Blogs

First Blog Post

First Blog Post

It's a bit overdue but this is the first post of our build. The start was a long time coming, the idea to do a self-build struck in May 2017 when I spotted a plot on Rightmove which happened to be exactly equidistant between my family and my wife's family. With a young child and ageing grandparents the idea of relocating to be nearer to family appealed, as did the idea of building a house.   Purchasing the plot was not without challenges and the legal side took about 9 months. Most of

Andrew

Andrew

Week 11 - The last pour for the walls

Week 11 - The last pour for the walls

The weather was really cold this week but the guys cracked on and removed the shuttering from the first pour of the walls and moved it ready for the second pour. Luckily the weather warmed up and they were able to pour the final structural walls on Friday so this should be the last of the  waterproof concrete. As you can see where the shuttering has come off we are left with really neat concrete with just the shutter panel marks. The waterproofing guy inspected these and was really happy: in his

Red Kite

Red Kite

Help me define "self-build"?

Help me define "self-build"?

A topic which has been done to death, but student @Lakeside has come up with a short and sufficiently general definition that to me it covers recognised categories of self-builder.     It is quoted from this thread.   (* What does the piccie of 2 cats shooting a cannon have to do with the topic. Nothing. Explosive debate?)

Ferdinand

Ferdinand

Piles going in

Piles going in

Finished the piles this week. Just need to cut them level now ones we have the ring beam forms in place. Then fill the lot with concrete and piles and ringbeam s done.   http://tintabernacle.blogspot.com/2019/12/piling.html?m=1  

Patrick

Patrick

 

Site Clearance and Planning Conditions

One of the more onerous (read expensive) planning conditions related to the driveway design and protection of tree roots. We were required to install a "no dig" foundation layer using Core geocells (or similar) after the planners were happy with the site fencing, but before the old bungalow was demolished. Typically the planners said "no" the first time we applied for discharge for no readily apparent reason. I re-applied having done more work for an unrelated condition and they said "yes".

dnb

dnb

 

The site as purchased

Here are a few pictures of the site from the time we took posession and started to clear the undergrowth and satisfy the planning conditions.   The driveway to be. It makes Range Rovers look small. Only a few bits of tree and detritus to remove!   The boss hard at work during some tree removal work.   The back garden being fenced off after felling a very large diseased eucalyptus.   Another planning condition: Social housing for bats!

dnb

dnb

Week 10 - Shuttered Walls

Week 10 - Shuttered Walls

As you can see in the video this week they built up the shuttering in layers; first the outside, then the steel in the middle of the sandwich and finally the internal shutter.       Also along the bottom they cleaned out the kicker and laid in a waterbar / waterstop (that brown bar in one of the photos) in a pre-formed channel, this forms a seal and prevents any water coming through the joint between the walls and the floor.     They bolt the two ha

Red Kite

Red Kite

Week 9 - The Big Pour

Week 9 - The Big Pour

Actually it didn't pour and it was really great weather on Monday for the main slab pour which was a real help for the guys. They poured the 300mm thick slab - all 79m3 of it - all in one go, so it was a long day and the kicker took a lot of time as it was levelled with a trowel. It caused a few traffic problems when the first lorry was a long 8 wheeler and blocked the road, but after that 6 wheelers meant that cars could get past. As it is waterproof concrete and is covered by a 20 year warrant

Red Kite

Red Kite

Bathroom  Choices

Bathroom Choices

We’re at the bathroom design stage and being a bloke i don't have a clue!     If it were left to me I’d buy a perfectly serviceable white bathroom suite from the local builders merchants. Luckily my wife has more idea about what is really required, so yesterday we set off round the local bathroom showrooms, of which there are four,  a large one which is part of the local family owned builders merchants, a middle range and two high end showrooms.  Having sat in, tapped and operated the var

Triassic

Triassic

 

Week 8

Week 8 was a short week on site as they finished all the prep for the slab pour on Thursday and went off to another job - or to hide from the weather. The big pour for the main slab is all set for Monday and because of the quantity of concrete and the waterproofing they booked it a week in advance. The slab gets poured in one go so its going to be a busy and exciting day!   If you look (sorry the video is not very exciting this week) you can see them tying in the last of the L-bar / st

Red Kite

Red Kite

Stairs and balustrade

Stairs and balustrade

Starting to put in the exciting stuff.   The stairs measurements were taken back in August and we then had to have a good think about what type of timber and finish we wanted.   The vaulted ceiling had a bit more structural work and being the most interesting feature in the house and we decided that this would be good place to invest in a high finish and we decided go with a solid oak stairs and balustrade with toughened glass panels.    Like many self builders we h

Thedreamer

Thedreamer

 

Renovation Required....!

