Blogs

 

Baby steps

We have been increasingly anxious about the approaching deadline for the existing planning consent to expire - mid March 2021 - but today, at last, Dan our builder has made a start on the foundations for our workshop/garage/temporary site office and storage space. A large amount of hardcore arrived, the fencing around the protected oak trees was erected, and a digger and dumper arrived.  Dan suggested making a start by scraping the mud off the driveway which was turning into a quagmire - an

Omnibuswoman

Omnibuswoman

1 floor done

1 floor done

It's been a wile since the last blog entry and I didn't expect to have gone through yet another contractor by this stage but that's the way life goes!   We had some good progress with the basement floor walls going up and getting poured without a hitch. We moved on to the basement roof which is a terrace for the lower ground floor so was propped with acros (decided to buy 50 as can re-sell later). That also went well - aside from some issues identified by the structural engineer. Due t

Adam2

Adam2

Foundations - Stage 1 - Nothing but Snow and ICE

Foundations - Stage 1 - Nothing but Snow and ICE

Well, a few weeks have passed since my last past.   We finished up the road and last post we had scrapped back the house footprint. I feel like we haven't come that far since then, but in reality we probably have actually now that I look at the pictures.    Once we had scrapped back the top and subsoil we got the levels down to where I thought we should be. The house was meant to have FFL of 138.5m (referenced to sea level of course!) but I increased the height by 0.75m. It w

SuperJohnG

SuperJohnG

 

It's always the windows...

My boss says "It's always the windows that go wrong in Grand Designs". I think he might have a point. Not that I'm building anything particularly grand, but certainly about the windows.   This is the outside prior to fitting the large window. The cladding job is going well, so we are hopeful of a good day.   Having spent a few evenings fitting frames in the recent cold snap I think I ought to spend some time with SWMBO on valentines weekend

dnb

dnb

Feb 13th  Insurance, Warranties and Building Regs

Feb 13th Insurance, Warranties and Building Regs

We now have all our conditions discharged and agreed and can start to plan the real deal this year. Our build is a Class Q barn conversion, which like lots of people on this forum is going to be an almost total DIY job, partly out of satisfaction and wanting to know everything is done right, but in all honesty also due to a rather restricted budget.   We had an architect draw a set of original plans (no measurements) and submit for planning, refused, we paid another few thousand t

LSB

LSB

Heating the house

Heating the house

I have found during our self build that we have gone against the norm for what you would expect a new self build to contain.    One area was how we would heat the house.   The main concern I had as we entered the winter was whether we did the right thing in disregarding the need for underfloor heating and radiators.    I have found that during the day we do not need to heat the house as having sufficient true south facing glazing provides the solar gains to heat the

Thedreamer

Thedreamer

 

A tale of 3 Lockdowns

I left the site in November 2019 with the two trees felled, and we had decided that the design and approved planning application were not quote to our liking, so we took the decision to put in a variation of condition which went in for consideration in December 2019🎄.  Little did we know what this would mean to progress; as we are building very much at the DIY end of the self build spectrum, and not living close to site, by the time we had the go-ahead we were in Lockdown 1.0 and unable to

BotusBuild

BotusBuild

 

The End of the Beginning

I have finished crawling round on the roof so my attention turns to finishing off a few bits of fascia, then battening, fire breaks and cladding. I left most of the battening to Jeff while I put in the first few bits of wiring for the (almost Blackpool level of 😉) outside lights and made the last cuts in the fascia ends so they meet the soffits nicely. This ended up as several hours of work, making what felt like tiny progress while the battening seemed to fly along.   This is the fire

dnb

dnb

Removing trees and digging the hole - summer 2020

Removing trees and digging the hole - summer 2020

Being within a conservation area I needed to give notice to the planning department that I intended to remove the 2 trees that would allow me to make full use of the space at the bottom of the garden for my building. One of the trees was a lovely Ash tree but unfortunatley (for the tree and the enviroment) it was signicantly diseased with an almost hollow trunk at ground level, extending down to the routes that would at some time fall down (see picture of tree surgeon hiding inside the tree, onc

Andy H

Andy H

The end is nigh

The end is nigh

We’re getting there! flooring, kitchen and stairs, just bathrooms to go. It’s great to see it all taking shape as the finishing jobs get done. Not that it’s all gone to plan.   The first job we tackled was to get the floor down. We wanted to get it done before installing the kitchen rather than having to work around the units. As the kitchen is part of the open plan living area on the first floor it meant doing the whole area some 70m2. It’s a lot of flooring and we needed something th

Simon R

Simon R

 

Improving Construction Law for 2021

I have been trying to think up how I would like to see law around construction improved for, or after, 2021, whilst wondering what I would put in a start-of-year letter I might write to my MP.    This is my little list. For the sake of keeping it focused, and making the points high-quality, I have limited myself to 5 ideas plus a bolt from the blue, and also to English Planning / Building Law - which is the one I know best. The Law has diverged is some measure since devolution, althoug

Ferdinand

Ferdinand

 

The initial idea!

