We had always heard that self build was not only exciting but difficult and stressful, and it was living up to its reputation as we worked through all the issues of foundations and sub structure to get ready for the Timber Frame. There was a hiccup in the Beam and Block floor supply that pushed the schedule out a week but it was all looking good for B&B on the 27th March and MBC Timber Frame on the 6th April. This was a really tight but achievable schedule, and the Internorm with windows on the 11th of May would have been great - heading to wind and watertight by end of May.
Then the world went crazy!!!!!
Right now we are pushing ahead, and have been amazed at how committed and flexible our suppliers have been, but who knows what will happen tomorrow - things change hour by hour. Today we have the scaffolders on site preparing for the TF, we have a somewhat tenuous commitment to deliver the B&B floor and crane onto site on 1st April (the irony of that particular date has not escaped us). our groundworks lined up to fit the blocks and prepare the plinth, and MBC on site on the 8th. This all sounds possible - but it is so finely balanced and inter-dependant that one element in the critical path will bring the whole project to a standstill. And we get the feeling that this could happen at any minute. Guidance seems to allow work on site and as long as the folks are safe and able to maintain distance then we are happy to have them working. We are keeping our site visits down to a minimum but as self builders we believe that we are OK to follow the guidance for the construction industry and are able to travel to site - anyone out there been challenged on that?
Our intent is still to try to get to a shell, but there is certainly an argument to pull back and sit it out - however we are in rented accommodation so that adds another element of pressure to the equation. Added to this is that most of our build budget is invested and shrinking by the day so funds are tight to the point that we will need to get stuck in and do the unskilled labour to even get close to finishing.
Internorm just pushed out the installation of our windows out by about 4 weeks, and subject to review, so if we get the TF up then it will sit without windows for ages - a situation we have been trying hard to avoid. We have a roofer 'pencilled in' but who knows if he will be able to work, or if he can get the materials to site.
So , this is not in any way belittling the major world wide disaster that is unfolding around us all - more to just to let you know that we are doing our bit to keep our project afloat and keep the very squeaky wheels of the construction industry turning. While there is some criticism of the construction industry continuing to work, our position is that, providing its safe to work, then if we dont pay the guys then they dont have money to feed their families. We are painfully aware as our Son lost 16 weeks work as a self employed lighting designer when they cancelled his David Gray WW tour as it hit production rehearsals and he lost all his income from that and the summer festival season.
Hats off to anyone else who has been attempting the impossible over the last few weeks - and commiserations to anyone who has put their project on hold on these 'interesting times'.
As we seem to have some more time on our hands we will get round to the time lapse video and keep our blog up to date