Monday, 7 July 2008
… and the bottom line is only double our building budget! I never thought I'd be happy that something was only going to cost twice as much as we expected. This is a great start. As I was hoping, the quote is from our New Zealand friend Teia and he can start work before the end of the month. We need to get the quote broken down into a full schedule so we can see which bits we can shelve until next year aka "Phase 2". The building quote covers demolition, build, plumbing etc, but we still need to buy all the fixtures and fittings including cabinetry etc. None of our sums include appliances or furniture. Basically, we need to be able to shave £20 to £25K off the spend. It's not an insignificant sum so it will be tricky to get the balance of major works done vs priorities and preferences.
Then we have no choice but to do the rest of the work when we've got some more funds. Depressing really, but heck, not as depressing as paying six or seven months worth of mortgage on an empty property (which is what we have been doing, for any new readers of this blog).
The photo above is what the garden currently looks like. Our neighbours were having an afternoon soiree and tentatively asked over the fence if it would be OK to cut down the grass as there was possibly a family of foxes residing in there. They own a large Persian cat, which is a sitting duck for some wily urban foxes. We were happy that they offered to cut the grass as neither Rob nor I have ever dealt with a sickle… or a lawnmower come to think of it.
Rob is keen to move in relatively quickly, whereas I'm thinking it would be better to give the builders a head start (say, 6 to 8 weeks) and see where they're at. Am a bit nervous about having a large gaping hole in the back of the building with a bit of tarpaulin over while we wait for the glazing to be manufactured. Firstly, it's not safe or secure and secondly, it'll be a bit chilly unless we get an Indian summer (not likely. This is England.)
Next step after seeing the budget breakdown is to get a contract signed between us, the architect and the builder. The only hiccup is that the builder doesn't currently have full building insurance but he's sorting this in the next couple of weeks.
So, five months behind schedule and it looks like we're about to have lift off...