So, my house build has fallen through but that releases some money to go about making my current house (2 storey semi detached) more comfortable. I got a Solar PV system installed recently and am waiting on the grant to come back for that. It's a 4.2Kw system with a 6Kw battery. IT cost €8K after the grant and it has an Eddi diverter for hot water from any excess. I'm surprised they fitted 13 panels on my roof which exceeds the max 12m2 planning laws but a woman in Limerick won a court case wher

mike2016

mike2016

 

Week 7 - It's a steel!

The video shows the black plastic membrane going down this week, followed by an enormous quantity of steel. What you dont see is that with all the rain the pump has been running continuously to try and keep the rainwater at bay - getting lots of water on the slab at this point is a bad thing as the membrane floats up which is a 'bad thing', its a bit better now because of the tons of steel on it!   The black membrane goes down in three layer - first the sealed flexible which is heat se

Red Kite

Red Kite

And... we're off - Demolition Time

And... we're off - Demolition Time

Wow - time goes fast! I guess I'll say that again....and again!   We submitted the revised planning app - free as within a year - and that was approved with no comments. The revised design removed a couple of windows which has pleased the neighbours. Engineer co has been working with the architect so we have made a lot of progress in design terms while we did the planning app so had building regs design approval ahead of revised planning approval!   In prep for the demolition

Adam2

Adam2

 

Tree matters…

As I mentioned in my last post, as one of my very first actions I feel that I need to talk to my arboriculturalist. I think that many subsequent decisions depend on his answers.   My small plot (20m x 20m) has a chesntnut tree on its border and its roots are to be preserved. Those roots spread under about half my plot. And it is the half between my access gate and where the dwelling will be so exactly in the wrong place. Everything will travel across the roots. And the root zone is alm

Dreadnaught

Dreadnaught

 

Choosing a timber-frame …

My first jobs after my planning approval are to: (i) choose a timber-frame supplier; and (ii) arrange a conversation with my arboriculturalist. This post is about the (i). The next post will be about (ii).   Timber-frame suppliers: I am in touch with the usual names known to this forum. Not sure if I should be naming names here. Six in total. Two companies supply panellised frames with a range of insulation levels, including open panel and double stud. Two compani

Dreadnaught

Dreadnaught

 

We're In! Reality bites ...

At long last, we're in our new home!   Thoughts of a rapid start to the garage conversion have been put to one side as we've got to grips with some of the more mundane tasks that need sorting first: Draught proofing - precious little had ever been done, and I've already made a big difference in one week! Tuning the vents on the warm air heating system - downstairs is now warmer than upstairs Fixing the hot water - scaled-up ballcock valve meant the cold water stor

Gooman

Gooman

 

Planning permission … the journey to it … and thanks!

Good news! I today obtained planning permission  and so I am starting my build blog.    Thanks to everyone on BuildHub for your help and support so far. I have already learnt so much from this forum, all the way from questions when I was viewing the plot and every stage since.  And an especial thanks to all the Buidlhubers that I have had the pleasure to visit so far. You have all been warm and welcoming and your advice and inspiration has been invaluable. Thank you! Thank you!  

Dreadnaught

Dreadnaught

 

Week 6 - Services, blinding concrete, shuttering and a Halloween Nightmare!

The video for Week 6 doesn't have Thursday and Friday as the camera played up (I blame Halloween) but good progress. this week.  You can see them laying in the service ducts and drainage pipes and then laying a thin 'blinding layer' of concrete = our first pour. They then went on to put shuttering up around the edge ready to fit the waterproof membrane and then the steel on top. By Saturday (see photo) the rain had filled it up quite a bit and the black shuttering you can see round the edge keep

Red Kite

Red Kite

Stove

Stove

As we are building on a croft with an area of woodlands, the stove was a consideration at the initial design stage and we wanted it to be at the very heart of the house. As well as being the focal point of the living room, it was also considered from a practical point of view as to how the heat would be distributed throughout the house, as often I have heard that a stove can overheat well insulated rooms, resulting in a waste of money and just really something to look at.    The work l

Thedreamer

Thedreamer