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About AndyAndy

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    HPC Poster
  1. I am a self builder who finshed building on their plot last year. I just had a look on rightmove for my county and there are loads of sites. As I live in the north I thought to be fair I would try Surrey too and there seems to be lots and lots there too. Supermarkets hold quite a bit and builders hold a land bank of 3 - 4 years worth which is sensible as if they run out of land their business falls over. However they tend to be very large sites rather than single or double plots and they don't really impact the self builder as far as I can see. In my experience 45% on the land 55% on the build - that is in the north - it is probably more like 50 50 in the south east. If you are looking in London then you need to be very creative - or move away from London - I cannot stand the place. Another thing to do is look at run down or derilict property - the cost of clearing the sight will be mostly offset by the savings on utilities and access - its all there already which is a significant saving and removal of worry. 60's bungalows are great as they tend to be on larger plots and can be in a dreadful state where someone has had them since the 70's and has not carried out much work since. Top tip - don't buy the land cash and then try and get the mortgage for the build. Lenders don't seem to understand the concept that you own the site and their starting point is you have a low or no deposit for the build. Get the mortgage to cover the site and the build.
  2. Yes I have a SIPs house - they are probably a little more expensive than a traditional build but they are much better at insulating and being air tight as you get rid of all the little gaps. You can achieve the same effect with a traditional timber frame build if you work to very fine tollerances and are really careful to chase down all the gaps. If you go to one of the European package house people like Hanse Haus, they will throw you up a SIP house in weeks, its probably that which is being imagined when extolling the virtue of SIP - but you don't half pay for it. My build cost was £215kish - Hanse Haus were looking more like £260k for a house of roughly the same proportions. There has been concern recently that SIP can give off a toxic gas from the insulation or the glue in the OSB which is in tiny quantities but that can build up. While nothing is proven I have MVHR to manange that risk. Much of the advantages set out above are from a SIP manufacturer and in my experience are marginal outside of very large public buildings or large scale housing developments. I'd still rather have them than not but there are many great ways of building these days and using SIP is one of a range of techniques that can produce a fine house.
  3. I've got PP - or rather I had an old outline PP on a site I bought (you dont get outline anymore) and changed it / changed the thing being built on the site completely for the full final PP. I thought I would post something to counter the honking from people who have not built, have no idea of building, but see planning constraint as "the man" getting heavy. I am not a planning expert. I have felt like I have had to fight my council to complete my house and they are not my friends. When I say fought though I think I succeeded because I tried to come at it from the point of understanding the purpose for the rules and meeting the needs of those rules. First up what is the council's development plan for the area. If a development fits with that plan then good, if not then its not in the plan so its unlikely to be passed. A great deal of thought and effort and a lot of studying of guidlines goes into the development plan. People who wander up the council wagging fingers and telling the council the development plan is no good without understanding all or indeed any of the parameters the council have to work to in setting it tend to be ignored. Second up what is planned. If its not in keeping or won't work with the local area (eg its not stone in the stone belt or like a house a few hundred yards away, they seemed to want some sort of watchtower in a residential 60's estate) forget it. A rejection on these grounds does not tend to rise from the public but the council planning committee is policing what is being put where - again that makes sense or the country will be covered with eyesores and to be fair the council is sensitive to existing properties.The developer (aka anyine who builds aproperty)might not mind staring into the bedroom of the neighbours kids ....But.....Moreover I live surrounded by stone houses. I can see the need for having some stone in mine otherwise the landscape in my part of town is going to degenerate. Third up is the development feasible - want to build in field - fine but what about the access onto the road - who's land do you need to cross - if the person who owns the verge says no then you cannot get to your house - its their land - you might have a right of way for grazing cattle but for cars going to a house?. You will need to sort out drainage - that toilet water that cannot get to a mains sewer - where is that going precisely - no one wants poo in the water supply. If there is not main drain what is the alternative being put forward - it cannot just be sorted later - once planning is given that is it. Power? Water supply? How about rain water - that needs a home too - whats the SUDS plan? There is a linkage here around what utilities are required to be supplied but a council will take into account if what is intended to be built can actually be habitable - the council won't let anything be built that doesn't have a workable plan that meets minimum standards for electric, water and washing/toilet faciities that produce sewage. It can be sorted but people just dont think about this stuff if they have never built before and applications going in short on this sort of detail get kicked out. Does the development fit with national planning rules - for example garden grabs are a thing of the past. Is the property designed going to impinge on the line of sight of road users, is access on a blind bend etc. Will the development rip up ancient wetland or trees, or wildlife habitat - does someone, or anyone have an ancient right of way over the land to be developed. You think HPCers are militant - try the ramblers or the campaign for rural england, or the NFU who along with a miriad of legitimate interest groups had input into the national rules. Council will, quite rightly, reject on grounds that the development proposed will not work with national rules. Get through all of that and you are likely to get permission.
