We had a call from our uncle the builder, let's call him Bob, last night, in which he confidently informed us that he would be starting on Monday. We weren't expecting that.
We are not frantically finishing the clearing of garage, study and utility room, about 80-90% done, and removing all the decking from the back, now 100% done. Just need to finish the study, get the computer and chair in the loft ready for a weekend of destruction. David and Samantha are coming over on Saturday, and David has volunteered to arrive early and help do some clearing of the utility/study/garage area. There will be much removing of cabinets, for safe storing in my parents' garage, and we also hope to do some bringing down of stud partitions. Now that we are going the Bob the Uncle route, this will be a more hands-on (and lower cost) option, so anything I do is stuff we don't need to pay Bob to do, and we do have our eyes on a number of furnishings that will finish off the room nicely, but for which we need some of our budget to be left over once all the structural stuff is complete. Now, I am an avid fan of Grand Designs, and I know that the budget and time line always goes over, and I know that when we interviewed at the start of the build, we will make assertions on timescales and budgets that will be blown out the water, since that is how the show goes. About half way through we will want to give it all up, but by the end we will proclaim that it was all worth it, and we hope never to do anything quite so stupid every again.
Having said all that, we are very much wanting to control the finances, and that means for us using relatives, paying day rates and generally taking it a stage at a time. The goal is for Bob to complete the brickie duties, up to first fix, when my father-in-law, let's call him Bob the Second, will take on the work from first fix to completion, being his own plumber, and being related to a carpenter in his brother, my uncle-in-law, and with Bob the Second lining up all the specialist resources as needed, drawing from his large circle of fellow tradesmen, all of which will be personally vetted by Bob the Second, which I think is just the ticket.
I am off to do a day's work now, with the aim of finishing on time ready for the next phase of project strip-it-out, which will continue all weekend. I hope to give you a thoroughly good update early next week.
Until then, be good, be safe, and think of my poor little office-boy hands.