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Driven to the edge

Christine Walker

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I am a very strong person, I don’t usually let things get me down, If I think it’s at all possible to do something myself I don’t ask for help, not even from hubby, some of the things I’ve done many a woman wouldn’t even know about never mind know how to do but these last few weeks have broken me. After the major problem with our electricity supply which I managed to sort out I didn’t think it could get any worse but things are all just getting on top of me now to the point where I have cried today. The electricity is now in which should be a good thing but since Scottish Water seem he’ll bent on making life difficult the electricity doesn’t actually help a lot since we need water to get the heating on and this has a knock on effect on painting and floor laying which will now need to wait, every little thing is now annoying me and if anyone asked me if I would recommend self build I’d say a definite NO.however an hour has passed since I started this post and the cry seems to have helped let off steam, we will continue on as there’s no other option!

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Everyone gets that low point where you wonder why the fcuk did I start this.  Just remember how much you have done and done right and in a year you will laugh at how you let it worry you.

And  letting of steam is always good.  Don't keep it in as it will fester and then it will really get you down.  Have a rant on here or give it to the first trade that tries it on.  Whatever works for you. 

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Every self build seems to go through a low, not just those on Grand Designs.

 

For us it was 18 months in, with a part built shell when the realisation hit us that the old house was not about to sell any time soon, and we were faced with a build we could not afford to finish.

 

Once you get past the low point, accept things are not as you would want them, but they are where they are, you have to re group and re plan.  We are now on course to finish the new house without the sale of the old one. It has taken longer than planned and I have done more of the work myself than originally planned, but one has to find a way to adapt and move forwards.

 

Just talking to others and venting your problems helps a great deal.

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I'm really no help but when down find a bit of me time in a warm, dark room in a comfy chair, listening to a choon helps recharge me. This seemed apt:

 

 

:)

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I so know how you feel.

 

I am so close now - if only those damn plumbers had done their job I could move in.  However, a week has passed since they 'didn't come' and I still haven't got the mojo back to look for someone else.  I am so low that the thought of contacting yet another plumber to take his turn at ripping me off and leaving me stranded just isn't an option.  I know not everyone is like that, and I have had some good and helpful trades people in doing work but I am having a confidence crisis and don't trust my own judgement.  

A lot of the flooring has gone down today and that has helped as it is a visual reminder that I am almost there.  BUT I made a big cock up in the measurements for that which means that the ensuite/dressing room is having to be treated as 2 rooms instead of the one that it is with a narrow piece about 4oo mm wide fitted between them.  So another knock to the confidence.  I am again wishing I had never started.  At the moment I don't even want to move in/

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@Hecateh Feel for you.  Took me 2 months to get someone to do that trap on the MVHR.  Still trying to get someone to relocate the thermostat for the UFH....and so it goes on.

 

I'm sure the flooring will be fine you wont even notice once you are in.

 

Is it just the gas cert you need the plumbers to do?

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11 minutes ago, lizzie said:

Is it just the gas cert you need the plumbers to do?

 

No it's a bit more than that.  But not actually much more

The boiler is installed as is the manifold for the UFH but there are some of the UFH pipes that need connecting and, actually I'm not totally sure, I think there are a couple more connections need making.  There is no water in the system yet and the plumbing hasn't been pressure tested.  All of the pipes are in for the sanitaryware but nothing is connected up as the flooring needed to be down first.  

 

The plumbing side of it is less of an issue though - it is finishing the gas side that is the problem.

 

 

Edited by Hecateh

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@Christine Walker cry away, howl and scream as much as you need.  I didn't know I had so many tears, this wretched build absolutely broke me into pieces and not recovered yet.  There is nothing practical we can do to help you but shoulders are here for you. I was in a similar situation with water this time last year (18 months from application to water on). These faceless companies have no idea of the stress they cause.

 

Chin up you will get therexx

Edited by lizzie
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I think long term fatigue has a lot yo do with it, too, and it wears down your natural resilience. If you can manage it, a few days completely away from things might help. I managed to grab a long weekend spent with a load of girlfriends (our annual sewing jolly in Kent) and even though it was only a long weekend for me rather than a week, it really helped to unwind for a few days.

Do whatever you need to recover - a few tears on your keyboard whilst posting here is a start.

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Yes definitely tired, living in the caravan during the summer was fine, long days so you really only needed to go in to eat and sleep but since the first wind when we lost the awning the space suddenly got smaller and you’re on top of each other, dark by 5pm , it’s made a bit of an improvement getting the electricity into house but without the water for the heating and traipsing out with the dogs through all the muck caused by the drainage which should have been done during the dry weather exhausts you, I can’t even begin to imagine ever being rid of it all!

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4 minutes ago, Christine Walker said:

Yes definitely tired, living in the caravan during the summer was fine, long days so you really only needed to go in to eat and sleep but since the first wind when we lost the awning the space suddenly got smaller and you’re on top of each other, dark by 5pm , it’s made a bit of an improvement getting the electricity into house but without the water for the heating and traipsing out with the dogs through all the muck caused by the drainage which should have been done during the dry weather exhausts you, I can’t even begin to imagine ever being rid of it all!

