Hi everyone 👋,

🔥 What I have been doing this week

🕸 More refining on the website this week whenever I get the chance to work on it amongst the other chores of life.

I have now added these newsletters to the site.

The Grand Reviews Philosophy is now ready and it outlines the how the reviews will be constructed. This took loads more work than I initially thought it would but it should become the North Star for completing each review going forwards.

🎧 Finished off Dave Grohl’s The Storyteller: Tales of Life and Music on Audible this week. I loved listening to the Foo Fighters during my late twenties. Their music really resonated with me for some reason. I’d recommend the book to any music lovers for a sneak peek into how the life of Rock n’ Roll (well, life in general) can be massively up and down.

📌 I have been spending the week locating the properties of the first two series of Grand Designs so that I can complement each Grand Review with metadata. The address opens up so much more detail about the build and the property history which adds a new dimension to each of the builds.

It looks as though there are around 170 properties if you exclude the revisit episodes. I have found about 18 of the properties so far all with a varying degree of difficulty. Some can be found with a simple Google search and others take literally hours to locate by using the smallest of details. Take a sneak peak at the early version today. And don’t forget to subscribe to the newsletter for any future updates.

📝 Where to begin?

✍️ Quote of the week

The Grand Reviews Philosophy is to build a stronger understanding of how Self-Build works in the UK by using the lessons learned from past builds.

To reduce the financial expense of this the first source of lessons I will be using will be from legacy Grand Designs Episodes.

Following the same process of good business building allows me to learn new lessons from past projects so that I can more easily avoid mistakes, repeat their successes, and minimise the risks of future projects.

By sharing what I learn, I hope that the information can be useful for others too and may help bring more attention to the Self and Custom-Build sectors so that the country is less reliant on large developers. There isn’t much reason bespoke homes suiting individuals can’t be built, rather than everyone having to live in what a third-party developer deems is what everyone must want.

🕵️‍♂️ Property Glossary

I share definitions each week of words and terms that pop up now and then in the property world and can be confusing.

The Annual Tax on Enveloped Dwellings (ATED)

The Annual Tax on Enveloped Dwellings (ATED) is a UK tax on high-value residential properties owned by companies. The tax threshold has been reduced over time, with properties over £2 million initially being subject to ATED. On April 1, 2015, the threshold was lowered to £1 million, and on April 1, 2016, it was further reduced to £500,000. ATED is levied annually, with rates increasing in line with inflation. The tax discourages the use of corporate structures for owning valuable properties, ensuring proper taxation. It applies to company-owned residential properties, not individuals.

📖 Interesting Things I’ve Read

The Magic of Compounding Productivity by Ali Abdaal

🎥 Interesting Things I’ve Watched

Well, the race didn’t disappoint if you were a fan of the top three qualifiers. The Monaco Grand Prix 2013 Highlights

I needed to work out how to create single column for searching addresses using Power BI while all the sections of the address were in different columns. This video helped me do that which then enabled me to overlay the output addresses onto a map to manually search for one of the difficult to find Grand Designs properties.

🔗 Links

Here are links to books and other resources that I may have mentioned above or that I think you might find useful.

Book/Article Snippet

Lessons Learned Article

Ali Abdaal’s Sunday Snippets

Apps I Use

Readwise – I’ve been paying for Readwise since 2021 and gained access to Readwise Reader Beta in 2022 and find it extremely useful for knowledge retention and research. I pass all my email newsletters through it and whenever I get a spare few minutes I can pick up where I last left off without any friction.

If you sign up using the link you’ll get an extra month free (two in total) so you can really test out the software without it costing you a penny. They don’t advertise widely so it is down to word of mouth like this that gets the tool new users. I find it invaluable.

Monzo – Carefully budgeting my spending is fundamental to being able to save towards the build. Monzo has helped me track and itemise spending for years. I now pay for the Premium account which gives me access to extra features and things like airport lounge access, phone insurance, worldwide travel insurance so it practically pays for itself. If you join using this link we’ll both get £5 (which I’ll use towards the build!).

Focus@Will – This app has superpowers. It has the ability to allow me to switch off from a noisy home and get some work done and it seems to work for me in about 5 minutes.


I’m now on:

Twitter as @Brendan_Burr

Instagram as @MeasureTwiceBuildOnce

Pinterest as @MeasureTwiceBuildOnce

Snipd for Podcasts @MTBO

That’s it for this week, thanks for reading!


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