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  1. Small cuts on a verge are always a bad idea, usually a sign of sloppy work by the roofer. Better to use a tile & and half and cut that. A dry verge would disguise the cuts a bit but many of dry verge systems are ugly anyway.
  2. This trick assumes that the barcode contents follow the rules. Yes, a correct EAN code shows the the country of origin in the fist two digits, the next few identify the company, the next few the product and the last is a check digit. However, the symbology can be used with any string of 12 numbers for an EAN13. It's not a law and the rules are flouted, at least they were by the retail company I once worked for. On their products the first two digits were something else, colour if recall correctly.
  3. You just don't get it. This is not just Birstwith, it's High Birstwith. Where the prices are even higher than the noses and the air of self importance. Really handy for the prep school too. Ok, the prices is too high but I said that about the new house in Hampsthwaite that has the wonderful view of the backside of the village hall and the recyling bins and I see that has sold this week. Aspiration is not always bounded by common sense when there is status at stake.
  4. Just a word of caution. I'm not sure of how Code for Sustainable Homes affects NI. If it does make sure you take account of the extra costs involved. If the local planning authority has, as many have, adopted an accelerated implementation policy you may find you have to meet level 4 rather than level 3 set out in the national policy. CSH drags you into employing a lot of consultants. These are all new costs which add nothing to the performance of the home, just line the pockets of a lot of parasites. The CSH pre and post assessment, registration and certification will exceed £2k for single house development. Then there is the ecological report, surface water drainage report, meeting Secure by Design and possibly LifeTime Homes. The Secure by Design thing really winds me up. The police architectural liaison officer make his recommendations which will include all sorts of stupid stuff he bungs in at whim - like a particular type of glazing which simply does not exist yet in available window and door systems. Life Time Homes is similar - stupid stuff as well like windows with handles where no manufacturer puts the handles. You can't just go out and buy normal materials - they all have to be certified as sustainably and responsibly sourced and meeting an alphabet soup of standards. As you might guess, the only stuff you can install is grossly expensive. The government and the BRE has commissioned reports that try to show the cost impact is very low but when you read through you'll find they are just specious. The professionals, these are big names, who produced the reports ought to be ashamed of themselves. Then you have all the management overhead of ensuring you comply with Considerate Constructors, set and monitor your targets for emissions, water use, energy use, miles travelled by the delivery vehicles. Is there anything living on your site, like weeds or rats - biodiversity that is. Got to maintain the ecology. The blame for all this goes to New Labour and its habit of handing out monopolies/duopolies to favoured bodies. In this case the Building Research Establishment. It's more of Prescott's legacy to the population. The house building world has changed since 2005 and once you get to level 4 of CSH it's hard to see how a single house development could possibly be worth the trouble,
  5. The fact that anyone can believe this make me worry about HPCers. I've built houses and I've placed a countless number of order for building works. I'm a professional although I'm not a QS. It's not possible to build a house for £25k. Just few years back the government backed a range of programmes developing modern methods of construction to produce small social housing shells with a target of £60k - no signs of any meaningful success. The target did not include the infrastructure costs. Remember that a regular 7.3m wide highway cost around £2m per 1000 metres and factor that into the cost per unit. Building on brownfield? Decontamination, remediation, special groundworks for made or previously built ground. Try it, you find mobilisation costs £10k just to get a single rig on site then around £2k per pile (no new data to hand, just and old quote from 2003). Reinforced raft - might eat a good bit of your £25k. Salaries? Most big concerns employ a bare minimum, the rest are contractors. I know becasue I'm one. Compulsory self employed by forcing you to go through an umbrella company. When the contract is cut you disappear - you can't be unemployed because you were self employed. You can't get any benefits. Get sick and you get replaced. Decline the invitation to work through an umbrella or register your own limited company and surprise - the agencies suddenly find they can't place you. The poster who quoted £350 per 1000 for brick laying is spot on - back now at 2005 levels, ditto his block price. How much do you think Code for Sustainable Homes will add to the cost?
  6. I'm 54 and the spouse is 59. We bought in 1982 after some years of renting and saving. We had one child and another one the way. I'm working class and had no academic qualifications to speak of although I did go to grammar school so did learn something, My wife was a graduate. It was very hard to get a start because getting a mortgage was at the whim of the building society manager and they acted like little gods. We had the deposit but got refused a mortgage every time without even getting an interview (mandatory in those days). We eventually bought from a major developer who had made arrangements for buyer to be given a mortgage by Abbey National. We could still only borrow 3x the frist salary (my wife) so we just scraped in to buy the house for £20k. I'd had two jobs for years but was made redundant from my main job shortly before buying. The interest rate was variable but at the start it was 12% - I think we were charged more as we had actually been Halifax savers not Abbey savers. Our mortgage payment were 4x what we'd paying in rent. I think that was a major difference back then, rents were much lower pro rata. The low rents actually allowed us to save the deposit. We struggled until I got another main job (I had a part-time job for 10 years to keep up with outgoings) but even after owning the house for 51/2 years we made a loss when we sold. We broke even on the next house when we sold in 94. Owning houses for the first 12 years cost us a lot of money, vastly more than it would to rent. We made nothing but paid out a huge amount in interest. During that time we accumulated zero savings. We are both private sector and have had seven redundancies between us as employers have folded. When you job goes on the private sector you get statutory levels of pay - e.g. when my employer went bust in 1990 I was on £500 a week but the insolvency department payment was £160 per week or thereabouts and one week for each year of employment. It's not like it is the soft centre public sector where they paid you pension up to full and gave you a golden handshake to go off early. We put a little into private pensions perhaps £3000 between us but stopped when it became obvious they were a giant rip-off. Subsequent periods of ownership returned some gains mainly because I self-built. Our kids have been the benficiaries. We have three kids and have suported all of them through university and post grad - one still with us on post grad. We sold up again in 2007 and have been using up the proceeds since. The cuts came ages ago for us. £15k down last tax year and heading for £30k this year - one week of work so far in 2010 between us. No benefits - we never even ask. NB Don't jump to the conclusion that self-build is an answer - it too is now dead .
  7. Hmm, a lot less and it has a garage. It looks like a 1950s timewarp though. The more expensive example is at least up to date but so much more money. That terrace does at least have some character unlike some of the surrounding streets. I've never lived there so have to bow to your superior knowledge.
  8. @ Jaspers; Now that does look overpriced. It's not exactly the best part of town, constant traffic on Karesborough Road and those streets are the hospital overflow carpark. I think my first Glasshouses example has disappeared again so it may just have been a lapse of competence on behalf of the agent.
  9. My last project in 2006 cost £131k to build all in (and I mean everything). The project included demolishing the old house, rehabilitating 1.5 acres, a private sewage treatment plant, natural stone external walls, natural blue slate roof, expensive German kitchen, appliances, three bathrooms carpets, curtains, everything. Cost was just under £690 per sqm. I paid £167k for the site. I did no physical work, just designed, bought and managed. No scab labour, just good local trades. I'm in the North. Your analysis of building land prices is spot-on. I have been watching for the past three years and the price of plots has not fallen as it ought to which is really weird as the ones being offered don't sell as fast as they once did. When I did my first project in the 80s I was given the guide that the land should be no more than 35% of the developed value (we're on single house sites here). That guideline was torched years ago in the popular areas. I have stood in auctions and watched people bid themselves into a certain loss situation. Some people are prepared to spend more than a place is worth just to be able to say they've done it. Nuts!
  10. I think prices are finally coming down in HG3 (I don't count Jennyfields as HG3 even when it's called Killinghall Moor). Bits are being quietly nibbled off prices. Latest example is this development Darley. It came on the market about 6 months ago. We looked at two units but were not impressed at all and thought them overpriced. A few weeks ago the agent relaunched the whole thing and has now lobbed £30k off each unit. The prices are still too high, there are unfinished aspects to the development, very variable quality to the finishes, no outside storage or garages and insufficient parking. I think there are five units in all, none sold so far. Lovely. This is another fallen through a sale - went as SSTC about a year ago and has now come back on Glasshouses. Ditto this after 6 months or so, Glasshouses2. The last one has been touted around the agents for more than two years now as has the barn right next to it.
  11. Clawback clauses. Very popular with councils, church commissioners and the like. Should be called 'cake and eat it' clauses. Note they want to use their own valuation too.
  12. Labour introduced town planning as we know it post WWII. In the 1050s a Conservative government relaxed the planning rules for a while to get things going. May be worth researching that period to see what happened.
  13. CGT on house sales is quite common in other countries and our stamp duty is also low compared to many countries. I reckon CGT is a great idea. Say 18% of the profit on all property sales and all values checked by a government surveyor. None of the present system of the RICS crooks selling houses with one face and doing valuations with their other face.
  14. Buzzardo Oh dear. Don't care for an alternative view. Well, you're stuck with it. As you don't know where I live, exactly what are you basing your criticism on? Wonder what Wikipedia says about, bigot A bigot is a person obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices, especially one who regards or treats members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance.
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