 

I suspect there may well be a seasonal effect too.  I know I don't feel as motivated to do anything as soon as the nights start to noticeably draw in; there's something about it being dark at the end of a working day that seems to be depressing.

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I usually quite like this time of year, doors locked and curtains closed early and nice and cosy in your home, this was how it was meant to be and the reason we took on builders who assured us it would be all done by the end of September, the water and electricity delays seemed to give them the license they needed to start mucking about, this is not what I expected to be left with at the beginning of November, I had a picture in my mind of moving in to a complete house and restarting my life, things have moved on a good deal since we let them go, probably better than if we’d continued with them but it’s far from perfect!

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If you've only just reached breaking point you're doing pretty well.

 

We almost cracked during the planning process! There was a point when I probably would have punched the planning officer had he been anywhere near me but we eventually got to stick it to them.

 

Water was also a low point for us.  We had to divert a main and the water co insisted we needed an Archaeological Watching Brief despite nothing in the planning conditions. At least twice the Archaeologist drove 30 miles to get to us only for the water co team not to turn up. Once it was done they told us they had to put chemicals in the new bit of pipe and wait 4 weeks before coming back and testing it for bugs. They did eventually come back but it was a week or so too late so they had to repeat the entire process over again.

 

 

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I know how you are feeling @Christine Walker. I was pi55ed off to the back teeth with the build as once we physically moved in the motivation for hubby to get on and finish things seemed to wane and everything took forever. That was annoying but it would have been finished eventually, but then he got f***ing cancer that was the shittiest thing to happen ever and not only did it take his life it changed mine forever too. From the point of his diagnosis onwards it was pretty much down to me to sort everything in areas I didn't understand, with trades that let me down or ripped me off, in a self build that I had never wanted to take on in the first place. Somehow, just somehow you brush yourself off and get on with it, and as things start moving again nothing seems as bleak as it does during those low points. Resilience, strength and determination are your friends. There are people and processes, and sometimes just bad luck that will try to derail you and knock you off track but you will get through this I know because you have shown strength and resilience already to get this far. It might not seem better today or even next week but things will get better and you will put this behind you and move on (and in!).  

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Is it the application stage for Scottish Water or the actual installation that is holding up the water connection?

 

Our local Scottish Water team were really helpful even came into my office to speak to me about our connection.

 

Have you been able to make contact with the local team?

 

 

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1 hour ago, Thedreamer said:

Have you been able to make contact with the local team?

 

If not, may well be a good plan. Being off-grid I haven't had to deal with them apart from the roads people needing me to check with them there wouldn't be any of their pipes across my entrance. Trying to get something out of the official office was a huge run around but my landlady's husband who'd done some building work around here said just pop into the local office. When I found it (official website was 5 years out of date) they couldn't have been more helpful: chap took me to his desk, called up their maps on his computer to confirm their pipes ran a different route then had a useful discussion of possibilities if I ever did want water or how anybody else could get it for the other plot on my site.

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7 hours ago, Ed Davies said:

 

If not, may well be a good plan. Being off-grid I haven't had to deal with them apart from the roads people needing me to check with them there wouldn't be any of their pipes across my entrance. Trying to get something out of the official office was a huge run around but my landlady's husband who'd done some building work around here said just pop into the local office. When I found it (official website was 5 years out of date) they couldn't have been more helpful: chap took me to his desk, called up their maps on his computer to confirm their pipes ran a different route then had a useful discussion of possibilities if I ever did want water or how anybody else could get it for the other plot on my site.

 

+1.

 

And I have recently had a conversation over the phone with a chap in the water company, which was helpful. 

 

This concerned their knowledge on a site which had been in the same ownership for a century and was now being split into about 5. They did not know anything so it was manholes and deductive logic.

 

F

Edited by Ferdinand

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I cried a few months back when rain was pouring through the unsealed roof deck, soaking through the first floor boards and then building up to over 2 inches deep on the whole first floor.  I cut my scalp open on a scaffold bolt as I was desperately trying to bail out the first floor faster than the rain was falling.  All this whilst trying to "work from home" that day.  After throwing the bucket and the water out of the window opening, swearing alot, sobbing and yelling at my husband that I hated our house build I then pulled myself together and got on with the clearing up.

A self build appears to be an endurance test of the highest order.  You will survive and be stronger because of it.

And caravan living has just taken on a bleak reality with the dark, cold mornings and the damp.  I know how you feel.  This will be our first (and only, hopefully) winter in the caravan.  Already there have been days which have been depressing.  If you can't get a weekend away then at least get an evening out of the caravan - some dinner at a pub / a trip to the cinema.  Takes away reality for a few hours and that might be enough.  Keep on going.  You are nearly there.

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@Thedreameroh no the application went well back in April, they took our money very quickly and charged us £200 for building water! Since then we have had 5 track inspections every one telling us something different, they keep moving the goalposts, in inspection 4 we were told we would have to dig a hole at the opposite side of the road which my husband said yes he would do if they told us exactly when it would be needed otherwise if he did it now and it was left for a few weeks it would fill with water given the weather, that wasn’t acceptable so on Tuesday morning he and a friend dug the hole, inspector comes out and at last passed it, 5-10 working days before connection apparently so we await the connection but with the amount of rain yesterday and today the hole is filling with water!

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