  4. It took a long time to find my wife who is a good egg and who has been supportive all the way through this. Am I lucky to have a stable family unit. Maybe. I will tell you I've sucked my teeth at some of the relationship choices of my peers - both male and female. £60k and 100k savings at 38 - its hardly Rothschild country but £30k and £50k of savings means £250k house in the North rather than my £500k one - thats capitalism for you. The point is there are options out there for working people with some measure of savings. If you have no savings and very little income then I accept getting any house will be a problem - but wasn't that always the case although this is not a thread about the loss of cheap rented housing from Local Authorities of the failure of the state to drive social housing better.
  5. Home made soup - my wife commented it was a bit of a warm day for soup but I like to cook and I was using up some veggies that needed a home.
  6. My parents bought their family home in 74/75 for £15k when dad earned £4k a year and they had a couple of thousand for the deposit. While they had MIRAS he was also taxed at much higher rates than me and interest rates were frequently over 10% for most of the time he had his mortgage. I don't think my circumstances are very much different to his in the round and if its mad its been mad since the war.
  7. I know the sort who quote 20k. I have had to listen to a lot of old tripe from people who know nothing. This was a top spec build (provided you ignore those who spend £30k on their kitchens - they do exist but the kitchens in a Persimmon house by comparison are about 4k). While I did quite a bit myself I also had a very good main contractor who did all the skilled structural stuff - yep some people do without but then the stats for foundation failure for those people is epic and the build can take a year longer. The costings are lifted directly from my costing schedules. With a fair wind and a lower spec (you'll see I've got stuff like MVHR) and are outside the stone belt (this house has a lot of stone walls which is a planning requirement) you might get this down as low as £160 - £170k. Building in the south is more though because brickies and plasterers are in demand again. Beyond that the bull sh!tters who say you can do any sort of house of this size for under £140k are doing without a roof, or windows or professional setting out (so the walls end up wonky) or a floor or no doors etc. Or they could make do with plastic sheet for a roof, a cardboard floor and no/lethal wiring and a stand pipe outside instead of 3 bathrooms and a downstairs lavy - I bought the bathroom suites from Bathstore and the plumber fitted - that is in the second fix cost. Also the hearth stone before anyone says that is pricy - its 6ft by 3 ft of one piece solid stone and it took 6 men to lift it in the house before it was cemented in - its a bargain in my book as it looks beautiful. The loft ladder isn't your normal aluminium thing either - I am surprised its so cheap - its folds out into a stair case. Floor coverings includes £3.5k of limestone flags for down stairs, grout and cement. I've included the price of materials I sourced in the costs so these represent full cost for contractor, me and material I've bought and those material costs are net of VAT as I claimed that back at the end. The main contractor was not charging VAT as its a new build. For the eagle eyed I have rounded numbers for the figures below to round hundreds and combined quite a few bits so first & second fix includes services connections etc and I've not included bits where the records are shaky. For example I cannot lay my hands on the bits of paper recording paint - its somewhere else. However there must be £1000 of trade emulsion and eggshell, masking tape, rollers, brushes etc. For decoration for every day for a month I painted from 7 to midnight then I went home to be in the rented house with the children and my wife swaped over and painted from midnight until 4ish. Also I hired a mini digger I learnt to drive for land scaping - I did without new clothes for a year to be able to afford that and bought second hand shoes off ebay. Finally, everything in this house bar the bathrooms (I just could not afford Uk made compared to China made) and some white goods (I don't think there are any dishwashers made in Britain) is made here in the UK. It was a principle of the build to source here for ecological and UK economy reasons. On that front here is a tip. Most of the oak doors you see are sourced from rough crappy eastern european oak, shipped to Indonesia to be made into doors in sweat shops and then shipped back to Britain to be sold as European Oak cottage doors - not very ethical and they warp like buggery due to being shipped in a container across the damp and humid Indian Ocean. The doors I bought are French oak (the French lead the world in it after planting a lot