Blogs

 

Putting the lid on the box

I think we are done with going up, so it's time to put a roof on the house. It's fully made from SIPS panels, approximately a foot thick so very little internal structure is needed. We had a little bit of argument on site today unfortunately between the SIPS people and scaffolders, but it was resolved and progress was made. It comes down to differing cultures and a lack of experience of the speed of this sort of build locally.   The front as seen from the driveway approach. It has beco

dnb

dnb

 

6 days in. So far, so good.

We have seen huge changes on site in the last couple of days. The SIPS team have worked very hard to keep things on track. I can't fault anything they have done. All the walls are in place now and we're waiting for the scaffolding to have the last lift built so the roof lift can happen, planned for early afternoon on Monday.   Craning the roof panels into the assembly area.   The small part of the L shape roof that goes over the master bedroom sitting waiting to be lift

dnb

dnb

Preparing for Foundations

Preparing for Foundations

Demolition, site clearance, reduce dig and installation of pre-insulated pipes for ASHP and potential future garden room.  The pre-insulated pipe we used in the end was "REHAU RAUTHERMEX 25mm+25mm/111mm DUO PIPE".   The ground was luckily fantastic, apart from one area with some roots and a couple of soft spots left over from the demolition.  So we managed to avoid the extra 800mm reduced dig that had been specified based on 2 trial holes in the old front garden.  At over 200m2, that w

Dan F

Dan F

 

What a difference a day makes...

There have been a few delays along the way, but now the largest work package is well and truly under way. The last 24 hours has seen the house go from 300mm out of the ground to 2.7 metres.   The front door and stairwell on the left and family room doors on the right.     Unloading the second trailer load of parts. Running out of space on site now!   First floor joists going in. With another view of the stairwell window   Inside the loung

dnb

dnb

 

The end of the beginning

We're back at work. The SIPS team are on the Island and have satisfactory accomodation, and the first load of house is unloaded on site. But before the photos of this, there are the last stages of getting out of the ground and interfacing with the SIPS superstructure.   The site foreman early last week doing the final checks of plinth flatness. To the best of our measurement ability all is good - within 3mm in height and 5mm laterally.   First to arrive: A new toy! I us

dnb

dnb

 

On to the dining room (Part 1)

So now the new kitchen is in, it was time to renovate the room which was the old kitchen in to the first part of the dining room (I say first part, as the second part is going to be in an extension which i'm hoping to build next year).       And then the real messy work begins       This is the house that keeps on giving! Found two redundant (but live) gas pipes buried in the plaster on the wall I knew nothing about, to go wit
 

Small steps and changes of scale

I've not been on site for much of the week because I had plenty of paid work to do, so I left my scaffolders alone. They're getting there. One more morning and we should be good for the first stages of the SIPS installation. Finally the boss has acknowledged the house might not be tiny.   This side stays open for the first few days of SIPS installation to allow acccess for the panels.   Hoping for some reasonable weather for the weekend to get the last few bi

dnb

dnb

 

Almost a month in . . .

Things seem to be happening very quickly and progress has gone really well.   The block and beam of the huge extension is coming together now and the focus has been outside, although with the occasional downpour the inside is now half empty with our 1970s bathroom suite finally gone.   In the interim I've sold everything inside, the kitchen, boiler, naff internal doors and even the crappy floor tiles we took off. All copper and rads ready for my dad to weigh in. Have now run
 

How to Sketch Your New House Design...

For PC   Get irfanview from here.   https://www.irfanview.com/   Get a window grab of the view from Streetview (using Ctrl-Printscreen for current window or Printscreen for whole screen). Or use a photo.   Trim it using the cursor and CTRL-Y (crop selection)   Do an Edge Detect from Image > Effects >Edge Detect menu.   That gives you the edges in white on black.   Invert the image (CRTL-SHIFT-N) to get black on white.

Ferdinand

Ferdinand

The reality of the Hot Tub ?

The reality of the Hot Tub ?

... may have been well summarised in a quote on the Radio 4 programme "You and Yours" this lunchtime by a gentleman from the Swimming Pools Association about the current boom in swimming pools.   "What about Hot Tubs?" "Hot tubs are the devil's own swimming pool."   This was known, in almost all its features, to Hieronymous Bosch the artist - 500 years ago.     This is "Tondal's  Vision".   (No, I don't like hot tubs very much.)  

Ferdinand

Ferdinand

 

Getting back to work (maybe)

It's been a while since anyone was on site but family. We've done a few jobs in the last couple of months but obviously made nothing like the progress we originally planned. (Management speak would be "rebaselining the programme"!)   All the beam and block is installed and grouted. All the plinth blocks are installed and pointed, placed to an accuracy of 3mm in height and 5mm in the other directions. Hopefully... Waiting now for the SIPS people to mark my homework! All the bu

dnb

dnb

 

Kitchen ceiling.

