that goes with it. £150

Small shipping container (for tools) £300 (resale value £400)
Base for container: 4 tons of 20 mm to dust from my mate: £35, yep £35
New wheelbarrow £97 (French made Hammerlin: two flat tyres (in 2 weeks) and a stupidly forward C of G so the damn thing tips forward ON ITS OWN... sodding thing)

Local Oak trees (for the shakes and cladding) £1200  (1 square meter of oak shakes retails for £100!) T.K Knipe Allithwaite. £100s of pounds worth of free advice.

1  Sweet Chestnut tree (high tannin content) £140

5 local oak trees £100 (they were going to be cut up for fire wood - I kid you not)
Another container (you can't have too many): £1000 (resale value £1000)

February 2016

Small hand tools and boys toys £1500

May 2016

2.5 tonne Mini Digger = £14,000 (PV Dobsons, Levens)

EPS Licence £1200  (I still haven't paid the bill - because of some really unprofessional behaviour.)

Red Diesel £15

120 meters of Temporary Amphibian Fencing (TAF), 80 stakes (37 by 37 by 700) £267.37

Lifting gear: a 2 tonne chain block and tackle 2 shackles, and two beam clamps £181.03 (to run on the RSJs below)

2 RSJs, (6 meters long to span between the two containers) £230 +VAT

Filing frame to assist sharpening my chainsaw chains £97

Site signage (ebay) £10 for several (more needed)

Plastic Barrier Fencing Safety Mesh Fence Netting Net With Metal Pins £50.95 (for the edge of the car park and pedestrian walkway)

Three stillage cages to store material on the site (one cage fitted inside the container) £50

Another two stillage cages today. £25

And £80 worth of 2 inch wire mesh so I can weld it to the stillage cages: slows light fingers down

Two (full-on-big-boys) deck brooms £24

A grease gun for my digger and two cartridges of grease £22

Another High Security Digital padlock and hardened, sheathed, hardened chain to secure the buckets (that aren't hooked up)  for my digger £55

A 2 Tonne x 1.5 meter Leverhoist     £79.95
2 off 2 tonne Beam Clamps   £25.98 
4 off 2 Ton Alloy Bow Shackles, with Safety Pins   £11.96

The above is initially for lifting trees and heavy objects safely off the trailer (on my own) Later the hoist and clamps will do the same job, but in a small purpose-built workshop.

100 meters of 16 amp electricity cable. £71.89

Building Control Fees £600

Red Diesel £18.21

June 2016

Two more stillage cages £25

A Douglas Fir tree and a Larch tree. £40 (Fir tree £10) Will produce stock worth about double that (conservative estimate)

20 8" coach screws £4.

4 sheets of reinforcing mesh £20 (16 by 8 foot for welding to the stillage cages to slow down thieves ) 

Structural Engineer £1774. And worth every penny (so far)

First Aid Kit (10 person HSE Approved) £7.57 (tried getting one locally, couldn't get one for love nor money)

Security marker pens £1.99 (a requirement of the Site Insurance: all scaffolding poles must be security marked - not the digger or the saws!) "Curiouser and curiouser"

Wood for lining my container £81

HERAS panels, feet, clips, struts, pins for the struts £200

Some steel stock to practise welding £12 (making a small tool table for my SuperJaws clamp: cost on the open market  £30) 

Four Point Lifting Chains ('shorten-able') £139. Fed up of worrying about the webbing strops - they are quite worn already

Site H+S sign. £24 ( and I begrudge every penny: it's expensive wallpaper... why do I say that - read on - last but one point)

2 tins of Hammerite for the rust spots on the container. £28


The ecologist had the good grace to halve his bill given the less than prompt approach to fulfilling his contract. £900



Builder's Merchant bill: £704 - bits and bobs, sand 25mm water pipe and stuff like that



Builder's Merchant bill:  < £100 all sorts of tiny things



Builder's Merchants bill £1379.24,  Ply wood for the stillage and to make some internal storage in the container, a DeWalt nailer (luxury beyond compare)


It starts to get serious now........... Piling will be about £6000, Groundwork price yet to come in, site clearance - I've hired a lumberjack who's coming from Canada - muscles coming out of his ears - off mains drainage and site drainage....


Off to Harrogate next week. (4th of November)



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" Another container (you can't have too many) "

Agree - containers are great. They should cost a fortune - but get given away because more stuff gets shipped to our part of the world than from us.

Edited by reddal
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On 5/21/2016 at 19:23, reddal said:

" Another container (you can't have too many) "

They should cost a fortune - but get given away because more stuff gets shipped to our part of the world than from us.

Got any spare then?

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4 tonne of 20mm to dust £35 from your mate. Can't be that much of a mate! About a tenner on the bridge!

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On 21 May 2016 at 19:50, ProDave said:

If you can't get a container, a static caravan is just as good.

Dave - I came to the conclusion ages ago that you're obsessed with caravans O.o

  • Like 2
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50k sounds a lot but looking through the list you should get a good chunk of that back. We are very similar.  Digger, herras fence, trailer, stihl saw, lasers, cement mixers, scaffolding etc which will all be sold (hopefully) after the builds.  

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I agree. Currently (as projected) the work is coming out at £2300 per square meter. I hope to shave £500 per square meter off that

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Great list, but is there a reason that the SE appears twice, was their two trances of work for them to do. We are just commissioning our SE now, assuming we don't go for a packaged frame build, after the initial design is complete?


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Mike, I'll go back and check the numbers. But there were two tranches of work.

Our SE needed the soil results (cores and resulting report), the construction 'method' (in our case Dursiol). Oh, and a good reputation. 

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If you get reports, make sure that you have the right to "Reassign".

We have just sold our housing developemnt plot, and this was one thing we missed - and it has cost a couple of thousand in fees to various consultants to transfer reports to the buyer.

The buyer will insist because they they get the benefit of indemnity etc.

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5 hours ago, Ferdinand said:

If you get reports, make sure that you have the right to "Reassign".

Another day, another lesson. The cheque's in the post.


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