for crop after WW2) - shiped only over the channel and turned into doors here by a company in Staffordshire. £ Prelim 10,000 Strip site / topsoil 1,500 Set out 500 Excavate foundations 2,500 Concrete 3,000 Backfill / cavity fill 500 Unground drainage 200 Groundfloor / Oversite 6,000 Scaffold inc dismantle 5,000 Crane hire 500 Windows/doors 9,500 Leadwork/flashing 390 Rain/gutter/downpipes 2,500 Roof 15,000 Attending frame - fees 800 Stone front 10,000 Block/render inc chimney 17,000 Mastic 200 Plasterboard, plastering etc 13,000 Glass panels - kitchen 2,500 First & Second Fix Joinery/Elec/Heat/Plumb 36,000 Extra over supply fireplace 200 Extra over stone lintel 200 Steel beam 160 Loft ladder 150 MVHR 3,500 Tiles and tile tools 500 Supply & fit wood burning stove 1,500 Supply & Lay Hearth stone 600 Kitchen inc fitting & white goods 9,500 Doors & Handles (custom oak) 2,600 Flooring coverings 7,000 Hedge & Trees 500 Frame / roof structure 45,000 Fees 4,000 212,100
  8. Oops - sorry forgot to add a comment about councils. Planning departments are known for being hard work to impossible for self builders. They know all the rules, we don't. I imagine they have to deal with a lot of crap from people who want a Disney castle in Peckham or a Star Ship in Bristol. If you are trying to play by the rules and do the right thing by everyone though they are impossible. Bear in mind as well for me everything I have was flowing into the project while for them its a 9 - 5 job. The tree officer was a bit daft - he made a huge fuss about retaining a chestnut tree in the garden and then it blew down the next windy day - true!
  9. thanks for being so kind and positive everyone. To answer your questions: I agree £250k is horribly big mortgage in my book too which is why I sold some watches in auction to kick it down. When my wife restarts work as a teacher her pay is about £30k so that gives us 90k against a mortgage of £225k - I can live with it for what really is a top end house where I live. I am on a 5 year fixed rate. Where do I live - Golden Triangle of North Yorkshire - about 35/45 mins into the centre of Leeds by car depending on when I leave or I have a train option. Site was on at £180k, my accepted offer was £170k and further discounts for sewage issues reduced the price by a further £20k to £150k although the sewage problems disappeared when they dug up the road and found a main drain which wasn't on the plans held by Yorkshire Water (how can you lose a sewer...). Total build cost was £210k for a 200sq m house excluding detached garage. I thought I would have to wait for the garage but it was more or less free - I was offered a fancy double timber one for virtually nothing by someone who erected it and then decided they wanted a pool there instead - I had to collect the garage myself but a local friendly farmer and a flat bed trailer helped here. The hydralics on the tractor helped with the dismatling and rebuilding of the garage at either end. I had poured the foundations myself. I'm not selling. This was never about profit. Whoever said I am doing the best for my family - damn right. I love it here, the house is perfect for me and my wife. Here we stay. Thanks
  10. Not so many posts on here; I've been busy. Its been fun though. Here is my story. With a modest deposit, the sort of house I wanted for my growing family was so far out of reach, it would never happen. I posted on here for a bit with a mixture of bitterness and hope of a massive reversal in prices with a hint of despair for our economy. Then I turned my focus elsewhere. I came across a plot of land - it had been for sale for 12 months or so with older outline planning for a house but how is beyond me; eg limited access, no power, no water, no drainage, no mains sewer. I had an offer close to asking price accepted in early 2010. Two years of paperwork later, I completed the purchase with a further discount due to the perceived cost of dealing with black water. I also had full planning a few months later as you can proceed with planning on a plot you don't own so planning was running parallel with legal issues relating to access, drainage etc etc etc. The council planning office were really dreadful - slow, unkind, delaying - when the new planning regs came out they said they would have to stop my planning (that fell under the old regs) as they needed to read the new ones. I wrote to every cabinent minister and opposition shadow minister and the council apologised. Six months of mortgage issues followed when it seemed no one would lend us the money to build the house even though we had been given a modest mortgage to buy the land and a £30,000 loan (15k each from each sets of parents). Got one eventually from an old school building society - proper interviews and indeed advice from them - excellent. For 18 months no holidays, no weekends off - my wife bore the brunt of raising our children. I worked through the nights. I