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About DreamHouseDreamer

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  1. DreamHouseDreamer

    Hello all fellow self builders!

    This is the only halfway decent photo I can find of the site at all. All the photos I can find are to prove the site is not overlooked, so look away from, rather than towards the site. This photo is taken from the south of the site, the stable building on the right of the photo is the end of the garden and once the stables are knocked down the new house will be sited behind it on the south facing lawn. The photo is taken from the bottom of a field which is part of the view the new house will enjoy. Now I realise we don't have any photos of the site, I will take some with my phone, as I want some anyway - and I can manage that! DHDreamer
  2. DreamHouseDreamer

    Hello all fellow self builders!

    I promised to get back to you all with the requested details. Sorry but better photos have to wait. Still trying to learn to use the action camera and the photos we have of the site were chosen not to show it's best features so much as trying and support our planning app - rather different approaches! 🙂 However, here's a stab at uploading the redacted version owing to fussy architect of the floor plans and elevations. Location is SE England, south of the Thames. Photos will be in next message. DHDreamer
  3. DreamHouseDreamer

    Extractors: Gaggenau vs Bora vs Miele

    Sorry if it's not the done thing to piggy back onto a similar topic and ask further questions. I'm currently in discussion with 2 different kitchen companies regarding designing a kitchen, and if things proceed well, one or the other may get the job to supply and install. Both do know I'm not yet committing myself to them. I continue to look for other companies, separately. My only working surface will likely be an island in my preferred plan with both. This will have both sink and hob as a consequence, and I want to be able to eat at the island. It's open plan to dining area and then to hall and living space, so I want to keep clutter on the island to a minimum. Owing to house design, I've been warned that ceiling extraction is not an option. I also have to find a recirculating solution, as externally vented is not an option. (Good ventilation in the kitchen area is a separate issue, and I can even have the option of a booster switch to enhance ventilation and extraction of air at the moment, subject to cost.) FYI, I'm a keen cook and smells from, for example, Indian or Chinese food are things I've thought about hence the enhanced ventilation. However, as somebody who uses their existing (externally vented) cooker hood all the time, I'm aware of how much muck/grease it will remove from the air that would otherwise work it's way into the house ventilation system otherwise. So I'm looking at hobs and extractors sited at the island, and combinations of these 2 functions. I have seen several separate 'pop up' back draught extractors, and also those that form a slot between 2 sets of induction hob pairs. There are also combi units that include the slot with the induction hob or have a central round extractor in the middle of 4 induction hot spots. I'm veering towards the countertop extractors rather than the back draught/down draught models as I don't like how they look, and mistrust the up/down action - what a pain if it gets stuck up! One of the kitchen companies is suggesting the round ones would suit me best - either Bora who have more than 1 version already available or the Elica Nikolatesla which won't be available in the UK until March. Of those 2, the Elica has the benefit that you can have a cleaner look when not in use as there's a flip cover over the vents. The other company is suggestion I go for a slot type of which Air Uno make 3 that would work, or there's a Miele TwoInOne. I'm told these have much more compact workings below the work surface so I loose less cupboard space. Of these several models and brand, only the Elica has dishwasher washable filters, all the rest are replacement charcoal filters that I know from past experience is an expensive route, or they become obsolete long before the extractor packs up. Anything else I'm missing in all of this? Those who've trodden this path already or have experience of installing kitchen may also have other comments to make that I've not yet considered, so all input will be much appreciated. DHDreamer
  4. DreamHouseDreamer

    The whirlwind has started!

