Recommended Posts

1 hour ago, ProDave said:

So draw a pan of water from your boiling water tap then.

Yeah, that’s the plan. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Just thought I’d provide an update, in case it alleviate my impending sense of doom. The original end date is in two days’ time. The extended end date is in a months’ time. We will miss both by several months I think.

I’ve been lucky enough to have the last two weeks off on holiday and even managed to get far away from the UK. Very nice holiday indeed, but now really struggling with a severe case of post holiday blues which is mainly driven by having to return to the building site that is my house. The top floor loft conversion structure has now been built and should be water right by the time it is tiled and windows are in, which will hopefully be mid Sept. Then all the windows (top floor, middle and ground) need to be sealed into frames (currently they are in position, but it’s not airtight or water tight). And then still have so much more to do. All the plumbing and heating and electrics still to be done (and I really mean all) MVHR plus 3.5 bathrooms still need to be installed. All the tiling and all the decorating still to do.  Still have the driveway to do. 
It just feels like it will never end. 

Edited by Adsibob

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would be looking at the alternative ways to survive the situation. 

 

With what is going on, from what I understand, you have 2 problems.

You need to move in and the build is behind schedule.

 

In your circumstance I would be looking at how to survive what realistically is going to be a delay in completion and prepare ahead for it. I would avoid all unnecessary personal expenditure, see if I can stay with friends, relatives, consider at what stage I would be prepared to move in to a partially completed home and so on.

 

None of this is fun, but it's not going to go away.

 

Again, I would be writing an extensive list of all the items that are left to do, and then ask the people on Buildhub for an estimate of how long each one could take, and then you will have a more realistic picture of where your going. Yes some can be worked on in unison but not too many. 

 

I would be creating a critical path of the works which would be a good indicator of how far to go. I would do it in reverse. As an example:

 

Before furniture in it was the carpets, before that, decoration, before that electrical second fix, before that plumbing second fix, before that kitchen and bathrooms, before that plastering, before that all services, 

and so on.

 

This list also gives you a time line and you can follow the progress. 

 

I think the next milestone for your build is to be watertight, and I would ignore driveway at present.

 

As a side issue the electric car charging at home: Our charger which is about a 3kw one basically charges at a rate of about 14 miles for every hour of charging. You can have a charger that will do about 7 times quicker recharging but will use 22kw

 

Good luck

 

M

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Adsibob said:

...
It just feels like it will never end. 

 

Just like seasickness. It's never going to end is it....But it does.

 

4 years ago we said we'd be going mad if we hadn't finished by now. We're not mad - yet.

 

4 years ago we didn't know which fookoops were waiting just out of sight.

4 years ago we were really down in the dumps. Just like you. 

 

Self building is a test, one in  which you (almost) can't say sod this for a game and walk off into the sunset.

 

So the only alternative is to learn to enjoy the moment. I have still got to work hard at that every single day. Many days I don't manage it. But when I do, I finish the day with a grin.

 

And so will you. Go outside, look at what you have achieved and give yourself a pat on the back.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, ToughButterCup said:

Just like seasickness. It's never going to end is it....But it does.

Not if you have Mal de debarquement.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
On 29/06/2021 at 20:20, Adsibob said:

anyone else starting to lose my patience with suppliers using Covid as an excuse? In 2022 will people still be using the pandemic as an excuse? What about 2023? At some point businesses need to adapt.

Brexit !
 

Went to the BM for a single bag of cement, four merchants and 2 hours later I had my bag of cement. The problem, lorry driver shortage, so I’m told the the BM.

 

Roofer was telling me, he’s just quoted for a job and the tiles the customer wants are a 26 week lead time.

 

I feel your pain, I was in a similar place a few years ago. I ended up finishing off the project myself, the reality is the contract is worthless, in my case the builder went bust and reincarnated himself a few weeks later with the same company name with NW added to the end of it.

 

All you can do is keep positive, manage by walking about, jolly the team along, make them a brew, take them a Greggs and try to keep them on your side. We all want to work for the nice guy.

