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Our Grand Design: The highs and lows of building in a boom

191 pages3 hours


Join us on our journey as we build our ideal home (a) to our own design (b) on a limited budget (c) in the middle of a boom. With hindsight, any one of these steps would have presented a challenge; taken together, it turned out to be something more than that.

But we were blithely unaware of this when we set out to create our ideal home. It was partly our own fault that our original modest and sensible sketches fledged into something quite different, but partly beyond our control when we were overtaken by the building boom. And it was this last that caused the difficulties to snowball and the stresses to accumulate. In the end, what we had estimated would take around six months to build took five years.

Would we do it again? Probably. The house is a joy. But if we had any choice at all, we’d do it in a less ferocious housing market at a time when land was cheaper and when builders and tradesmen were not bending under the multiple pressures of unrelenting work, a crippling scarcity of building materials and escalating prices.

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