ProDave

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Tonight's episode I found inspiring.  A young couple who have both been through their own medical problems, converting a barn on a small budget. Achieved by doing a lot of work themself, a true self build, with a fantastic result.

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Looked really nice too, outstanding effort by the pair of them.

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Yep, truly inspiring and a very impressive final result. 
 

(How come the architect hadn’t spotted that they needed 15 degree roof pitch for their skylights?)

Edited by Russdl
Added the architect bit.

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Agree it was a remarkable achievement by a determined and very sweet couple. I hope they have a long and happy life together.

I still cannot see why they weren't allowed to demolish and rebuild, using as much of the original materials as possible. Would have made underpinning unnecessary, the build safer and the structure more stable. And saved them a big pot of money. The end result would have looked exactly the same.

Some obstacles seem so counter-productive and just plain stupid.

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Just brilliant tonight (apart from the usual “your budget is half what others spend from McCloud)  

 

And for what they spent it was superb finish - loved those walls and the way he sorted that roof pitch to get those roof lights in ..!

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8 hours ago, RandAbuild said:

Agree it was a remarkable achievement by a determined and very sweet couple. I hope they have a long and happy life together.

I still cannot see why they weren't allowed to demolish and rebuild, using as much of the original materials as possible. Would have made underpinning unnecessary, the build safer and the structure more stable. And saved them a big pot of money. The end result would have looked exactly the same.

Some obstacles seem so counter-productive and just plain stupid.

I know someone who had a similar restriction but (whoops) the structure fell down. They promised to restore the same building envelope which the planners accepted. I was frustrated for these people, who through their honesty had to do a lot more work than necessary.

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A fantastic achievement of what you can do when you are... *checks notes* given a 200 sq m barn in the garden to convert. Gregg and Georgie can be proud of their incredible achievement. The things they were dealing with and the work they put in deserve enormous credit.

 

But Kevin and Grand Designs can go do one over this ‘low budget’, ‘4REAL’ project.

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Wow, just watched it on catchup, now that’s a fantastic job and a lovely space. I loved his ability to problem solve, her determination to work, I do think underpinning is OTT for a lot of jobs, many houses still stand with no foundations. I had family and friends worried about me doing a build after/during cancer treatment but I found it a complete tonic and not a stress. That’s one of the best Grand Design programs, up there with Ben Law. 

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Loved his way of fixing the steel height issue ...!! Concrete saw and jigger pick !!! 

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28 minutes ago, PeterW said:

Loved his way of fixing the steel height issue ...!! Concrete saw and jigger pick !!! 

But it would not have been much harder so grind the end off each post and re weld the foot on.  But that would have cost money and time.

 

I just loved his "oh that's going to cost too much for a professional to do it, I will do it myself instead" attitude.  A bit like we have been doing for most of our build.

 

But the sheer amount of work he did in 18 months puts my rather slow pace of work to shame.

 

And he saw lockdown coming and stocked up on materials before everywhere shut, he read the situation better than me.

 

I can't think of a GD episode that has so inspired me since Ben Law's house in the woods.

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39 minutes ago, ProDave said:

I just loved his "oh that's going to cost too much for a professional to do it, I will do it myself instead" attitude.  A bit like we have been doing for most of our build.

And me (but accused of being tight 🙄). I do get so much joy out of doing things myself and inventing “get arounds”. Anyone can pay a professional to sort their problems out.

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Totally agree about the inspiration being up there with Ben Law's -- it not just about what they achieved, but their attitude to the build, problem solving, and life itself.

 

I did come away with it exceedingly frustrated though, largely on their behalf. If the planners hadn't placed such ridiculous and counterproductive constraints on them, not only could they have achieved an even better result at less cost, but they would have caused themselves less stress, less risk of serious harm to health and financial ruin, and also achieved a far far more efficient building executed in a more  environmentally responsible way. 

Hand digging and then pouring hundreds of tonnes CO2 belching concrete in order to "preserve" a few totally rotten 30 year old  timber beams is completely and utterly bonkers. And then making steel boxes for them!  One of the key reasons to use wood in the first place is the low environmental impact of generating and recycling it. If it's past its useful life, rip it out and replace. Preserving it is in absolutely no ones interests in this (and most!) cases.

I fear all the effort in underpinning and preserving the super structure means they had to cut a lot of corners with insulation thickness in the floor walls and roof. If rebuilding they could have achieved a lot better fabric, with less time (and probably less cost), and got an identical looking result.

And while they're inspirational, it was easy to see many times a small change of luck/fate could have resulted in a devastatingly different outcome. Their incredible perseverance got them through, but millions wouldn't and my goodness the fact they did doesn't justify the pain that society needlessly and pointlessly throws on anyone attempting this.