 

ps. Labour is in short supply round here. Had a stone mason look at a job, can’t start for at least two years as he’s fully booked. Talked to another stone mason, a friend of a friend to check is this is right, yes! He’s also fully booked to the extent he’s removed his web site and no longer answers the phone to numbers he doesn’t recognise.

Edited by Triassic
Typo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am also tired of hearing COVID and brexit as excuses for inflated prices and supply shortages.

Yes interest rates are stupidly low, yes there is far too much money around.

I import construction machinery from Italy and we can now sell our machines at prices less than two years ago.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It’s a shortage of skilled labour here. Locals have been priced out by big spending city evacuees. lots of staff wanted signs in hotels, shops and in builders merchants. Many here blame Brexit, a lot of staff left (not helped by tourists asking them why they were still here!) and COVID was the last straw.

 

I had a company fitting cladding here a few weeks ago. The job stopped and was told that the team doing the job had all quit, as they could get jobs local to them paying more and save the hour each way in travel time. In the end the company persuaded a couple of ex employees, including the bosses dad, out of retirement to complete the job.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Triassic said:

had a company fitting cladding here a few weeks ago. The job stopped and was told that the team doing the job had all quit, as they could get jobs local to them paying more and save the hour each way in travel time

The drive down on prices/wages is a common problem. 

Business should choose their target market more carefully. I would rather sell to someone that can easily afford my prices, rather than one that will struggle to pay.

No business owes customers a bargain.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think his problem is the labour shortage round here, staff are being phoned up and offered golden hello deals. A pub recently had their head chef poached, he was offered £5,000 to move!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Triassic said:

I think his problem is the labour shortage round here, staff are being phoned up and offered golden hello deals. A pub recently had their head chef poached, he was offered £5,000 to move!

He can have my second chef for 5k.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Triassic said:

the reality is the contract is worthless, in my case the builder went bust and reincarnated himself a few weeks later with the same company name with NW added to the end of it.

If the old company transferred anything to the new company, it might be caught by the section 423 of the insolvency act 1986. Or if there was a pre-pack and administration of the old company before or at the same time as the transfer of assets to the new company, in addition to section 423, there might be a breach of Statement of Insolvency Practice 16: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/statements-of-insolvency-practice-16-sip-16

ie just because the party you contract with us wound down/goes “bust” doesn’t mean you don’t have a legal remedy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Adsibob said:

goes “bust” doesn’t mean you don’t have a legal remedy.

It’s a cost / benefit judgment. In our case the legal costs probably outweighed the loss.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Triassic said:

It’s a cost / benefit judgment. In our case the legal costs probably outweighed the loss.

True in many cases. But it depends. For example, if you claim is big enough or complex enough to merit being allocated to the multitrack, there is fairly decent Costa recovery whereby the winner of the law suit has most of their reasonable costs paid by the loser.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Adsibob said:

True in many cases. But it depends. For example, if you claim is big enough or complex enough to merit being allocated to the multitrack, there is fairly decent Costa recovery whereby the winner of the law suit has most of their reasonable costs paid by the loser.

All the time risking more and more on a possible outcome. No thank you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, Triassic said:

It’s a cost / benefit judgment. In our case the legal costs probably outweighed the loss.

Unless the claim is easily under 10k or over 60k and you have 120k to take the risk, or it's a slam dunk and even then good luck.

Edited by Marvin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thought I'd post another update: I think we are on track to be fully water proof - even against horizontal rain, by mid september, although window company which still needs to fit 3 windows at loft level are messing me about.

Octopus energy is the latest cause for delay and stress. We need to move a single phase connection and meter. UK Power Networks have been pretty good about the former, willing to do it on 12 working days' notice now that we've agreed a scope of works and EXTORTIONATE price - but they won't touch the meter. Apparently that is the property of the supplier. Such bollox. Anyway, earliest Octopus can do is 7 October and as it all has to happen on the same day, I need to delay UK Power Networks until then.

