Thursday, 7 August 2008

Trying to chill out

Oh wow, it's already the second week of August so our house has been sitting empty for six months. Ouch. Tip for newbies: if you are engaging an architect and don’t already have a builder lined up, move into your property or rent it out on a short term basis. Also, try not to do this during a "credit crunch" as interest rates are bound to lurch skyward. We've just had a weekend camping at The Big Chill music festival in Herefordshire, I was careful about removing the rubbish from our tent as it's possible we'll end up living in it if the build takes much longer to get started. After the Big Chill we spent a few hours wandering around Eastnor Castle in Ledbury. The Hervey-Bathurst family has spent many years and hundreds of thousands of pounds knocking it into shape, so I felt quite humbled when comparing the scale of this project against our own. If you're ever in the area, make time to go.

We're meeting the architect and the builder later next week to discuss the final quote (already more than what was originally discussed) and decide on the game plan. I guess then we'll be in a position to sit back and watch the work get underway. I think I've been saying this for quite some time, so I won't mind if you cackle loudly at my optimism in the face of terminal slowness. The good news is we got our keys back from the dodgy builder and will be settling up his invoice this week. Rob suggested we pay the original amount we agreed to pay, plus half the difference as a gesture of goodwill (what goodwill?!) as they didn't let us know that the Bill of Quantites would cost so much more, or that it would be so late, or that it would be so useless.

Also, as a result of our door manufacturers hiking their price by £1,600 I've emailed three new companies to see what they'd charge. I'll post the results in due course.

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