 

More selfishly: I'm much more in the camp of "pay someone else to solve my problems" just because of the number of hours a day my main job takes up, but even so I've found the last year utterly tiring and stressful so it's humbling to see what real dedication to a build + day job + family looks like and undeniably makes me disappointed in myself that I'm not able to do a better job of juggling them. (And candidly, I think another hour of footage and Greg would become my first ever man-crush, so of course that made me angry at myself too  🤣)

 

Back to the main point though - we must be the only country in the world that goes to these lengths to preserve rubbish, just to enforce some sort of faux design constraints? Every other country must surely looks at us and wonder what the heck we're smoking. If we really want to make some portion of our rural properties look like agricultural buildings, lets as a nation have a grown up conversation about it and make some sane rules to work towards that. Requiring people to build sheds and then "preserve" and convert them is just making substandard accommodation that only the wealthy (or ridiculously ambitious) can achieve.  I mean, beautiful as it was, their end building didn't look a thing like the barn it started with anyway. Did the planners do this just out of spite?

 

Edited by joth
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On 14/01/2021 at 12:05, ProDave said:

I can't think of a GD episode that has so inspired me since Ben Law's house in the woods.

 

I don't know.. last week's was a real down to earth, relatable story of an everyday man and his £4.5m budget.

 

 

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I just had a chance to catch up on the new season and it has been real Yin and Yang for me.

 

First, as @Bitpipe said true everyday guy spending £4.5m on something that his kid won’t spend much time because he’s off to boarding school. Please, Grand Designs stop showing something that’s so out of reach for most. I did feel for him, however, when he was talking about the gate v container saga. 
 

Second episode was amazing and agree with all comments above. Barn conversions can be amazing (although I feel there can be wasteful on space) but having to preserve the superstructure that won’t be visible anyway is utter nonsense. I just wanted to cry for them when SE that underpinning will be needed. Silly silly silly.

 

Anyway, one question for you all. I didn’t understand his issue about minimum head clearance. I thought mezzanine is not classed as ‘true’ storey and hence same building regs don’t apply. Am I missing something?

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4 hours ago, joth said:

Totally agree about the inspiration being up there with Ben Law's -- it not just about what they achieved, but their attitude to the build, problem solving, and life itself.

 

I did come away with it exceedingly frustrated though, largely on their behalf. If the planners hadn't placed such ridiculous and counterproductive constraints on them, not only could they have achieved an even better result at less cost, but they would have caused themselves less stress, less risk of serious harm to health and financial ruin, and also achieved a far far more efficient building executed in a more  environmentally responsible way. 

Hand digging and then pouring hundreds of tonnes CO2 belching concrete in order to "preserve" a few totally rotten 30 year old  timber beams is completely and utterly bonkers. And then making steel boxes for them!  One of the key reasons to use wood in the first place is the low environmental impact of generating and recycling it. If it's past its useful life, rip it out and replace. Preserving it is in absolutely no ones interests in this (and most!) cases.

I fear all the effort in underpinning and preserving the super structure means they had to cut a lot of corners with insulation thickness in the floor walls and roof. If rebuilding they could have achieved a lot better fabric, with less time (and probably less cost), and got an identical looking result.

And while they're inspirational, it was easy to see many times a small change of luck/fate could have resulted in a devastatingly different outcome. Their incredible perseverance got them through, but millions wouldn't and my goodness the fact they did doesn't justify the pain that society needlessly and pointlessly throws on anyone attempting this.

 

More selfishly: I'm much more in the camp of "pay someone else to solve my problems" just because of the number of hours a day my main job takes up, but even so I've found the last year utterly tiring and stressful so it's humbling to see what real dedication to a build + day job + family looks like and undeniably makes me disappointed in myself that I'm not able to do a better job of juggling them. (And candidly, I think another hour of footage and Greg would become my first ever man-crush, so of course that made me angry at myself too  🤣)

 

Back to the main point though - we must be the only country in the world that goes to these lengths to preserve rubbish, just to enforce some sort of faux design constraints? Every other country must surely looks at us and wonder what the heck we're smoking. If we really want to make some portion of our rural properties look like agricultural buildings, lets as a nation have a grown up conversation about it and make some sane rules to work towards that. Requiring people to build sheds and then "preserve" and convert them is just making substandard accommodation that only the wealthy (or ridiculously ambitious) can achieve.  I mean, beautiful as it was, their end building didn't look a thing like the barn it started with anyway. Did the planners do this just out of spite?

 

Completely agree. The planners should hang their heads in shame.

The condition should have been appealed, but I suspect the GD timetable put them off doing this.

Just another example of a profession that's comepletely lost the plot (no pun intended). If it had been a 200 year-old barn with historical interest, it may have justified "leaving the structure standing", but a 35 year old agricultural building? PAH!

Despite this, a fantastic outcome and one they should be immensely proud of.

