Little Stud Barn

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9th Jan - New Year yet still little progress



I've read in many articles and books that you cannot project manager a build and work full time, even when you live on site.

They are right, I've made barely any progress over the last month since work has ramped up to full time.

Originally, the new factory move was planned for end Feb with the offices end March.  But, this has now been delayed with factory at the end of April and the offices May.

That's great for work stress less, but bad for self-build stress levels.  The extra money will also be very useful as an addition to the build budget.


The only saving grace is that we are busy doing nothing whilst we wait for the conditions to be discharged by the LPA.  Just at the end of Dec I sent the notification re the CIL commencement.  I was very surprised when I got the response with the acknowledgement the same day.  At least that is something of the project planning list.


Ironically, a friend of mine put in a planning application for stables & menage the same day as my discharge planning, and although it had to be checked by the parish council it was still passed in 4 weeks whereas my discharge which is simply to get a phase 2 contamination report approved is still waiting.


One big concern that we have currently is theft, there has been a lot in the area in the past month, historically we lived in a very low crime area when suddenly sheds are being raided, actually breaking in rather than opportunistic actions.


HID has been looking for a digger for 3 months now, but cannot find one, we have a healthy budget, but apart from new Chinese ones, which we have been warned against, we have not been able to find anything.  A few have appeared in auctions, but they are 100's of miles away so there is the added cost of delivery and ideally we would like to view as well.  They also have VAT added meaning that a guide price of 6-7k ends up selling for 9, then add 20% VAT and £500 delivery and it's way out of our budget.

As soon as we get the go ahead this will be a big issue so we may end up hiring one after all, something we are not keen on simply for the flexibility.  


I'm still working through the detailed estimation, I've just got the big things left to do, the family room, utility room, roof, water treatment and other outside items.

I'm not sure what to do about the utilities, we have power / water from the host house, but I do need to consider the cost of those for the budgeting.  I guess the best thing to do is to get the guide price for now and hope it doesn't go up to much.  Without the above the current material estimate is at 60k,  I'm hoping that this will reduce as this is the published price for items in catalogues / websites and in many cases includes VAT.  I've been absolutely amazed at how much is needed in each room, when you consider things like grout, EWI mesh or compriband tape.  The initial thoughts were about the big items like plasterboard, but the little things are easily the same price again and looking at windows & doors, I had no idea how expensive decent ones are.

Once I have everything done then I will get a professional estimate to compare  the difference.  I've also been really surprised at how long it's taken to do this.  If it wasn't for Covid it would never have happened.  But, I want to get an estimate with pretty much everything included to stop too many financial surprises when we build.  Like most people we have a tight budget and are planning on a majority DIY approach.


The first of the bike shed repairs has been completed so we have a shed that is dry for storage, I've been moving wood from the barn to the shed a bit at a time when I'm going from one to the other with the dog or dealing with the horses.  I've moved all this wood 4 times now over the years so I hope this is the last resting place.

Today, as it's actually not raining for once I'm going to get the dumper to move a load of hay from the current storage place to the barn.  This will be the first time we have used the dumper for anything since we bought it last September.


This planning period really is the calm before the storm, but it will be great when something physical actually happens.


So, for the next month I'm determined to finish estimating and hopefully get the conditions discharged.


Talk again in February when I may have something to actually say.


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