3D plans!

If like us, you have been through or are going through the planning process, you will know there can be a lot of waiting (!) but also back and forth with the planners, dealing with any disputes and negotiating any changes.

We were originally going to submit an application, after the house was built, to add a garage, but instead decided to get it all done in one go, and were told by our architect we could have a free amendment submitted.

It was recommended to have some 3D plans produced as well to give a visualisation of the space and the positioning of the garage. We highly recommend this! It not only helps the planners, but gives you a clear idea of the space and look of your new home

Here’s how ours looks, and pleased to say, it did help and the garage was accepted!

I think we may do something similar with the interiors, what do you think?


Caz and Andy x


Our experience of Purplebricks

We hadn’t sold a house before but had looked round a few, we’d been shown around houses by estate agents and homeowners and generally found the homeowners to be the best at it (not always) so we always knew we would want to do the house tours ourselves when selling.

When we decided to put the house on the market we did our own research and worked out what we thought it should be marketed at, we also had an idea what work we thought needed doing without spending a fortune.

We arranged for a visit from Purplebricks and a local ‘traditional’ estate agent, both suggested a similar selling price and that we do the minimal work to the house as the ground floor had just been renovated. When they went through their service offering we decided that, as we would do the viewings, the only services we required were photography and Right move listing, therefore for us the traditional agent did not justify the extra £500.

We painted a couple of upstairs rooms, glossed the skirting boards and moved the furniture around to appeal more to a family buyer. We luckily already had some professional photos as our house had been used as a case study by the underfloor heating company we used.

The pros

1. Obviously the lower cost was a big benefit!

2. We found the App really easy to use and showed us things like number of views etc…

3. Communication via the app was really good, eg someone cancelled a Sunday viewing on the day and we got notified so we weren’t waiting round all day, a traditional agent would have been closed so we wouldn’t have been notified.

4. Offers and feedback are sent via the app so we found out straight away when someone made an offer and could accept or get Purplebricks to negotiate.

The Cons

1. More direct contact with the buyers can be a positive but we also found that it could be frustrating at times, some people provided extensive feedback and also contacted us via social media.

2. Due to this direct contact our buyer asked multiple questions about the house after moving in, we wanted to be helpful but you wouldn’t get this with a traditional agent.

3. We didn’t struggle to get a sale but if we had the traditional agent may have had potential buyers on their books.

We managed to achieve within £3k of our target price and all things considered we would use an online estate agent again, the overall experience was good and it was exciting to get a notification of an offer straight after the viewer left and get the feedback unfiltered!


Caz & Andy

Moodboard – The Stairs

This has been a tough one, we’ve changed our minds plenty of times! At present we love a combination of concrete and wood. We are thinking precast concrete stairs with a wooden tread…

We just can’t decide whether to go with wood covering all of the concrete steps or just the treads…

Note that the hallway flooring will be a parquet hardwood…there is no movement on this, we have to have it! But that’s for another blog post…

Does anyone else have concrete stairs or a combination? Comments/opinions appreciated!


Caz and Andy x

The numbers..financing the build…

We’ve taken some inspiration from building the dream and put together some costs….I always love when they do that on the show and especially the estimated value! Also the houses nearly always come in at much higher value at the end…here’s hoping that happens with our house

The Land

The land consists of a cottage right at the back of the property..there isn’t a back garden. This allows for the new house to be built in front of the old, which will then be knocked down and will be our back garden. Because of this we are luckily able to live on site, saving us on rent, the cottage wasn’t in great condition but we have done a low cost decoration to make it comfortable, painting, flooring and cleaning. Despite only being 2 bedrooms we have managed to get all our possessions in so no storage costs either. Trawling Facebook and ebay we managed to get a dishwasher (essential) fridge freezer and washing machine for £30 each which will keep us going until we get new in the finished house.

The Build

See the source image

We had some equity from the sale of our last house, which we renovated, but the majority of the finance is from a self build loan. We arranged this through the Buildstore who we found to be very helpful through the application process.

See the source image

They initially took all our details and searched through all the available self build mortgages and made a recommendation with Furness Building society, this is interest only through the build but we can change to repayment once building is completed. We opted for the stage release of funds, where they release funds after each of the 4 stages are complete, which should work for us and our builder.

As part of the process they also did a build cost breakdown to check feasibility, as our builder is Andy’s uncle he is doing it for a very good price for us, Buildstore estimated a cost around £40k higher for the build therefore this took a while to resolve, eventually it was accepted but we had to prove we could afford the market price to build if required.

The cost to build quoted was assuming we don’t do anything ourselves however as amateur DIYers we are going to do as much as we can on evenings and weekends, such as fitting insulation, decorating, landscaping etc… which could save us almost £20k!

We have already made a start on clearing the site ourselves including the demolition of an old brick outbuilding and shed, so far this has only cost us £200 for a skip as we luckily managed to find someone local who wanted the bricks and took them away for free.

As Andy works for a building products manufacturer we are able to buy all the plastics at a very good price, including Underfloor heating, which we are very excited about 🤗

As we think more about internal finishings the budget may go up however we will finish one room at a time and see how far the money goes and see if credit cards are needed.

Hopefully we don’t go ‘building the dream’ style over budget and have to sell the Aston Martin 😂 watch this space!!


Caz and Andy x

Plans, Plans, Plans….

The first plan

The above plans were passed before we became involved in the project, the builder wanted 2 3 storey houses but this was refused so asked the architect to design 1 4 bed house, this was granted planning straight away.

When we were made aware of this opportunity we liked the plans straight away, the layout was similar to our old house but bigger, and we knew it would work for us with some minor changes.

We initially set about redesigning the interior layout as we didn’t want to make any major changes that would require going back into planning.

We wanted to keep the doggies in the back of the house during the day so put a wall in and also moved the stairs to the centre as we had seen this before and it looked good. We also removed the hall cupboards to open up the space as you enter, and made the back room fully open plan. Upstairs the changes we mainly around the master bedroom, putting in a dressing room rather than office and increasing the en-suite size.

As we started to live on site we decided that the existing outbuilding would not work for us and a new attached garage would be much better, so we crossed our fingers and went back into planning. We also put in for grey window frames and a new drop curb for extra parking, being on a corner we weren’t sure how this would go. This new planning all went through with no objections 🤗

Plans V2

We were now happy with these plans and felt they worked for us, however a delay to the build start and the watching of multiple house programmes (while drinking wine) made us start to think of changes we wanted. The architects in Your home made perfect always say about making the space work for you and not sticking with convention.

Further glasses of wine and we have moved more walls around and added his and hers dressing rooms and en-suites (excited about not having to share) which will better make use of the space and use a bedroom that otherwise would have been useless.

V3 upstairs layout
V3 downstairs layout

As the build is due to start next week hopefully we won’t change our minds anymore… we need to stop watching Grand designs (and drinking!)


Caz & Andy x

First Blog / Story so far

Firstly, hello! And welcome to our very first blog post! Very exciting…well for us…

As I write this post we are about to start with our first self build! We will be living in a 300 year old cottage on site whilst all this is going on…it isn’t as glam as it sounds..but we have made it cosy and more importantly liveable whilst we watch our new house take shape

I should also add that that the cottage is at the back of the plot, we do not have a back garden, the back wall is the boundary, and so after we have finished building it will be demolished and the space will be our back garden

Very luckily Andy’s Uncle is our builder but we will be helping in anyway we can to save money and just be a part of the process, so please follow along with our progress, inspirations (I love a mood board), living on site and just general village life!!

We also have an Instagram account if you would like to keep up to date on our daily progress and ideas!!


Happy Blogging!


Caz And Andy x