Still so much to do.  I won't list it but we are far far off. Builder gave me a new end date of 18 December. I asked him how confident he was of hitting it and he replied: "doubtful, very doubtful".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 29/06/2021 at 20:20, Adsibob said:

Everyone’s feedback is helpful/interesting, but I feel I need to clarify a few points:

 

1) I have not and do not wish to fall out with my builder. I have given him the benefit of the doubt on many points and met all my side of the bargain, paying all of his invoices on time and buying a lot of supplies and ensuring they are on site when he wanted them, to the extent that I went with a £3,500 more expensive window supply contract to ensure windows were installed by the time my builder wanted them installed.

 

2) I am not paying peanuts. The contract is for a lot of money, even for London standards. I am well paid in my job, but this project is still costing me about 4 times my household’s gross annual salary. (I am already mortgaged to the max with 32 years left to pay. I’m only in my 40s.) There were cheaper options available, but I stayed clear. The point is this is a massive financial commitment for us and I think our builder will be getting a v. good income out of this project. 

 

3) I have not scrimped on professional fees. So far, I have spent about £5k on an SE, £2k on a specialist surveyor to design certain bespoke parts of the build, and about £10k on architectural and project management fees. I’m also forking out money for CVC to design the MVHR. There are incredibly detailed construction drawings, plumbing plans, electrical schematics, build ups, etc. 

 

4) I think my biggest gripe with the builder is the lack of communication. We have at least one meeting a week, often two. I try to pop in at least a third time each week. I am doing the bulk of the project management, but the architect is helping me, so the architect also attends twice a week. Only today did we find out that a cause of delay has been the posi joists. The posi spec changed about 3 months ago (we were going to do only one floor with posis, but then decided to go with two on CVC’s recommendation). At that point, it would have been helpful to know that posis were in short supply or that making this change might delay us as maybe we could have stuck to my original instinct which was that posis only needed for first floor and not second floor. Posis due to be delivered a couple of weeks ago, not coming till next week - apparently. Still doesn’t  explain the extent of delays, but sh!t happens and I will accept it. It’s just rather stressful rushing, and at times paying extra, quite a lot extra, to get things the builder says he needs urgently only for the to sit on site for several weeks after arrival, sometimes months.

 

5) I am generally a good communicator, but I find it difficult to communicate with the builder as he gets quite defensive. I’ve resorted to prefacing everything I say with “I know this isn’t your fault,…” to try and get him to down his guard. 
 

6) I had a very good experience with another builder some years ago on a big project, albeit one significantly simpler and cheaper than this one. We are still in touch and I wanted him to do this job, but timings didn’t work out. He was actually cheaper. I found him incredibly easy to work with and very easy going with me, whilst able to run a tight ship via his excellent foreman. Nothing seemed to stress either of them out, and they were a pleasure to work with, so whilst I am not in the trade, I do think I have some experience (this is our third project).

 

7) Is anyone else starting to lose my patience with suppliers using Covid as an excuse? In 2022 will people still be using the pandemic as an excuse? What about 2023? At some point businesses need to adapt.

 

 Sorry to pick out one point of a large situation:

 

my usual truss supplier is on 12 weeks for posijoists- I know the fella well and have been using him years, that’s him doing them on a weekend as a favour. 
 

however- minera in Wales can knock them out in a week, maybe 20% extra cost but that’s something I’m having to swallow :) 

 

 

 

in short- most other builders I know aren’t shopping suppliers enough. When ‘their guy’ says 3 months it’s gospel. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/09/2021 at 00:01, Adsibob said:

cause for delay and stress

Sympathies.

 

We gave up on trying to get everything running neatly and on time. For us it helps to tackle whatever is do-able on our list and pretend that everything else will sort itself out. Sometimes does too. 

Can't be fun paying massive rents during delay upon delay. But in the worst case scenario of delays, something less than a fight with the builder might help mitigate losses. Downsizing or staying with relatives/friends or whatever is do-able. You would know the amount of hardship that you find tolerable.

Good luck. You deserve it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now