The kitchen has a 10.5 metre steel ridge which protrudes into the vaulted ceiling by 50cm. I also attached the ventilation 75mm pipework along the side of the steel to supply the living room at the opposite end. So a curved ceiling to run underneath the inside of the ridge. A simple explanation is imagining a skateboard halfpipe upside down. I built a frame out of ply with cutouts for batten to run the entire length of the ceiling. I then fitted a layer of 6mm red faced ply to create a curv

JamesP

JamesP

 

2019.

Seemed to spend most of the winter and spring fitting plasterboard.  At times I struggled to keep motivated. About 275 sheets later and still a bathroom and living room to board out even now. The plasterer did a great job, I have great admiration for the skill.      Did some drainage and fitted the Vortex treatment plant and rainwater harvesting tank aswell as the. mains supply to the house as the ASHP arrived ready to be plumbed in.   My dear Father bu

JamesP

JamesP

 

Progress, 2 years later.

In response to @Russell griffiths post about blogs, here goes. It is still 2018. I finished the Tata Colorcoat Urban roof, tricky around the Velux windows and fitting the ridge trying not to get sealant everywhere. No leaks 2 years later. Kwikstage very useful, heavy but a worthy purchase on a long self build.   I made up  one of the roof trusses for the garage and thats where it sat for another year.      Back inside and started to put down 150 Celotex

JamesP

JamesP

Lockdown progress

Lockdown progress

We were pretty lucky to get a big plasterboard delivery the week before lockdown. The inside is now boarded, taped and painted.       The bathroom floor has been tiled. A wee thanks to @nod for pointing me in the direction of ditra. Floor seems solid enough and looks neater than I thought it might.     The water treatment has been plumbed (thanks to @PeterW for the plumbing advice). Needs a bit of refinement to make it look more aestheti

jamieled

jamieled

 

Planning and Design Process - take your time!

Having never thought we'd be in the position of designing a house from scratch, we were overwhelmed by the prospect. Through a work colleague of my partner, we got in touch with an architectural technologist that specialises in passive houses and low energy homes. His style is quite simple and very much what we were after.   We met up, got on very well, and spent the next 9 months designing our future home.   We went through 12 drafts before we were happy. To say we're indeci

Conor

Conor

 

Renovation to New Build - oops!

Back in June 2017 we found a house for sale close to us in Holywood, Co. Down - 4 bed bungalow, 115m2 on a large plot on one of the best streets in the town. Within our budget. Couldn't believe it! So we put in a offer at the asking price. Didn't hear anything back. Phoned the agent a few days later and bidding was going on way above our offer... developers with cash. Obviously they saw it a potential site. So, we accepted our loss and moved on. Then, two months later, it appeared back on the ma

Conor

Conor

Kitchen almost complete!

Kitchen almost complete!

So this one has been 10 years in the making, which is when I originally built this extension, and not long after i'd built it, the outdoor bunny became an indoor bunny! So the glorified rabbit hutch has now become the kitchen it was intended to be. Worktops just been installed. Will crack on with tap, dishwasher, hob, and oven later this week. Really pleased with it all, just need to choose some paint, but will sort that in the autumn, as I've got the old kitchen to rip out and the room to bare
 

4 Paddocks and a garden - loads to do

During the year of waiting for the planning refusal, we (or more accurately Peter) has been busy in the gardens, getting things sorted.   The kitchen garden is coming along nicely.  The trees and bushes have settled down and it looks like we are in for a bumper crop this year.  We have 6 IBCs that will be filled over the winter to use in the drier months.   We have an additional 2 IBCs by the house which will collect the initial rainfall, before it is pumped to where we need it in the

Sue B

Sue B

 

Goodbye and Hello

Phew, today we said goodbye to our house and moved out and said Hello to our new house, approximately 8 minutes down the road - about 6 miles away to a caravan site. With Covid we were able to negotiate a 4 month deal (we weren't due here til 1 July but our existing knackered flat roof started to leak so negotiated coming early).   It's luxury compared to our living arrangements for the past 2 years. We aren't eating, working and sleeping in the same room, have instant hot water, heati
 

Oops!

We purchased a kitchen - oops!   I've been set on handless, but haven't been keen on the J handles I'd seen and I wanted a mixture of wood handleless and another colour though the other half wasn't keen on handleless. I had in my head orange but I couldn't quite get the shade I wanted without customising it (so decided something neutral and paint the walls would be cheaper) and then DIY kitchens didn't do wood effect handleless although the quality of the base units was better than som