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My head hurts September 28, 2010

Posted by Laura in Uncategorized.
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I have, before we have broken ground, reached a point where I want to run, kicking and screaming, away from this house.  We have some money left over from the sale of our house to get started building with.  This afternoon I got a quote for the first part of the building including site clearance and the installation of the waste treatment along with the construction of the foundations and first floor.  The quote would leave us with €1,500!  It is twice what I expected it to be.  I can’t continue like this.  I can’t go on hearing telephone numbers for the construction of my house.

I don’t have expensive tastes but the County Council put so many restrictions on the site & design that there is a huge amount of work involved in just getting the area ready to be built on.

I am dreading ringing M to tell him.  I prewarned him about a figure that I had in mind, based on a labour only quote I got elsewhere and the quote today was double that!  I hate being the bearer of bad tidings.  I am also sick of having to explain the same stuff over and over.

Why can’t I win the Lotto?  Well, I would have to buy a ticket but if we get past that.  Why can’t I? Maybe tomorrow…

And so it begins September 21, 2010

Posted by Laura in Uncategorized.
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Each week I promise myself that this week I will write more and then I remember that I am not all that interested in writing at the moment.  But I should be better.  I want to make a record of the building of our home because it is a one off thing.  We are not going to do it again and I don’t want to look back and regret not recording the process so here is the news as it is at the moment.

The quotes are in and with them came a defibrillator because they were heart stopping stuff.  In my head I was hoping to come out the other side of the experience owing no more than €200,000, preferably no more than €180,000 but the quotes for the house alone are coming in at €240,000 and that is without a kitchen, without the garage, no garden, no tar on the driveway.  So, we have decided that we are going to have to go with direct labour.  It is not the route I wanted to take but I also didn’t want to spend more than €300,000 building my house and garage

So the madness has begun.  I am in the process of getting quotes for the groundworks for the house and we should have the house & garage up to ground floor level by J’s 2nd birthday, hopefully earlier than that.  What I need right now is for my engineer to call me back so I can get the specifications for the foundations from him so that I can get the drawings and specs off the to Quantity Surveyor who can get working on the Bill of Quantities.  I am surprised that I know all of this stuff but I am learning fast and picking the brains of everyone who comes across my path.

On my to do list there is:

  • Talk to engineer
  • Send plans & specs to QS
  • Contact plumbers for quotes
  • Contact heating specialists for quotes
  • Contact windows companies for quotes
  • Contact suppliers for quotes for: blocks (regular & aircrete blocks), concrete, mortar
  • Get insurance quotes
  • Get safety signs/PPE
  • Source hard hat & boots for a 5 year old who is going to want to go into the building site J

Oy, that is list is longer than I thought it was but I know that it is going to get longer, and longer, and longer!

We need to make a decision between the following:

Concrete floor vs timber floor upstairs

Under floor heating vs low temp fan assisted radiators upstairs.

We are having underfloor heating downstairs and the radiators for upstairs are proving to be as expensive as having underfloor heating upstairs BUT in order to have UFH we have to have a concrete floor upstairs (which I want) but it is ~€4000 more expensive than the timber floor (that M wants).  I want to spend the extra money for the floor so that I am not listening to foot falls upstairs for years to come but all M can see if the €4000 saving.  Oy!  Oh, having a timber floor upstairs means we wouldn’t have to use the bigger aircrete block on the internal leaf of the downstairs wall so we wouldn’t have to spend as much on the blocks either.  But I want my concrete floor!

That is the only choice we have to make for now but it is a big choice and it has to be made NOW.

I long for a WOW September 7, 2010

Posted by Laura in Uncategorized.
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When I came back to work in may I was blown away by the reactions of the people that I work with.  They hadn’t seen me since I was 6 months pregnant with J so I was about 7 stone lighter and obviously not pregnant any more J  I got such a high from their reactions and I floated around on them for a long time.  Unfortunately I haven’t seen anyone new since then so I haven’t had a wow since then either.  I long for one now.  I yearn for the OMG reaction when someone sees me for the first time in years.  I know a few people who haven’t seen me in a long time but I am unlikely to see them, simply because of circumstances or geography.  I know I could fly to Washington DC tomorrow and get a few WOW’s in there but that is a long way to travel for that sort of feedback!

I have been watching what I am eating for a week now and I feel so much better because of it.  It also helps that J is going to sleep super fast these days so everything is calmer.  3 weeks ago I was 80kg.  Now I am 75.2!  A lot of that weight was the junk that was being stored in my gut so I don’t think I have lost almost 5kg of fat in 3 weeks.