Blog post: Nothing is ever straight forward…


Well last month I volunteered to write this month’s blog, a whole month to think about something to write about and now I find myself almost at the end of July with nothing prepared and Hannah breathing down my neck – note to self – be more organised!!


What to write about?


What might others be interested in?


Clearly Construction is the theme which is at the heart of what we all do, whether this is commercial or housing, large or small projects its why we all come to work and it’s what we all understand. It’s how we at Futureworks (Yorkshire) can work in partnership with you all to create more new apprenticeship opportunities.


So, what is it that is occupying a great deal of my time and thoughts at the moment in line with this theme you may ask, well I’ve just started to build my own house. Most people might ask why on earth I’d do that and I might have had the same opinion but we had the land and thought why not, why not indeed!! To quote Nick, my other half “nothing is ever straight forward!”


Reading the magazines about building your own house it all looks so straight forward but in reality it’s so different. No problems with planning all relatively straight forward except maybe I could paper my bathroom with the amount of mining searches we have had to do! but self-build mortgages are a completely different animal. Never again will I try to get one. After providing all the facts and evidence they required, three months later they needed it all again as the last lot was out of date and so it continued as each month went by, ridiculous. Nick is a builder and has been all his adult life but usually of extensions etc. so we are literally building it ourselves. ‘How can we prove he is a builder?’ was one question we were asked, ‘you have his accounts for the last three years’ was my response; ‘how much is he building personally?’ was a further one followed by ‘who is building your house?’ at this point we decided to give up and fund it by another route.


It would be nice if there was a list somewhere or if some kind person in the Local Authority could tell you everything you needed to do prior to starting the build. Planning  Building Regulations and structural calks   Building Warranty and Insurance  but Radon Report, SAP Report, permission from British Coal to lift the building covenant, applying for an address to enable things to go forward and the new Community Infrastructure Levy which most Local Authorities have introduced and would add another £5000 onto the build cost all come left field. Any way as it turns out we don’t need to pay the new Levy, our outline planning permission was passed prior to April 2016 when it was introduced, also we are going to move into the house which is another factor.


Speaking of moving, will I want to do this when the time comes. After 27 years of living in the same house, and it’s MY house, will I be able to bring myself to move out? At this point I’m not too sure!! And how long will it take me to move out! Nick says I hoard things, but with 2 children and 1 grandchild I call it “saving a collection of memories” but I think we will always have to agree to disagree on that one.


Anyway, we’re just above DPC level as I’m typing this blog so it’s starting to look like a house. A series of early deliveries and late deliveries I’m told are usual along with not delivering what you need or delivering the wrong things. It makes me realise how hard you guys work when you take on the large developments you build, the organisational skills you must have to ensure they are built on time and it makes me proud that our apprentices are working alongside you; you are investing your valuable time to teach them so they can be just as successful in their careers.


Well that’s my story and for those of you who got to the end of it……………..thank you.