Second iteration: Can I afford it and am I allowed to build this mansion?
The first iteration was validating my vision. Now the vision was successfully validated. The next step was to validate the most important question: can I afford this mansion? How do you go from a prototype to a calculation? The step I took is to ask a family friend who is an architect to draw Technical Drawing. I used this drawing to make a list of all the material needed to build this mansion. With this list I checked all the prices and calculated the total amount. This is an estimation of course. The total price was 28.000 Euro, My chopping list and price assumption spreadsheet (in Dutch) can be found here. Because I have never build a mansion like this before I added a 20% margin (risk). Why 20? I used 20% because the carpenter said is it useful. With the technical drawing I asked several companies if they could be built it and how much it would cost. The outcome was between 45.000 and 47.000 Euro. Together with my neighbors we set the budget to 25.000 Euro. Which was the savings we had. If we want to realize our mansion, we had to do a lot of work by ourselves. Maybe we had to change the design? We found out that 2 things can be changed without changing the real design to be consistent with my vision or idea. We changed from fully brick walls to a combination of bricks and wood.. The other change was the type of roof plates. This resulted in an estimation of 23.000 Euro. The first part of this iteration was done.
Next was the validation of the second important question: am I allowed to build this kind of mansion? I expected some problems in a bureaucratic environment like the government. You make an appointment and then you are send home with a truckload of paperwork to be filled in. The form I had to fill in consisted of several checklists (entry criteria as might call them the testing community) to get a permit to allow us to start building. Within a couple of days we filled in all necessary paperwork. We used the original technical drawing. After 6 weeks we got the good news. We were allowed to build it and for this type we did not need a permit. All the filled-in forms and the time it took became waste! Good thing that we did not change the technical drawing.
What is the relation to testing, you might think. When I test it is always in perspective to the mission or the project status. If the goal is to see if the software solution is what the costumer wants, I do not test to find minor bugs. The same thing happened here. The technical drawing seemed very accurate but in reality it is not. For example the length of the mansion seems 6 meter but in reality its only 5.5 meters. For the permit it is not a problem if you build it a bit smaller.
Now I knew I could afford the mansion (best guess) and I was allowed to build, took me to the next step. A new question arose: when is a good time to start building it? Read it in my next blogpost: getting a plan.