On-site living

Caporegime
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We're looking at options for living whilst our (potential new) house is rebuilt/extended. Given the ludicrous rental prices in Cambridge we're considering a static caravan a la Grand Designs*, up to about £5,000, and we're just wondering if its a good idea, things to look out for and be wary about. Has anyone done this? We're probably looking at a minimum of 6 months.

I'm not entirely sure about the plumbing aspect, is it easier to dig a septic tank, or should it be plumbed to the mains? Electricity we think shouldn't be hard as we can sort this from the rear of the house.



*I just hope this doesn't end up with a new baby, as it usually does in GD :p.
 
Soldato
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A house on my street had a big non-static caravan on the drive for about 6 months this year while he basically rebuilt the house from bare brick. Looked like he just had a typical caravan set up for waste etc, must have been a bit of a pain :o
 
Soldato
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How many of you are there? just two?

And do you have a reasonable garden area where you could put a static caravan?

I was having this discussion with someone the other day and they actually decided to put in a proper little garden room thing with two rooms, around the size of a static caravan... not a lot different to the outgoings in rent but will leave them with something very useable at the end
 
Caporegime
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Well there are the three of us, but I don't see it being a problem for the +1 because he's 5 months old, so as long as its well insulated he won't care where he is. The cat will get a bit ****ed off at being kept indoors but she'll get over it.

We have plenty of room for a static caravan, I just can't decide if I want too :p.

I'd considered something more permanent, but we want the garden space when its done, as we're planning to take a few metres for the rearwards part of the extension.
 
Soldato
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Potential advantages of the caravan option, cheaper and your onsite permanently so can keep an eye on things
Potential disadvantages of the caravan, cold, ugly, small and your permanently living on a building site

Guess it depends how much you will save and how badly you need to save it.
 
Caporegime
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What about the caravan parks around Cambridge, their used to be one on Lime Kiln Hill. Could you not rent one of those, rather than buy one or rent temp?

Congratulations on the boy, I didn't know you were with child these days :)
 
Caporegime
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Renting outside of Cambridge isn't a bad shout actually, I don't mind a winter commute even on the bicycle, but I think the other half will be unhappy if she's isolated from baby groups.

Congratulations on the boy, I didn't know you were with child these days :)
Thanks! It's not been long, but it's what has hastened our return to the UK. I'll be splitting my time for a while, but I think we'll be renting out the house in France early next year, of course I've no idea how this goddamn referendum vote is going to screw us over in that regard but I don't think I'm going to be able to convince the other half to return to France with him.
 
Soldato
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Relations have bought static caravans twice for consecutive self-builds; they bought them from other folks who had just done the same, and sold on without too much loss.
At the time they had children just taking exams and I wondered how that perturbed them;
however for a 5 month old is the heating/washing/cooking/drying facilities going to be OK ?

From what you are saying, you are new to Cambridge, but having to commute up the A10 for example, if you rented, could take hours out of your day too.
 
Soldato
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What about the caravan parks around Cambridge, their used to be one on Lime Kiln Hill. Could you not rent one of those, rather than buy one or rent temp?

Congratulations on the boy, I didn't know you were with child these days :)

I'm pretty sure they all close over the winter. Or from what ive been told they do.

A friend of mine who owns one said, they have to close for 2 months because you get people living in them full time. They then have to start paying council tax. So if one has to pay they all do.

Not sure if this is 100℅ correct tho.
 
Soldato
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Was going to say a block booking of a hotel room negotiating the price then saw the bit about the pussy. At least you could move back into the house at a moments notice - not have to give two months notice as you often do with renting.
 
Soldato
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My uncle has done this twice with his wife and 3 boys (aged 12-5 the 1st time). He's currently doing it again now (although my cousins are grown up and moved out)

I remember the first house build taking over a year but they had no problems with anything apart from the constant cleaning up of mud.

He's a builder so used to the conditions and only had to step outside to go to work. Shiny shoes won't last long in wintery conditions if you have to walk through it, especially when its dark. Think about the placement if you are doing this.

I looked into a holiday letting instead of renting as we only needed 3 months for house completion(buying) but the costs worked out to about the same for 6 months rent.
 
Caporegime
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We've got a large space away from the house and away from the construction area that we plan to fence off. I wonder if its possible to rent a motorhome of the like for it; I just don't see it being any cheaper than buying a static caravan.

