I left the site in November 2019 with the two trees felled, and we had decided that the design and approved planning application were not quote to our liking, so we took the decision to put in a variation of condition which went in for consideration in December 2019?.
Little did we know what this would mean to progress; as we are building very much at the DIY end of the self build spectrum, and not living close to site, by the time we had the go-ahead we were in Lockdown 1.0 and unable to get to site until July 2020.
But before that, I'd already started the applications to install water and electricity, so in the first few months of 2020, I had lined up the water installation and had most of the things in place for the electricity connection. The water was due to go in at the end of March, and as you can expect, this was postponed. However, by keeping in touch with my local ground worker, the two neighbours and hte water and electricity folks, we were able to get things lined up to get both connected in the same week in July. Also, our local ground worker convinced us to push an access straight from the lane down to where we were building - I recommend listening to the experienced ?
As well as getting things in place for our return to site, we took the opportunity to source a caravan that we could put onsite in order to make it easier to be able to travel straight to site and not have to rely on being able to use the local TravelLodge - little did we know how useful that was going to be.
So, in June and early July a couple of short preparatory trips
- moving the caravan to site and setting up,
- connecting the water standing pipe,
- installing meter boxes,
then in July - October, we made several trips to
- clear and burn vegetation,
- feed and water the water and electricity teams,
- have meals with our "to be" neighbours,
- take delivery of a septic tank
- dig a lot of holes
- lay drainage pipes
- fit a septic tank
- fill holes with stone
- fill holes with spoil
and finally start digging a very large foundation hole for the insulated raft foundation
And then we hit Lockdown 2.0 - another month of enforced "stay away from site", then in early December, I returned for two short visits to finish off concreting in the drainage pipes that will end up feeding through the insulated raft.
And so we find ourselves in Lockdown 3.0 during which
- we are sorting out re-mortgaging to a lower fixed interest rate, which we always knew we would do, but we had hoped to be a lot further along ?
- choosing insulated raft supplier
- determining steel re-inforcement requirements
- and, due to delays, considering moving slightly along the self build spectrum towards more use of subcontractors ?
And so as I write this with the Calcutta Cup on in the background wondering how long it will be before the travel restrictions are lifted, but planning for a late March trip West.