In the summer of 2020,  having no building or home improvement experience to my name I decided to do some home improvements. With a friends son I put in some new garden fencing, repointed the stone driveway and refurbished the woodwork of the garden bench and table. Emboldend by these accomplishments I felt ready for a much bigger challenge; the construction of a building at the bottom of the garden to provide me with a workshop, gymnasium and bike storage facility. This to be done with my own h

Andy H

Andy H

Part 1 - A tale of stone and mud

Part 1 - A tale of stone and mud

Well we are on the way now and no going back.    The groundworks guy started last week, he is putting in the road and hardstanding and will do the insulated foundation under my guidance and I will assist. It's a good relationship and he comes when its not raining and is well experienced in groundworks. He is actually building his own home just now too (we are similar ages).  The night before he came on site...I was hurriedly arranging site insurance (horrific cost of over £2k - but it

SuperJohnG

SuperJohnG

 

New Year's Resolution?

I give my New Year resolution of updating this blog a bit more frequently until the first really cold snap in February. Simply because I need content, and I can only get this by being on site in the cold when I could of course be sat in a comfortable warm office writing Matlab simulations, sorting through endless sets of test data (I enjoy it. Each to their own...) and drinking coffee.   So the big progress for this entry is actually the paperwork. The structural warranty people have s

dnb

dnb

 

9th Jan - New Year yet still little progress

I've read in many articles and books that you cannot project manager a build and work full time, even when you live on site. They are right, I've made barely any progress over the last month since work has ramped up to full time. Originally, the new factory move was planned for end Feb with the offices end March.  But, this has now been delayed with factory at the end of April and the offices May. That's great for work stress less, but bad for self-build stress levels.  The extra

LSB

LSB

 

Gus’ Structural Engineering and DIY Part 02

Acrow props – is there an alternative that won’t fall down? Yes there is in some cases. Much depends on your programme, whether you wish to give it a go yourself and how much time you have on your hands. Please feel free to comment / question. I’ll answer if I can (if not, I hope some other BH members will be able to) and provide more detail.   Photo 07 showing holes for the needles and the first few temporary works studs going in. The base of the studs are sitting o

Gus Potter

Gus Potter

 

Just a few more slates to go. No, really this time I mean it!

I haven't posted much of late because everything is happening around me in slow motion. Or at least that's how it appears. I am told (by another self builder) that this is fairly normal for this stage. Progress has been limited by shortages of materials (including a supplier going under - wasn't much fun for anyone concerned) and labour shortages - i.e. us both having to do our day jobs! Corona virus is still making self builds difficult. Add to that my recent discovery that at 42 years old, I'm

dnb

dnb

 

Gus’ Structural Engineering and DIY Part 01

Gus’ Structural Engineering and DIY Part 01   Hello all. I’m giving the blog feature on BH a go.. lots to learn and a special thanks to the FMG / members who run / contribute to this site.   This blog is built around the structural alterations and extension that I embarked on.. off.. on.. at the back of my house. I work in the construction industry, mostly in an office these days so this project has given me a break from the computer and allows me to keep my hand in on the to

Gus Potter

Gus Potter

Part 0 - The start of the middle or the end of the beginning?

Part 0 - The start of the middle or the end of the beginning?

I've finally got around to starting this blog. I'm hoping that it'll be easily updated and I'll provide lots of good pictures and info...we'll see how that goes.    I'm at the point now where we have just taken our first big delivery, which is our insulated foundation system from Kore, this morning. So albeit, this process of building a house has been ongoing for some time, it has just become real that we are at the beginning of the build phase, which is very exciting.     So

SuperJohnG

SuperJohnG

 

12th Dec - Self Building - not a chance

At the moment my project at work is the IT planning for our new 8,000 sqm factory, with a 2 floor office space. Under normal circumstances I work 3 days per week to allow me time to project manage our own build, but not at the moment. We get the water tight building handed to us on the 8th January, then I've got to organise the 1st, 2nd and final fix of all the IT infrastructure from cables to servers. When I tried to place the order for fibre leased lines I was told, there's no f

LSB

LSB

We may just be in for Xmas....

We may just be in for Xmas....

It's been a while since our last update but just to let everyone know we may be in for Xmas. We still need the EWI and render but inside should be liveable and we can get out of the caravan.   The kitchen is almost complete now after getting damaged units all replaced and given it was ex display I think it looks lovely. The part with the hob on could possibly have been a bit longer but I didn't want a breakfast bar and by time we have our table, chairs and small sofa I think it will lo

canalsiderenovation

canalsiderenovation