Even renting outside and commuting in; we're looking at close to £1,000pcm for a reasonable property; and thats quite a way away (eg St Ives), and we're always going to face issues with the cat.

I wonder if I can stomach a caravan for 6 months. At least the static ones have separate rooms..
 
Man of Honour
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its not cheap but the best pluming for toilet would be an incinerator toilet. they burn the waste and eave you with just ash, but best part of 3k, electric or gas variants. then sell it on when you done. or you could see how much it would cost to get a temporary out house plumbed in.

which would leave the rest of the pluming easy as long as you used bio degradable detergents, just could put it into a soakaway.

6months will fly by and better to save the money , although summer would be a better time. its the ones who don't have plans, don't have costs and end up in it for like 3 years who are the idiots.
 
Man of Honour
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I don't see it being a problem for the +1 because he's 5 months old, so as long as its well insulated he won't care where he is

Given you said this would be for a minimum of 6 months, I'd look into this carefully. Having a baby on site while building works are going on may potentially pose some health risks from dust etc, not to mention possibility of a harsh winter. Even if he's well insulated I guess there is more risk of condensation/damp etc(?). How easily will it be to prepare meals, dry washing etc? Also it sounds as though he'll be a toddler before the work is finished; a 5 month old may not care where they are, but a one year old might. Can a static caravan offer a child everything they need for their development

I'm no expert on the health aspects so the above could be non-issues - you may have already researched this heavily - but it doesn't sound like something I would countenance with a young child (I have a 3yo so know how quickly they develop). Also bear in mind you may potentially cop a bit of flak from friends/relatives/neighbours/healthcare professionals in terms of passing judgement on whether it is appropriate to bring up a baby in such an environment. You may be thick skinned about this but is your partner? Every time the baby gets ill (believe me, they will irrespective of where you live!) will there be snide comments from anyone about whether this was the cause?

Just throwing up some considerations that you may have closed down already but I wouldn't want them to be overlooked in this situation.
 
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Soldato
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Is 6 months a four month project with two months contingency? Or should you be thinking 8 months to allow for some problems?
 
Caporegime
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my mate did this and got stung for council tax on the static caravan :(
I've emailed the council to ask about the requirements for this, and waiting to hear back.

Is 6 months a four month project with two months contingency? Or should you be thinking 8 months to allow for some problems?
Its four with two months contingency, based on a couple of different builders estimates. But thats also why the static caravan idea appealed because if its 8 months we don't have to worry about moving/renewing a lease.
 
Caporegime
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Given you said this would be for a minimum of 6 months, I'd look into this carefully. Having a baby on site while building works are going on may potentially pose some health risks from dust etc, not to mention possibility of a harsh winter. Even if he's well insulated I guess there is more risk of condensation/damp etc(?). How easily will it be to prepare meals, dry washing etc? Also it sounds as though he'll be a toddler before the work is finished; a 5 month old may not care where they are, but a one year old might. Can a static caravan offer a child everything they need for their development

I'm no expert on the health aspects so the above could be non-issues - you may have already researched this heavily - but it doesn't sound like something I would countenance with a young child (I have a 3yo so know how quickly they develop). Also bear in mind you may potentially cop a bit of flak from friends/relatives/neighbours/healthcare professionals in terms of passing judgement on whether it is appropriate to bring up a baby in such an environment. You may be thick skinned about this but is your partner? Every time the baby gets ill (believe me, they will irrespective of where you live!) will there be snide comments from anyone about whether this was the cause?

Just throwing up some considerations that you may have closed down already but I wouldn't want them to be overlooked in this situation.

They're worthy considerations and I thank you for bringing them up.

I would personally say that a static caravan is not the right environment to bring up a child; but if its brand new, I feel that insulation should be good, so cold/damp/condensation shouldn't be an issue; the ones we've looked at all have separate kitchens and dining areas; and a reasonable amount of space for his toys.

The passing judgement is irrelevant to me, aye. But my wife probably hasn't considered that.

What if we rent a place that has damp/condensation? These things can all be easily hidden when viewing a place, and it can take longer than it should to get these things fixed.

Essentially - I don't know :mad:.
 
Soldato
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Cant see it being a problem re development etc, people live in caravans and boats with kids so a few months wont hurt. You mentioned your wife taking the little one to classes and stuff so its not like they'll be missing anything.

I stayed in a static caravan a couple of times as a kid as it had a decent sized living room so plenty of space to play. Only issue might be putting a baby gate up but Im sure you can overcome that with a bit of creativity.
 
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