Straw Bale volunteers

Anything to do with environmental building projects.
pocaniehontas
margo - newbie
margo - newbie
Posts: 12
Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2013 3:56 pm
Location: Galashiels, Langlee

Re: Straw Bale volunteers

Post: #271304 pocaniehontas
Mon Jan 21, 2013 8:29 pm

Thank you for detailed info, it seems I cannot count any more :/ I will need to follow your advice and meet with somebody at the council office and get some info from them as well. I found a piece of land I may be interested, so I get slightly overexcited :)

User avatar
Thurston Garden
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 1455
Joined: Fri May 25, 2007 3:19 pm
Location: Scottish Borders
Contact:

Re: Straw Bale volunteers

Post: #271308 Thurston Garden
Mon Jan 21, 2013 9:11 pm

I would be tempted to leave the council alone for as long as you can, as far as building control is concerned anyway. You could approach the planners for a view on whether they would look favourable on an application to build a house on the site (or review the local plan - google "town name" settlement map) but the only sure way to do this is with a planning application (Planning In Principle). The snag is that if the site does not already have a consent, there's an element of risk in buying it: consent is never guaranteed. You can apply for consent on land you don't own but this would of course seriously raise the value of the land when you try to buy it, and the owner may not even sell once you have done the hard work (and had the cost) of getting a consent which they can then implement. Land round here could be bought for say £10k without consent, but with consent, it would be worth ten times that or more. PM me your details and I will be what help I can!
Thurston Garden.

http://www.thurstongarden.wordpress.com
Greenbelt is a Tory Policy and the Labour Party intends to build on it. (John Prescott)

User avatar
Thurston Garden
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 1455
Joined: Fri May 25, 2007 3:19 pm
Location: Scottish Borders
Contact:

Re: Straw Bale volunteers

Post: #271310 Thurston Garden
Mon Jan 21, 2013 9:22 pm

It's maybe worth adding that I was only able to find one lender who would provide a mortgage for straw bales - Ecology Building Society. Their rates are favourable and there's a discount available on the standard interest rate depending on the efficiency of the finished house. I get 0.75% discount as my house is carbon neutral. Ecology are careful lenders. Their max loan to value is quite low and there's definitely no interest only mortgages. They are very good to deal with - I only dealt with one person directly, no being passed around a call centre, just one number and one email address. They did the stage valuations and stage releases of funds exactly as and when I needed them meaning I only had to draw down enough funds as and when I needed them.

Insurance is tricky too. I could only find two insurers - Aviva (oddly enough) and Naturesave. I opted for Naturesave as they are small, competitive and again you only deal with one person directly.
Thurston Garden.



http://www.thurstongarden.wordpress.com

Greenbelt is a Tory Policy and the Labour Party intends to build on it. (John Prescott)

pocaniehontas
margo - newbie
margo - newbie
Posts: 12
Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2013 3:56 pm
Location: Galashiels, Langlee

Re: Straw Bale volunteers

Post: #271315 pocaniehontas
Mon Jan 21, 2013 9:57 pm

It is tricky to buy a reasonable price plot. I live in council house, it is ok, but I have my dream and since I am not getting younger I really want to have a space I belong to and it is a part of me. I have very little money, I will work hard, borrow and live cheap to achieve my goal. I want to use recycled materials as well and fit some extras so the house would be even cheaper to run... It is a dream at the moment, but with this plot it seems almost real. Thank you for your help, I will need a lot of it. I am grateful for any piece of advice I am getting. Cross our fingers, I am going o pray :) I feel lucky finding good people in my life :) I believe my luck :)

User avatar
Thurston Garden
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 1455
Joined: Fri May 25, 2007 3:19 pm
Location: Scottish Borders
Contact:

Re: Straw Bale volunteers

Post: #271324 Thurston Garden
Mon Jan 21, 2013 10:40 pm

Here's some ballpark figures off the top of my head (this will probably blow my percentages quoted earlier out of the water....):

Access road - £5k
Reedbed - £2k
Grid connection - £3k
Foundations - £2k
Compost toilet - £500
Timber - £6k
Bales - £1k
Windows - £12k
Lime render exterior - £2k
Clay render inside - £24 - yes twenty four pounds!
Stove & flue - £3k
PV - 2.3kw - £5k
Solar thermal inc thermal store - £3k
Kitchen - £6k (small but hand made)
Plumbing - £1k
Electrics - £3k
Oak flooring - £2k
Slates £3k (slated myself)
Finishings (skirtings, internal doors etc) £2k

Add in £12k for the architect to get planning and building warrant only.
Also £6k for the engineer.

The house is relatively simple with no extravagances, save the kitchen. It's 2 beds, mostly open plan on one floor. It's possible some money could be saved by having a smaller floor plan and having 1 1/2 storey with dormer windows and bedrooms upstairs. That's not very 'old age friendly' though, and I doubt the savings would be great.