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50 minutes ago, NickK said:

IAnyway, one question for you all. I didn’t understand his issue about minimum head clearance. I thought mezzanine is not classed as ‘true’ storey and hence same building regs don’t apply. Am I missing something?

My understanding is if there is a fixed staircase to get to it, then it must comply with the headroom for a staircase at the "landing"

 

We have a mezanine that does not comply with the headroom. It has no staircase, we just put a ladder up to get to it, and it is used as a storage space.

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On 15/01/2021 at 15:49, joth said:

I did come away with it exceedingly frustrated though, largely on their behalf. If the planners hadn't placed such ridiculous and counterproductive constraints on them, not only could they have achieved an even better result at less cost, but they would have caused themselves less stress, less risk of serious harm to health and financial ruin, and also achieved a far far more efficient building executed in a more  environmentally responsible way. 

Hand digging and then pouring hundreds of tonnes CO2 belching concrete in order to "preserve" a few totally rotten 30 year old  timber beams is completely and utterly bonkers. And then making steel boxes for them!  One of the key reasons to use wood in the first place is the low environmental impact of generating and recycling it. If it's past its useful life, rip it out and replace. Preserving it is in absolutely no ones interests in this (and most!) cases.

I fear all the effort in underpinning and preserving the super structure means they had to cut a lot of corners with insulation thickness in the floor walls and roof. If rebuilding they could have achieved a lot better fabric, with less time (and probably less cost), and got an identical looking result.

And while they're inspirational, it was easy to see many times a small change of luck/fate could have resulted in a devastatingly different outcome. Their incredible perseverance got them through, but millions wouldn't and my goodness the fact they did doesn't justify the pain that society needlessly and pointlessly throws on anyone attempting this.

100% agree! I watched this with first hand experience of their pain. Our steel frame barn was built in the 1980's and the planners wouldn't less us demolish it. Not in conservation area or anything - they just said it had to remain to fulfill its status as a conversion and taking it down would be new build in the open countryside which was against policy. You won't even see the steels after the build as they'll be buried in the walls. I gave up fighting after 12 months as we just wanted to move on with our lives, but you're right, how many people has that been the tipping point for in terms of their mental health etc. I hope the planners watched that program and squirmed uncomfortably in their chairs! And then the SE probably protecting his PI with underpinning those columns. Makes my blood boil.

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Last nights build in the Fens didn't have any particular points of note, other than i could not believe the crane driver when the crane sank in the soft ground trying futile attempts to shift it to the point of smoke and various fluids pouring out.  Poor crane.

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22 minutes ago, ProDave said:

Last nights build in the Fens didn't have any particular points of note, other than i could not believe the crane driver when the crane sank in the soft ground trying futile attempts to shift it to the point of smoke and various fluids pouring out.  Poor crane.

And when they finally got a decent tow truck, the crane driver forgot to take the handbrake off!!!,!,

 

I did not like the build, very boxy/chunky. But such a huge house and annexe fir that budget was good.

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On 21/01/2021 at 20:18, joe90 said:

And when they finally got a decent tow truck, the crane driver forgot to take the handbrake off!!!,!,

 

I did not like the build, very boxy/chunky. But such a huge house and annexe fir that budget was good.

Just finished watching it and I quite liked it and given the complex substructure, size, design, finish and apparent lack of physical graft put in then sub-500k build cost for (guessing) two houses at 280m2 and 70m2 in what (guessing, again) is an expensive part of the world isn't bad. 

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I just watched this also. Uber impressed, fantastic design and was pretty awe inspiring. I assume it was a fibre cement exterior but it looked great, nice contrast with the wood cladding.  Price seems amazing for having  what looked like a horrifically expensive steel structure.  

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On 21/01/2021 at 20:18, joe90 said:

I did not like the build, very boxy/chunky. But such a huge house and annexe fir that budget was good.

 

I'm with you here, Joe. Didnt really like the design (very bling though, which is I guess what they were going for) and the interior didnt seem to use all that space in any clever/interesting ways. All talk and no trousers imo.

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On 13/01/2021 at 23:20, RandAbuild said:

I still cannot see why they weren't allowed to demolish and rebuild, using as much of the original materials as possible.

 

Because they got permission due to Class Q. The existing building must, in structural terms, already be “capable of functioning as a dwelling”. This means is that the building as it stands must be capable of conversion. If it requires such substantial building operations then what is proposed amounts to the construction of a new building. If that is the case then the conversion would fall outside the scope  of Class Q 

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On 15/01/2021 at 15:52, Bitpipe said:

 

I don't know.. last week's was a real down to earth, relatable story of an everyday man and his £4.5m budget.

 

 

Was that the episode with me in ?

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10 minutes ago, pocster said:

Was that the episode with me in ?

 

No that was the one where they built on a car park previously used by doggers.

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