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Throwing the budget out of the window

May 10, 2010

The Ready Brek glow of good feeling from my blog post a while back cooled to a chill of panic just before Hughie was born.

As I said before, the architect’s plans were wonderful. But the budget they sent through was not. Tom sent us his outline budget for the project and it was a coronary-inducing £100,000 over. That’s not far off double what we had allowed for. I was expecting to have to make some adjustments and compromises, but not to the detriment of 80%+ of the project.

Our immediate worry was that we were going to end up paring everything back to be left with a bog standard interior, loft extension and kitchen side-return. All that would be left of our ‘architecturally designed’ dream would be the project fee we’d have to pay for the architect’s to oversee a bog standard build, and a set of lovely drawings for a house we never achieved. 

Tom went away for a week’s holiday and we braced ourselves to wrestle with excel spreadsheets of our finances and a long, hard conversation with him when he returned.

To add insult to financially ruinous injury, the day after The Pike Practice had sent us the ludicrous budget, they also sent us a bill for £2500. The invoice stated the fee covered drawings and outline budget. Well that was all very well, but the budget was wrong (wildly wrong) and so too were the drawings therefore.

And so we tumbled headlong into our first hurdle. Scrape-kneed we brushed ourselves off and readied ourselves to take on the next one, and to almost simultaneously give birth to our first child. 

Here’s a ‘Good Luck’ card our new neighbours sent us. You’ll notice it says ‘good luck’ not ‘welcome to your new home’? They’re quite right, we need a LOT of luck, and the current house is certainly a long way off being a ‘home’!

Web stats: being house and bed-bound by the severe case of Pelvic Girdle Pain I’d developed in pregnancy, I could keep a keen eye on the web stats thanks to the powers of an iPhone. So I was in good contact with the team and watched the stats stay a steady 800+ a day. 

Today’s observation: thank god for a job that I love. Having thought my last two weeks before birth would be spent catching up with friends and enjoying the spring weather walking the dog by the river, in fact I was holed up at home. The dog had to go into kennels because I couldn’t walk him and the limit of my daily activity was reduced to shuffling from bed to bathroom, and back again. But at least with my iPhone I could keep up to date with work.

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