So £60k ish for materials. There would be at least the same for labour (£60k @ £20/hr av = 3,000 hours = 1,000 hours for 3 men = 125 days or 6 months and 1 week). You could strip a lot of labour out and whilst that saves on cost, it adds in additional hidden costs - rent and mortgage interest. We started onsite in April and I moved in in late December. There were never more than 4 guys on site at a time, mainly only 2 or 3 most days but more when the electrician, plumber and plasterer came on site. I did a lot of the labouring when the foundations went in, slated the roof with my Dad, did the internal decoration and a lot of the internal finishings. A year on and there's still finishing to do - don't under estimate how long things take! I only have myself to worry about - no child care here. I lived in a caravan onsite during the build and worked full time at my paid job (prob 50 hours a week) and project managed the planning/building control/build from start to finish. To be frank, the day the last tradesman left site, I was utterly, utterly shattered mentally. I am ex-forces and it takes a lot to phase me, but I will not be building another house. Prior to being made redundant in October past, I was a commercial property developer and well versed in juggling different projects, but the house build really took it out of me. Don't let me put anyone off - far from it. I love my house and seriously intend going out of it feet first. I have exactly what I wanted. A house design and layout I have held in my head for more than 10 years. A house that is super efficient, used reclaimed and local materials as far as possible. I would encourage anyone to do it, once. It will take far longer than you imagine, and cost a damned sight more too. After all, you really only have one chance at it, or I did anyway.
Thurston Garden.



http://www.thurstongarden.wordpress.com

Greenbelt is a Tory Policy and the Labour Party intends to build on it. (John Prescott)

pocaniehontas
margo - newbie
margo - newbie
Posts: 12
Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2013 3:56 pm
Location: Galashiels, Langlee

Re: Straw Bale volunteers

Post: #271326 pocaniehontas
Mon Jan 21, 2013 11:14 pm

Thank you very much for the list of your cost. It gives me slightly clearer idea how much money I would need, I will have to find out if the plot I got so interested in has consent. (thank you for that advice especially) I will as well find it, to see it. The plot is not far and is in residential area... I have some friends who are builders, one is carpenter, another electrician. My friends here have no experience with building with straw, such friends I have in Poland. Some of them are ready to come any time to help. For anything else I know two people with building companies, I am friendly enough with them that they should give me some valuable advice and maybe give me a good price as well :)

pocaniehontas
margo - newbie
margo - newbie
Posts: 12
Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2013 3:56 pm
Location: Galashiels, Langlee

Re: Straw Bale volunteers

Post: #271333 pocaniehontas
Tue Jan 22, 2013 10:16 am

bad news.. site does not have a consent... Sounds like or risk it or wait for opportunity

User avatar
Thurston Garden
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 1455
Joined: Fri May 25, 2007 3:19 pm
Location: Scottish Borders
Contact:

Re: Straw Bale volunteers

Post: #271340 Thurston Garden
Tue Jan 22, 2013 11:45 am

I appreciate you won't want to divulge the location of the plot, but you did say it was in a residential area, so on that basis alone, a lot of the risk is gone. Maybe a discussion with the planners is in order after all. It can be a lot of work but planning can usually be gained with perseverance.
Thurston Garden.



http://www.thurstongarden.wordpress.com

Greenbelt is a Tory Policy and the Labour Party intends to build on it. (John Prescott)

pocaniehontas
margo - newbie
margo - newbie
Posts: 12
Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2013 3:56 pm
Location: Galashiels, Langlee

Re: Straw Bale volunteers

Post: #271342 pocaniehontas
Tue Jan 22, 2013 1:47 pm

planners, I am not sure where is it, even who the person is.. I like the location of the plot... well I am confused a bit. I want to do it... I would talk with planners before or after I would buy a plot?

User avatar
Thurston Garden
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 1455
Joined: Fri May 25, 2007 3:19 pm
Location: Scottish Borders
Contact:

Re: Straw Bale volunteers

Post: #271343 Thurston Garden
Tue Jan 22, 2013 2:12 pm

See the planners BEFORE you buy a plot. They will give an informal view on the likelihood of a planning consent on the site. They should also be able to give you any planning history for the site - there may have been an application refused previously.

You can search the planning database for applications post 2005 here

A list of the settlement maps is here these show land allocations in all towns and villages in the Borders. It's no substitute for meeting the planners though.

You should be able to meet the duty planner at the council HQ in Newtown. I would take a plan so you could show them the site on paper. Planners are fickle, doomsayers and like everything to be cut and dried and tick their little boxes!
Thurston Garden.



http://www.thurstongarden.wordpress.com

Greenbelt is a Tory Policy and the Labour Party intends to build on it. (John Prescott)

pocaniehontas
margo - newbie
margo - newbie
Posts: 12
Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2013 3:56 pm
Location: Galashiels, Langlee

Re: Straw Bale volunteers

Post: #271344 pocaniehontas
Tue Jan 22, 2013 2:41 pm

I phoned the agency, they gave me the owner's name. As far as they know the owner hadn't applied for building there anything. They couldn't give me the address, which is a great pity. I can always have an appointment with agency to see a plot.


Return to “Green Building”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest