This fifth entry was published originally on the 26th June 2013 and received 1,149 views on the old forum
Well, it’s been a fair time since the last entry, and much has been going on. I’ll gloss over the financial issues, suffice to say that the moral of the tale is to never, ever, trust a bank to tell the truth, and most of all, never, ever, believe any promises made by Santander. I could expound on this at length, but suffice to say they made us a firm mortgage offer on our existing house (for a fraction of its value) then withdrew the offer at the very last minute (literally on the day I went to draw down the mortgage).
Leaving aside the finances (which we have finally sort of resolved) we next ran into delays caused by, yes, you guessed it, services…….. We need to move some electricity cables, both overhead cables and a big fat underground cable. I first arranged all the details for doing this back in the early spring. I paid the electricity company £3500 in advance 6 weeks ago. I had been told that they needed at least three or four weeks notice. Guess what, after 6 weeks they tell me that they can’t do the work for another 5 weeks. I refrained from losing it with the guy at the company, as one thing I’ve learned is that venting your spleen at people like this, no matter how stress-relieving it may be at a personal level, rarely results in moving things on. To the chaps credit, he did then offer to come out to site and is trying to work through a compromise, albeit one that means I have to dig holes for his pole etc, even though I’ve already paid them to do this.
Still, on the bright side, we eventually got diggers on site at the start of the week, and started work. Great fun, as we’ve not been able to walk on and see the site since we bought it back in November, as it’s been too overgrown. This gives an idea of how it looked on Monday:
After a couple of days work we have cleared all the overgrown shrubs etc and got to this:
There are still a few hundred cubic metres of soil to come out yet, as where I’m standing to take this photo will be around 2.5m lower when everything is at the finished levels. To the lower left you can see the errant power cable that runs diagonally under where we want to put the house. We need to shift this (and the pole it runs to) to the left corner (as viewed from this picture). One slight problem is that this is going to cause some inconvenience to the neighbours, as that big cable supplies power to quite a few houses in the village. On the positive side, it does mean we have three phase power right next to where our meter box is going, which bodes well for connecting up a big PV array.
I’ve given up predicting what the next episode of this blog will be. Predicting how a self build will go, even after as much planning as we’ve done over the past 18 months, seems akin to trying to forecast the weather a month in advance. Stayed tuned, folks, as I’m sure there are more fun and games to come.