    Hi and welcome, as a fellow newbie to both self building and this amazing forum! Your red kite is super cool - what a lovely idea. We too are grinning much of the time, having got our approval on 20 December 2018! Still several more planning related hoops for us to jump through as we have on the back of the first approval submitted another application for the adjoining garage, and a separate one to get several conditions that needing meeting before we are allowed to start work signed off. The council officer dealing with the CIL is still toying with us, too - despite forms being submitted first week of last October. Our other frustrations and ongoing negotiations include dealing with UK Power Networks to get our electricity supply sorted - we may be forced to go 3 phase as it seems their engineers cannot get their heads around the concept of an energy positive house, that would need very little other supply, however demanding of power anything inside the house may happen to be! We thought our planning process was grim, but your experiences (and others we have read about or had described to us) are worse. It took us 3 years for a much simpler process, it was the waiting and waiting and waiting to hear that we found frustrating mostly. We had to complete a CofL as well, and they kept on coming back for more and more info over months. Then someone eventually paid a visit and the officer said, oh yes, somebody's clearly living here and is well established, and we got it in days. Nearly 6 months to get a Pre App formal written response complaining about everything you can think of, many of which were imagined. At least we were able to shoot all of those non existent issues down easily by demonstrating with photos their irrelevance. I look forward to following your progess. DHDreamer
  5. Once again, thank you. Oh, dear, though! DHDreamer
  6. OK. So ensuring that all main contractors are registered for VAT so that their relevant invoices are zero rated makes sense. However: Owing to the needs of our build, we will have 3 main contractors, of which one is the ground worker. I can see now that a reason our preferred one is so much cheaper than the others (but this question was asked of none!) may be that he's not registered for VAT. As well as being the cheapest, he was also the most recommended one - head and shoulders above all the others we spoke to or got as far as discussing details and getting quotes and following up references, etc. He suggests that he is able to provide invoices correctly worded so that we can claim the VAT back at the end. Is that true? Will that be a headache? I am assuming that we will always need to get some VAT back on certain purchases or jobs carried out but are trying to keep the numbers of contractors and items needed to be claimed back afterwards to a minimum for obvious reasons. In terms of the financials, the VAT issue seems to be the thorniest issue self builders need to get their heads round. I hope that's correct and there's not something else that I don't yet know about to juggle. Thanks again, DHDreamer
  7. DreamHouseDreamer

    Hello all fellow self builders!

    OMG, this forum is awesome. Now that we are trying to get to grips with the nitty gritty I am learning so much. Every time I pop into the forum I have a quick peek at the topics that have had recent comment - that list down the right side when you click browse - and almost every topic has a learning point for me. My problem now is one of info overload and getting my wee brain to retain all of this. Even keeping copious notes with relevant headings is not easy because many things have overlap in different areas. While we are both still super excited about our self build, I get increasingly daunted by it all. DHDreamer
  8. newhome - thank you so much for reverting and adding more flesh on the bones of this subject. I can see now that the gap when the ground worker is off site during the construction period and before he returns to make good and do any work we choose to further employ him for like hard landscaping/driveway is something that we need to resolve. So we need to speak to the builder about that, too. I already had the scaffolding question for him, anyway. Thanks again. DHDreamer
  9. Thank you very much. Planning permission is in place. Work cannot actually commence until a few conditions are met and signed off, but we are trying to get our ducks in a row so that work can start the moment that comes through. The groundworker seems a bit vague about these things, and I'm becoming increasingly aware that if you need to have invoices correct in the first place, not just itemising things with correct wording in some cases, but also showing VAT or zero VAT as appropriate, to ensure all paperwork is correct. As the current plan is for the groundworker to do the first bit of work and then the last bit of work, we need to discuss the skip situation, but at least I know they can be zero rated. We have already agreed that the Heras he supplies will remain in place during the whole build to protect the site and secure materials and meet H&S requirements. I assume that would be OK? DHDreamer
  10. I'm aware on a new build self build you should not be charged in the first place any VAT by your builder for any labour, and you cannot claim it back afterwards. However, where do we stand regarding employing a ground worker to do lots of prep work on site (before he can even start digging holes!)? What about any items he needs to hire in like skips, Heras fencing? Thanks for guidance. DHDreamer
  11. DreamHouseDreamer

    Hello all fellow self builders!

