It’s been over a month now since my last blog and what a lot has happened. My last one was typed and ready to upload when we received some devastating news. Framewise, who had manufactured our timber frame, went into administration. Unfortunately, this was before our house had been fully erected, though I am very mindful of the fact that we have been so much better off than a lot of people who had paid hefty deposits to Framewise and who now have no house or half a house and no money. It has really knocked us for six so I can’t imagine how those people are feeling – sick to the stomach I would imagine.

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Although our house was pretty much complete, there were still a number of jobs left – more on that in a minute. The most pressing issue though is that we were not given the timber frame calculations and HB353 certificate; both of which are required by the NHBC. We had been advised back in January that the former had been submitted but have now found out this wasn’t the case and cannot get them released to us. I am now in contact with the administrators and we are trying to find a way around this issue; which I believe is affecting other people who had orders placed with Framewise.

So far as the outstanding jobs were concerned, most of these were detailed in the partial sign-off report and we were advised that we would have to get them finished off ourselves. However, as more time has passed, we have found more issues that weren’t identified in the report and, of course, we now have no fall back to Framewise.

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There are two major problems. The vaulted ceiling over the master bedroom has not been constructed properly and we are left with the prospect of either having to have the whole lot craned back off and re-started or making do with what we’ve got. The choice at the moment is the latter but a lot of remedial work is needed to make the structure sound and safe.

The other problem is that the Caberdek flooring laid to the whole of the first floor was not glued and taped as it was put down. We have no roof, it has rained – no prizes for guessing what’s happened. Once the roof structure is put right, we can then get the slates on and review the situation. It looks like we may have to replace the whole lot (150 square metres) or possibly get away with planing it all and topping it with ply. Either option is daunting, time costly and expensive – not to mention something we didn’t anticipate ever having to do.

BUT, and it’s a big but, we do have a house. We’re only two weeks behind schedule at the moment but that is due to family and friends giving up their weekends to get as many of the outstanding jobs done as possible, and also thanks to our fantastic builders and some of our subcontractors who have been prepared and able to lend a hand to get things to how they should be.

The house is definitely taking shape and will be amazing when it’s finished. It’s hard not to get down about everything that’s happened but I have to keep reminding myself that we are in a far better position than a lot of people – not least the people who have lost their jobs/contracts and haven’t been paid as a result of Framewise getting into difficulties. A terrible situation all round.

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