Nov 11th - Let's not forget

LSB

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I have huge respect and admiration for those who have gone before us, including members of my own family, for what they did in any war to protect us.

At times I think they were conned as much as any of us, but they were there in good faith putting their lives at risk.

 

Thank you one and all.

 

But, back to this blog, this is also so I don't forget.

I'm going to try and update weekly on what I've achieved, or failed at, in the previous week and hopefully on plans for the next.

It's great when others read this and comment, makes me feel less lonely on this long journey.

 

As I have said previously, I'm looking at costs at the moment and as we are on a tight budget (most are) I'm looking at how to save money.

 

There are always the big cost items, roof (40k), windows (30k) amongst many others and I wonder how others have managed.

 

This week I'm trying to look into changing how we are building our cavity wall.

 

Our build is a class Q barn conversion where we have to keep the existing walls, except for necessary new openings, it's 240m2 single story, so there is a lot of roof, twice that of a 2 story one.  It also has to be metal, hence the very expensive estimate of 40k, or is it just me that thinks this sounds like a lot.

 

The existing walls are on 80% of the barn and are block built, but single skin.  We have permission to build the cavity wall outside the existing wall, but my calculations have shown this to be over 5,000 blocks.  This turns out to be a lot of money, and as DIY self builders we are also concerned about how long it will take as we are not able to work full time on this.

So, I have been considering other options, but not getting on very well, should we use ICF or timber frame or just bought in labour.  It's easy to see how blocks will work, but I'm not so sure about building a 2nd wall outside using a different method.

I can just about see how ICF would work, like big lego, but that is still expensive.

The structure is not that important as it is partially clad and partially render, so whatever we use will be covered up.

 

Apart from this I'm trying to get hold of BC re foundations, originally as we are converting they said that they don't need to see any, but as we will have to have new foundations for the 2nd skin, and damp course etc. I need to know how this works.  I guess by their lack of reply that they are not available during L2.

 

A week of questions and not many answers.

I must remain optimistic that things will become clear, but it's not easy.

 

Here's wishing good luck to everyone else taking the same journey, particularly in these difficult times.

 

In the next week I am hoping to continue with my manual estimating and getting the internal costs down to then start of the external elements.

 

 

 

 

 



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1 minute ago, PeterW said:


Those two things are the wrong way round. You need to get the drawings done - of existing structure initially - and then work out what can be done. Then get the SEng to agree the structural elements and then you have something to tender against.  
 

Didn’t you say you had an architect work on this ..??? What did they design for structure and externals ..?

All the architect did was draw the existing structure and then suggest a layout for after the conversion.

He failed to get us planning 3 times, refusing to do what the LPA suggested saying that the LPA shouldn't need them and only making very minor changes to the plans.

This whole process cost me many 1000's.

The LPA said on every failure that they wanted a structural and phase 1 contamination survey, but the architect, he say NO.

 

I believed that he knew best as he came highly recommended to get class Q approval.

So, I started doing my own research over a 6 month period to find out lots more details, including looking at all the class Q apps for the last 3 years, of which 70% were refused.  Over this time I learnt a lot.

I realised how arrogant I had been, having done lots of renovations and a couple of extensions I thought I understood things, but now I know better.

 

I then parted company with the architect, did a pre-app consultation with the LPA to see what the problems really were, got the above surveys myself, wrote a very long report including my plans to render / clad, ASHP, PV, water treatment etc, submitted  that and had the planning in 5 weeks.

 

So, I guess you could say that right now I don't have an architect.

A condition of approval was a 3 month phase 2 contamination survey so during that time, which ends during December, I have been looking at what I want / need / can do.

I've spoken to BC who say that they are not interested in foundations as we are a conversion.

I've spoken to the LPA who say that we can change the internal layout how we like, so I've been looking into that as well.

 

We re planning on a DIY build, hubby used to be a builder working on new builds for a company, and we will get subbies when we need them.

I work part time from home and has spent the last 20 years project managing projects, not buildings, but process is similar.

 

 

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Ahhh ok ..!! Makes sense ..!

 

Sounds like your first stop is a decent SEng and then work from there 

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1 minute ago, PeterW said:

Ahhh ok ..!! Makes sense ..!

 

Sounds like your first stop is a decent SEng and then work from there 

Thanks, I'm planning on using the same company that did the contamination surveys, I will instruct them once I receive their report, hopefully by the end of the year.

 

Thanks for all you help and advice.

 

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17 minutes ago, LSB said:

I then parted company with the architect, did a pre-app consultation with the LPA to see what the problems really were, got the above surveys myself, wrote a very long report including my plans to render / clad, ASHP, PV, water treatment etc, submitted  that and had the planning in 5 weeks.


well done you, architects eh? (Some).

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1 hour ago, joe90 said:


well done you, architects eh? (Some).

Thanks, this forum is a godsend for me

The main issue was the barn, it was built for pigs so definitely agricultural, but I'd used it for my horses for years and equestrian buildings are not valid for class Q.

So, I found it quite difficult to get an architect to even work with us and these guys were recommended.

It turns out though that it is the history of the building that matters, as in what it was built for, all we had to do was remove any horsy stuff, before the LPA visited, so it looked like it did when we bought it and no problem, but our architect just thought it was going to be an issue all the way through so didn't really bother to try.  With other clients they are possibly brilliant.

The LPA were great with me, potentially because I was an individual and helped me loads, I know they get a lot of bad press, but she helped me.

 

I just didn't want to get any one else to do new drawing because of the cost having already spent about 15k.

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14 hours ago, LSB said:

The main issue was the barn, it was built for pigs so definitely agricultural, but I'd used it for my horses for years and equestrian buildings are not valid for class Q.

A farmer around here had a barn that hadn't been used for agricultural purposes on the dates required for Part Q. So he took the modern door off put a straw bale in the entrance took a picture and said it had been used for storing fertilizer. It's now been converted to offices.

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55 minutes ago, PeterStarck said:

A farmer around here had a barn that hadn't been used for agricultural purposes on the dates required for Part Q. So he took the modern door off put a straw bale in the entrance took a picture and said it had been used for storing fertilizer. It's now been converted to offices.

 

we were also advised to store hay / straw in ours, which we did as we need it anyway.

odd what the LPA will fall for, anyone who knew about horses would have spotted straight away that was what it was used for, tie rings, chewed doors, secure room (used for tack), showjumps (covered by tarp), but luckily none of this was spotted.  I thought we had removed everything, but it wasn't until we cleared it that I noticed these sort of things.

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