Looking back, this should probably have been done a lot earlier but I’ve finally got around to doing and writing about the disheartening owner building estimations. It can be so horribly disheartening. Since I started this build in May last year (2018) it’s been a constant up hill battle and going through the costings for this build has left me feeling almost broken. In the beginning there was a figure of what I could afford and the budget goal, the whole time, was to stick within this budget. so many times I’ve heard about people running into trouble because they’ve gone over budget
Going through the design process with Matt from Enduring Domain, we went through the considerations for what would be most important and what would fit within this budget. As he pointed out early on, windows and insulation were of greatest importance and we would spare no expense in what has now become the disheartening owner building estimations. So it was clear from the beginning windows were going to be expensive. I just didn’t realise how expensive!! Now that I’ve finally started nutting out the figures, it’s becoming extremely disheartening. The cost of insulation worked out to be a high but reasonable figure, the windows on the other hand! They’re going to chew up a third of the budget. a lot more than I expected and it’s freaking me out.
To give you an insight, the windows are being supplied by Miglas. Double glazed, Aliclad(aluminium on the outside, timber on the inside). The outside glass is toughened to meet the bushfire fire rating and the inside is Low-E glass to give better insulation rating but still allow the radiant heat from the sun to heat the concrete slab in winter. The Insulation will be on the higher end of the scale with the highest R rating. More expensive than normal but still a reasonable expense in the scope of the budget.
The budget over the last 12 months though, has taken a few knocks. First there was the Van, it seemed like a good idea at the time but it took a large chunk out of the budget. Yeah, I needed a new car and bought a brand new van. I figured in the time it would take to get all the permits through it would give me time to repair the budget. Then, work died off, so I had virtually no income for about 5 months and this not only took large chunk out of the budget as I had to survive but it also meant I couldn’t recover the money spent on a new van. During this time the bills didn’t stop coming in! It doesn’t help my daughter has a high maintenance horse that still needed looking after. Which I wouldn’t change for the world it just doesn’t help the battle with those elusive disheartening estimations.
So going through all the costings of the build is becoming more and more soul crushing. Over the past 12 months, while the rest of the world is off having fun, enjoying life and going on holidays. I’m stuck behind a computer, doing paper work, working or doing the little things in preparation for the build. Doing things by hand, like digging trenches for power, because I can’t afford to get a machine in to do it for me. My social life has crashed to almost nothing. The highlight of my life these days is hanging at the pub having a few beers or hanging with the kids. It becomes increasingly more and more difficult to stay positive. At the moment spirits are at an all time low but I know in the end it will be worth it and I WILL eventually find a way to make up for the losses. Me, being the dreamer that I am, have so many ideas and dreams that now sit on the back burner.
To find a place that I can call “home”, for me, is a gift. I’ve always been restless and never felt at home anywhere else, but here I do. The world is a different place here and the magic here is what keeps me going. I can’t give up on this path as I know I’ll never find another place that carries the same magic as this place. Besides it’s to late to turn around and leave it behind, to much has been invested in this path I’ve chosen. So like the early explorers traversing this wonderful land I push forward to find my way home.