Friday, 19 June 2015

Building application, basement and sampling

There's been quite a lot of progress since my last post. First was the approval of my plans by the planning office. There shouldn't have been any problems but given how long it takes to get approval it was a relief that there had been no trouble. In the end it took less than the average 10 weeks I had heard of but it wasn't quick. Along with the permission to build came the requirement to have two large trees (to take the place of the large hedge that had been there previously), a load of forms that will need to be completed during the build, warnings and rules about damage to local infrastructure and, of course, a big bill.

Next came a meeting with the basement manager. He wanted to meet at the plot to discuss the basement and what I needed to do before they could start. He took some photos at the site (which is now a hive of activity with houses going up quickly) and the said we should find a café where we could fill in a large form that he estimated would take an hour. As there is nothing much in the village we ended up at a McDonald's nearby. I have to sort out water, electricity, a toilet, crane permit and, most importantly, find a ground worker. He will send me some suggestions and I am contacting a few others to try and get a good deal. The amount to organise is concerning but should be doable. More worrying was his comment that the basement may need to be anchored at extra cost. He wouldn't say how much.

Most recently I went for the sampling at a warehouse about 90 min drive away. I had to choose the tiles, flooring, toilet, shower, internal doors, front door, door handles, taps etc. I was dreading this, expecting to be pressured into upgrading beyond the standard options that are included in the price. As it was the staff member was very helpful and did not apply any pressure at all, he also had some useful comments and suggestions. They didn't have much of a range of paint colours so I decided I would do this separately later. Their small showers (for the downstairs toilet) were also expensive so I passed on that too. In the bedrooms I want carpet, this is not very German thing, hard floors are king here. So it's no surprise that they didn't have a very good selection and that will be a later purchase.

I spent a bit more on the flooring to get the one I like. I'm also very please with the doors, plumbing fixtures, front door, windows, roof tiles etc but I'm not totally convinced by my tile selection. I think I'm happy with the bathrooms but the tiles for the hall are still a question and I think I may swap them for a slightly warmer tone.

As I left I had to sign for everything. I had clawed back quite a bit of money. Of course that will need to be spent on paint, carpet and a small shower, but even then it's pretty good. Finally they gave me €30 for my lunch and an iPad Air which I can download instructions onto.

So a good bit of progress. The next step is really to get digging!