Its FINALLY happening! We’re about to start building our house! Well, I say we but actually its a very lovely man called Alan Lorimer, our builder. I have waited a very long time to say that.
We started our self build adventure nearly 3 years ago in April 2014 when we decided to sell our house. We had outgrown our home and needed to find a house that suited what we wanted for our family. We loved living rurally so we looked around south Aberdeenshire but there was very little for sale. The downturn in the oil industry was resulting in fewer people selling up while they waited to see what would happen.
Tom had always dreamed of building his own home some day. We had even gone so far as to look into kit houses several years previously. So, given our failure to find anything suitable, we changed our search criteria in the ASPC (Aberdeen Solicitors Property Centre) and started looking for suitable plots. This would be the defining factor as affordable plots were also very difficult to come by. We soon came upon a plot of land being sold by a farmer near Kinneff, 7 miles south of Stonehaven.
Tom is a civil and structural and at the time was an associate in Arch Henderson LLP (he’s still there, he’s just now a partner) and this was very useful for designing our house. We used one of the in-house architects at Tom’s company, a lovely gentleman called Scott Ewen, to design our house and he did a great job. Tom sorted out all of the structural work and we felt confident that we would be building summer 2015. However, after a year of searching for a builder that fit in with the finances we had in place, it was clear that in Aberdeenshire the cost of such a build was going to be far greater. Unfortunately our building society was not able to help us with this (we couldn’t get them to agree to a reasonable final valuation) so we remortgaged with Ecology Building Society. We found our builder (Alan Lorimer from Inverbervie) through word of mouth recommendation and once we had our new mortgage in place everything started to move quickly.
Which brings us to the beginning of April 2017 and the real start of our big self build adventure!