    Hi Everybody Sorry I've not responded, been busy! I promise I will get back and provide more info about our project, but sadly it's not really a priority, and not being a techie, I may need to learn how to add documents, document extracts, photos, etc - something I've always struggled with. The 'chatting' alone I can do pretty well, lol. More pressing for now is to go searching this forum for technical and other help, or ask specific questions. All my searches on a specific topic or 2 draw a blank, but that's probably my search skills failing, not that the topic has never been discussed. DHDreamer
  12. This was a timely topic, so thanks EverHopefull for asking. I was just searching for this kind of info. Drat! As we have planning conditions we need to meet and get signed off before we are allowed to allow the ground workers on site with any bulldozer or whatever, I had hoped to get the council tax stopped sooner. DHDreamer
  13. DreamHouseDreamer

    Hello all fellow self builders!

    Oooh, there was a question I had: From both the type of responses, your post count and the threads each of you chooses to respond to, I have gained something of a vague picture of where a few of you are with your build. Many of you seem to be in the throes of the only project you will ever do, but others are post build just paying it back and some are serial self builders with clearly a wealth of knowledge. Other contributors seem to be in the trade, either working on somebody else's project or have specialist knowledge like kitchen construction/design. Is there somewhere that I can find that info? Do I just need to keep reading or what? Also, there seems to be a message facility. I've no need for now, but can see that that could be a useful feature to alert somebody of a question I could do with an answer to. Sorry for all this waffle, I'm still figuring my way round here, ready for the 'launch' of some activity next week. DHDreamer
  14. DreamHouseDreamer

    Hello all fellow self builders!

    Thank you TheMitchells for your comments and included links. While not quite what I had in mind right now, that list of trade TLAs and accronyms will be super useful. When lurking and searching previously, I'd found some threads with nothing by abbreviations and it was a foreign language to me. I've already had to get my head round ASHP, MVHR and SIPs, but there are hundreds and thousands that will surely come my way! And I just emailed our planning consultant about the CIL exemption (fingers crossed). newhome - thank you, I think that's just what I was looking for. The bell I had just about figured out but there's more to learn as I navigate my way around this website. While I use my PC all the time for research and email, I'm not exactly a techie - whether in relation to IT or the building trade! I noticed, for example, that I have a post count. But under the word members I have a grey blob with a zero where most of you have a different number count, and that's a puzzle, for example. Now to work out how to extract some data from technical drawings and other plans to show you where the entire doc is not my intellectual property to share, or where to do so would compromise my privacy. I have a very long 'to do list' for the next week or so. No. 1 on the list is to learn how to use the action camera we bought in order to record the whole gory process, and I need to get going on that so I have a record of the whole site as it currently looks before any ground worker sets foot. Some trees and a bit of a hedge have already gone, and that's not been recorded so we're already behind the curve. It was one of MrDHD's tasks, but he failed and put the camera back in the box after declaring it too hard to figure out. You can see we are seriously technically challenged. It's as well we plan to remain armchair builders. DHDreamer
  15. DreamHouseDreamer

    Hello all fellow self builders!

    OK, so I've just found the thread I started 5 days ago. Thank you to those of you who have kindly commented, it is appreciated. I will clearly need to figure out how this forum really works. I saw an option to get notified of replies, switched it to a green tick and assumed (erroneously) that I'd get email alerts when anybody bothered to add to the thread. Seems that's not the case, or I'm missing something? Also, while I found my way back to the website easily enough, it took me a while to find my own thread as it had dropped down the list. Is there somewhere were I can ask basic questions about how this particular forum works, what the symbols (stars, blobs and similar), number count and much else means, the local 'netiquette' and how to not upset all of you kind and welcoming people? Or is there an admin/tips area? After all, I'm here to pick your brains and may also need some cheer when things are not going to plan. I'm in no position yet to pay anything whatsoever forward. While I'm a self build newbie and also newly signed up to this particular forum, I am an active participant and contributor to other web based specific interest forums, but each is very different. Meanwhile, I notice that some of you have asked questions about my project and would like some further details. I will return later with some basic background info and details, assuming this is the correct place to post all this stuff. DHDreamer