Hi everyone 👋,

🔥 What I have been doing this week

🕸 I have been playing around with Custom Fields to improve the layout of the Grand Reviews Template page. It gives each page a bit more structure than the typical WordPress defaults so that I can add more taxonomies that are specific, such as Materials or Construction Types. This will later allow each review to be searchable based on common things.

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.

🎧 I have been listening to 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 visited a second hand book shop this weekend and bought a book called Materials by Elizabeth Wilhide. I find it interesting how deciding to be more focussed in the goal of self-build has changed my perspective as it so commonly does. For example you may choose to buy a new red car and then suddenly all you see is the same red car on the road all the time. The Baader Meinhof phenomenon is a cognitive bias in which people tend to see a particular thing everywhere after noticing it for the first time. Giving focus to something makes it appear more frequently to you. Some people may see this as the “Universe Talking To Them” but in reality the pattern recognition that the brain loves for energy conservation is just firing.

📝 Where to begin?

✍️ Quote of the week

In the most recent Grand Designs: The Streets episode Kevin McCloud said that building your own house can be one of the most demanding things you can ever do. Particularly because it tends to happen alongside all the other things in life that are already burdensome.

When something is so large and so off into the distance how is it possible to ever drag it forwards to become a short-term goal so that it actually gets your attention today? So many long-term goals just disappear to age.

I am using this newsletter, my website and my companies to build a knowledgebase that is property oriented to get a foundation in place that is still pointed in the general direction of building a house while focussing on delivering shorter-term projects.

Returning to the The Baader Meinhof phenomenon I was thinking about how refocussing long-term goals can really change your perspective. You start to see things pop up that seem serendipitous but really are the product of your very small action in the right direction of the longer goal, even if that longer-term goal is abstract.

Little by little it all adds up.

🕵️‍♂️ Property Glossary

A new feature to the newsletter last week was the weekly Property Glossary. Where I share definitions each week of words and terms that pop up now and then in the property world and can be confusing.

Abatement Notice

An Abatement Notice is a formal notification issued by a local authority in accordance with the Environmental Protection Act of 1990. Its purpose is to require the elimination or cessation of a legally recognised source of disturbance or inconvenience.

📖 Interesting Things I’ve Read

The Government created a beginner’s guide on assessing whether a proposed housing project is financially viable. You may find it useful if you are looking to determine the viability of a plot for a self-build or custom build. Read the article here.

🎥 Interesting Things I’ve Watched

15 years after an action packed race Formula One have released the Monaco 2008 Grand Prix to watch on their YouTube Channel. I had it playing in the background while working on something else and had forgotten how much actually happened in one race so kept looking up. Hopefully this weekends race will be as eventful.

🔗 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

The Procrastination Equation by Piers Steel

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:

Instagram as @MeasureTwiceBuildOnce

Pinterest as @MeasureTwiceBuildOnce

Snipd for Podcasts @MTBO

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


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