Timelines, budgets… and missing them

So, in the real Grand Designs show, we’re constantly shown families who present a timeframe and a budget at the start of the show that Kevin McCloud scoffs at and and says they’ll never be able to meet. We, nod sagely and agree that there is no way that these people are ever going to meet those completely unrealistic goals, and then congratulate our wisdom when it turns out to be true.

But of course, we’d never do that ourselves would we?

So, we thought that 4 weeks would be ample time to get the things done that were required to be able to move into a largely ‘done’ home, and had even toyed with less time… 2 weeks even, and our original budget for doing everything was $15K… So, how realistic has this been, with our move in day now approaching on this coming Monday?

  • Building works: comprising of moving doors, closing up openings, clearing away pillars, providing new supporting beams, and patching holes created by objects etc. was all done with a reasonable amount of time to spare, other than the door frame around the new door to Eibhlin’s room that is. It looks like we’ll be moving in with no door on that… so a pinned up blanket for a bit may be the go, as no building works can happen between now and pretty much move in day due to the floors. But this was postponed due to our builder having a baby, so in normal circumstances, timing on this was fine. The tasks assigned to me, like a couple of new bits of flooring were pretty quick to do, and the only large project is the skirting boards, which unfortunately will now not be even started before we move in due to the flooring being delayed. The spend on some of the works went higher than expected due to the cost of removing the two pillars between living and lounge rooms, but the end result is well and truly worth the extra money.
  • Painting: In all rooms other than bathrooms/laundry, this is done now, but required ridiculous hours pretty much every night, and a large push on one day that was roughly 15 hours of painting in a stretch. Part of this was due to the building works/plastering stopping any painting being able to be started in some rooms, but most of it was just due to how long it takes to prepare surfaces and then paint things in a given order (ceiling, trims then walls)
  • Demolishing/removal of old features: A job done by Belinda, myself and Ben (and some items by our plumber), and one that was pretty easily done in the timeframe. This was taking off old skirting boards, removing odd wooden things in walk in robe areas, removing the old kitchen etc. Dismantling things is a lot quicker than building them.
  • New floor: This has definitely blown out time wise. Not drastically such that we can’t move in (hopefully, still of course, not done yet), but cutting it so close that we’ll have to move in with the utmost barest essentials furniture wise, and that with felt under it, until the floors have had a goodly amount of time to cure. Certainly hope we don’t do any permanent damage to them early on during their fragile time.
  • Budget: We have gone over… by about 30%, and have had to drop off things we initially thought we may be able to squeeze in (access to lower level… Ha! Tell us we were dreamin’). We have so far spent roughly $21.5K, and more than half of that has been on the floor.

So, where does that put us? We get to move in on Monday as planned (barring any further delays from the flooring guys), but have to do so in a limited fashion, with furniture stashed in the ‘rumpus room’ until the floors are ready for heavier traffic. Also the skirting boards will be done over the first couple of weeks we live there.

Ideal? No, but the house is coming together very nicely and we’re very excited to be moving in. I’m concerned about moving into a house with floors that haven’t cured for as long as they really should have, and hope to get through that delicate period with no lasting damage to them.

We’ll certainly have a lot of weekend projects to keep us going for a long time to come.

And we haven’t even mentioned the exterior and gardens!