Sue B

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Sue B last won the day on April 12

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About Sue B

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    Christchurch, Dorset

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  1. It's been a really tough few months. Problems at work (I got the timetable finished ready for September and now they want another one ready for straight after October half term), my best friend diagnosed with stage 4 bowel cancer and then the delay in planning approval leading to us appealing to the planning inspectorate to try for a non-determination decision. We have both been down in the dumps and on the verge of giving up. Two weeks off work (sick leave for stress, it was so close to a resignation letter you wouldn't believe) and the dark clouds have lifted, helped by an apology from work and a pay rise. Remembering what we did first time round, reminded me that there is a lot we can do now, while we are waiting to start on the main part of the project, that won't go to waste. Last time round, we got the end of the garden completely landscaped - it meant when we moved into the house - the garden still looked lovely. We also used the large wooden gazebo (built in sink and BBQ) to eat every night as there was more room in there for us and the kids than in the caravan. The question was, what can we do this time round that isn't wasting money, can't be included in the vat reclaim (no landscaping on the planning permission), and will not be ruined during the build. Front drive and Fencing!! So... The fence at the front of our plot needs replacing - the wooden posts are rotten and are only upright because they are leaning against the conifer trees that are there. These conifers are of course going which will make the oak tree stand out a bit more, rightly showing how magnificent it is. We were planning the fencing and how many concrete posts and gravel boards we were going to need when I had a brainwave 💡. How about building the wall out of the Isotex we want to build in (the one without insulation of course)? It means we get practise on using the stuff and actually pouring concrete without trialling it on our house! No idea how expensive it is going to be so I've asked the question to see if it is feasible or not. Other things that I am now googling and sorting out are: Lighting for the driveway Parcel delivery box Doorbell camera CCTV Illuminated house numbers Capping blocks for the wall Fencing for the rest of the garden area. Moving the electric meter to the front of the plot Planning the route of the new fibre optic connection under the front paddock (yes, we will shortly have fibre optic to the house after 4 years of suffering from the slowest broadband you can imagine). The parcel box that we like the look of is the Brizebox. I want to build it into the wall but I also want to render over the bottom half of it - you can have the collection door on the front or the rear of the bottom half, however, I don't think the top half of the box protrudes far enough out to allow this to happen. I've emailed the question today to see what they say. Gallery picture 31 of 69 is the closest to what I want to achieve (without having plants in front of where the poor parcel man has to stand to put the parcel in the drawer!!). I want to move the electric meter box to the front wall so that it can be read without coming onto the property. Peter wants to leave it where it is. We are in discussions at the moment about the best way forward. It is currently housed in a brick pillar with a little bit of slate on top - I think that when the house is built, it is going to get hit by cars driving down past the house to the end of the plot as it will narrow the driveway unnecesarily. The pink circle is where this pillar is and where I thought the electric supply to the house ran - it actaully goes to the existing car port which is next to the purple square where the Garage (AKA sewing room) will eventually go and should miss all the excavations during the build. Now off to google covert cameras to go on the front drive somewhere!!
  2. The other possibility I can see for the really “proud” areas is a bit of heavy duty sanding down. The strength is in the concrete not in the woodcrete so bits of sanding in strategic places could possible reduce the extent of battening out. Glad to see that Russel agrees that replacing the roofie bit is a good idea. Maybe one day I will become a “hands dirty” self builder 😊
  3. Can you not extend the roofie bit out to cope with the additional width of the battening / cladding? Edited to say - is that what the second picture is suggesting?
  4. I am definitely going for 2 dishwashers if we ever get planning permission through on this place! Loving the idea of a raised dishwasher to save all that bending but worry about the appliances above it in that picture - steam would be a concern to me.
  5. ..... and the Asda delivery driver!! Peter is always commenting on trying to find the right house in the middle of the New forest, on a dark winter’s evening. Instructions such as “we are the house next the the one with the blue door” don’t help much.
  6. Yesterday afternoon we decided to go for non-determination. So it looks like a six month delay now before a decision is made. Bloody incompetent planners 😡😡
  7. I shudder at the thought of the 15% interest rates. One toddler and another on the way. I didn’t earn enough to make it worthwhile to work (childminders for 2 kids cost more than I could earn). Neither of us had great jobs. Peter was bringing home £1000 per month, the mortgage was £750 per month. we were very very lucky. Our building society manager just allowed us to underpay and because it was agreed, there were no threatening letters. I knew many people who just handed their keys back. We lived in Greater London so prices wee very high and people of my age at the time (late 20s / early 30s) were largely in negative equity. I cried myself to sleep many many times not knowing how we would survive. 3 years later, life was rosy, I could go back to work, toddler was then at school so childcare costs were affordable, life restarted for us.
  8. Ooooooh - that’s fighting talk!!!!
  9. This is a Scooba. Great for light dirt if used very regularly. The vinyl textured tiles were still more slippy than I wanted but I have slipped in the kitchen at school on industrial grade non-slip vinyl so I am highly skilled.
  10. The vinyl rules that we used were similar to Karndean but much much cheaper and imported from Italy as far as I can remember. They have unfortunate gone bust. Karndean have been recommended by many of my friends with dogs. The laminate flooring that we covered with carpet was cheap, B&Q type laminate I think - it certainly didn’t look great.
  11. I have always been amazed that i appeared to be the only person in the world that worried about the slippiness of surfaces. We laid our first patio - cheapest slabs we could find in a lovely (😳) 80’s style checkerboard of pink and white slabs. When wet it was like ice! We always had the paddling pool on the patio and the kids slipped over regularly.. We replaced it with a riven textured slab a few years later which was better but not great. When we built the last house, I was determined. This time we had slabs that had a gritty type of surface. We made them wet in the BM and tried them out for slippiness before purchase - they were great. Wooden decking - a little dirty and wet and it is a slip hazard. Indoors I chose a vinyl tile that had texture to reduce slipping. As @Ferdinand mentioned - cleaning the floor does become more difficult and four times a year I needed to get the steamer out and scrub the floors with the little nail brush type attachment that comes with the steamer to get the dirt that the scooba washy thing missed. The floors would be washed every 3 days (a little rota of three areas so i’d set the scooba off every morning in one area). Laminate floors should come with a health warning. It was all over the house we currently live in. We tried little socks for the dogs to stop them doing the cartoon running on the spot or sprawling in a heap when they turned a corner. In the end we put cheap carpet on top as a it was causing too many issues for them. Vets have issued warnings about laminate and linked it to an increase in joint and ligament issues in dogs.
  12. Still waiting - apparently waiting for senior planner to return from holiday next week. They understand that the similar property down the road for permission under non- determination and they are aware that the inspectorate were not at all bothered by the volume increase. I can’t see why they wouldn’t pass it! We wait another week
  13. Decision day arrived and passed. So extension one agreed because cause they were busy. Extension two agreed because they said the footprint and floor area were bigger that the planning permission that is currently in place - it wasn’t, this house is smaller and lower than the current planning permission. They were about to reject the plans this time because the volume of the house is bigger (the current planning permission is for a chalet bungalow). So even though the footprint and height is smaller, they are moaning about the volume of the house. We will find out by the end of the week what they say. I know now they are short staffed and under pressure but they use deadlines as the day they actually look at plans, it is sheer incompetence.