House Building Shows

A fortnight ago, Naomi and I went to the Grand Designs Live show at the NEC. It was really interesting, and it made me all the more determined to actually build a house rather than buy one. There was a huge amount of stuff on display, and we came back with two bags packed with brochures and leaflets. We didn’t get to see Kevin McCloud, but did spend half an hour with an architect, who didn’t laugh at us for having such a small budget.

Yesterday we went to a show at the BuildStore in Swindon. It was much more low-key, and there were fewer people at it, but I think we got more out of it. Especially when we went to the demonstration of ICF, and talked to some financial people. ICF is a new way of building which involves building with lego-like polystyrene blocks and then filling them with concrete. I’m now pretty sold on the idea of using it, especially as it can have such low U-values that we’d hardly need to spend any money on heating. And we could do most of the building ourselves rather than having to spend money on builders.

I’ve also been doing a bit of DIY. Last week I planed down the edges of some of the doors in the house so they don’t stick any more, I put some shelves up in the kitchen and fixed some hooks in the bathroom. Today I put the kitchen door back on, and fitted a catch so it’ll stay closed properly. Naomi had taken it off to make it more open plan, but with the weather getting colder, and with the kitchen not having double glazing, it was making the living room very cold, so it had to go back on.

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