learnt new skills (stone floor or tiled bathroom anyone). We had a budget, we stuck to it, only deviating when we could reduce cost elsewhere - eg I did all the landscaping (and there was a lot) so we could afford the materials for the stone floor and surpringly wet under floor heating systems are only £500 more than radiator systems. I had a stroke of luck too, the utilities companies had cocked their old plans so mains services actually ran down the road past the house - saving £20,000. The mortgage draw down on the completed house enabled repayment of parents - at interest! I am writing this from a chair in my open plan live in kitchen which has one wall of 20ft width of glass panels floor to ceiling looking out over a 1/4 acre back garden. Its sunny outside and my wife is establishing one of the new beds and the kids are helping. I am contemplating making us all some lunch. I was 38 when I started this with £100k of savings/equity from past houses. I managed to borrow £250k of which I have since repaid £25k from the auction of some possesions I don't need (I used to restore watches as a hobby). The proposed house while there were only plans was valued by the buidling society in mid 2012 for mortgage purposes at £500k. I could not hazard a guess at what the is value is now as its in a very desirable area - I don't care, I'm not moving - ever! I am in my early (ish) 40's now and earn 60k pa from my job. My wife will be returning to work in a year or so after my youngest starts school. No one has given me a cent and its something I am proud of - I was very unhappy about borrowing money from parents - especially my in laws. I don't think I have anything harder or easier than parents. I only put my back out 7 times but then I remember parents stuggling too. Am I a troll - maybe - read into this what you will - my advice - get creative.
  11. I'd stay no matter what. In fact the UK wanted me back and the Aussie's wanted to keep me (and not for criminal charges either!!) when I lived and worked in Aussie. England is great. The food is good (anyone eaten out in Germany or America lately??), the TV is superb (again German tele, or American, or Aussie), the seasons are varied, the landscape stunning in places, the people are hilarious, but polite and kind, the women are attractive, clever and feisty. Seriously I really like the place. I know a few people who have stayed overseas but their lives are poorer for it. I think there are a finite number of people who want to go overseas but there will never be a flood and plenty want to come back.
  12. I've never fancied knowing anything about Letchworth. This thread has inspired me. Wiki cites Magnus Pike and Laurence Olivier as coming from Letchworth so that is good. Sadly that is balanced out by Michael Winner also residing there. I hope he is not typical.
  13. Okay Renault Clio Williams, Renault Clio 182, Renault Clio Cup, Venturi Atlantique, Megane Coupe series 1, 205 GTI. That is 6 - are you Anne Boleyn?
  14. Don't labour and the lib dems support the idea of a residential reit too. In fact didn't labour introduce reit rules for commercial investment in the mid noughties. Surely free market economics requires as its foundation a level playing field for all entrants. The corporate investor relies in its investors for its capital. It pays tax on its gains at the corporate rate 25% (reducing to 23%). To get the money to the investor it needs to then dividend the money to the the investor. Assume 50% a taxpayer, that investor pays tax at a rate of approx 37% on the dividend. So take a hypothetical £100 gain. The corporate investor pays £25 in tax leaving £75 to distribute and distributes that to the investor who pays £27.75 (37% x 75) in tax. The private individual pays CGT at 28% so £28 on £100 gain. By investing in BTL himself the investor is better off by £24.75 on every £100 of gain. The argument works at 40% taxpayer level too. So clearly the investor goes BTL himself , the corporate cannot raise capital and goes bust. The net result of not having a residential reits is we continue with a rental market dominated by small private landlords and all that crumby private BTL property . Simply throwing in words like economics does not make it an argument. It is true there was something a bit simple about your original retort and it is a shame you continue on in that vein. If you want to argue like a bar or barrack room lawyer please go somewhere else.
  15. What element of it is a tax break over a private landlord. There isn't one. Therefore your conclusion to your statement is in effect you favour lots of small scale private landlords over larger corporate investors. Would not the corporate investors be easier to regulate. Would not the corporate investor be more likely to fix the bolier in a way that does not gas the tenant. The private landlord can invest in the corporate.
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