Blogs

 

It's going to be a long cold winter so what can we do?

It's been a really tough few months.  Problems at work (I got the timetable finished ready for September and now they want another one ready for straight after October half term), my best friend diagnosed with stage 4 bowel cancer and then the delay in planning approval leading to us appealing to the planning inspectorate to try for a non-determination decision.  We have both been down in the dumps and on the verge of giving up.  Two weeks off work (sick leave for stress, it was so close to a re

Sue B

Sue B

 

When one job leads to another and another and .....

We were trying to level the back garden using the soil left over from the build which was piled up in the back garden. We had managed to level half of the garden but unfortunately as it has hardly rained at all for the last few months it was rock hard. We therefore still had 25 to 30 tonnes of soil to move. I didn’t want to waste mains water soaking it, so that meant fitting the pump in the borehole, which meant finishing wiring up the shed as I had only laid the SWA from the house.    

PeterStarck

PeterStarck

 

Groundworks Weeks 1-3 and Time Lapse Video

Well lots is happening on site:- we started with demolition and asbestos removal which was a super easy and quick, services were a nightmare (especially the electricity supply), and finally we have drainage signed off and planning conditions and building regs submitted etc. Finally ready to go!!!!!   So three weeks ago our groundworkers started on site, and  It is an ongoing epic against a backdrop of rain and a sea of wet clay and the proportions are epic! The foundations for the two

Red Kite

Red Kite

 

Demolition

Demolition and Asbestos   Very early on we had an asbestos survey done (which makes a real mess if you live in the house) and there were some nasties in the garage ceiling that were H&SE notifiable (i.e. not DIY!!!) and some rain goods that were pretty benign. So we decided to get one contractor to do both asbestos removal and demolition.   Having the services disconnected first we then started and luckily we had a fantastic contractor: recycled 90% of the buildi

Red Kite

Red Kite

 

Gremlins

Trying to be good and catch up on long overdue Blog update and the gremlins hit. A small problem with my latest Blog Post: Services - seems like it posted the same content 5 times! No idea why, or how to remove the duplicate posts. Any help here welcomed! No need to read it 5 time!

Red Kite

Red Kite

 

Services

Services   As the existing bungalow already had services (phone, electricity, gas, water, main drainage) we expected that it should be easy to sort out the services for the new build. Well some were harder than others!   Gas – to demolish we needed to first have the gas meter removed which was really easy. Then we needed the gas disconnected – it wasn’t too tricky but they were not too sure where it was on the verge. They looked carefully at the tarmac patches in th

Red Kite

Red Kite

 

Frame progress

The last week or so we've been blessed with pretty nice weather which has allowed for good progress on the frame. We hired in a hiab lorry for a morning to help with lifting the gables, ridge beam and roofing.   As everyone probably finds out, now we start to get a better sense of the size of the house and how it sits in the landscape.   SSE came in the other day for our grid connection. Those who have been following our progress might remember this was quite pric

jamieled

jamieled

Plaster boarding

Plaster boarding

Time for another update.   Our joiner has pretty much finished the plaster boarding.   Here are some photos of the progress made.   Kitchen/dining room     Our bedroom. Our joiner has started to construct the internal partitions, we now have an ensuite and some cupboards.       Living room      Triple velux arrangement     Upstairs kids living room    

Thedreamer

Thedreamer

 

Do you like my spreadsheet?

Painting commenced on 6th March and was finished about two weeks ago.  I heavily underestimated the time this would take.  By about 4 months. White everywhere so it was hard to tell where we were at after the first two coats.  Our favourite whiteboard "spreadsheet" tracked progress and filling it in gave great joy.                     

Weebles

Weebles

 

Scaffold Down

Why are scaffolders so difficult to deal with, my ex-scaffolder took to texting me at 5:30 in a morning and demanding updates on progress. In the end I’ve shown him the door, mind you, I’ve had value for money out of him. In the future I’ll be using my own to finish off the few bits.   So here’s the photo of the house without the scaffold.     In the next couple of weeks we we start putting in the rest of the windows, the scaffold was in the way previously, making

Triassic

Triassic

First fix plumbing, ducting and stove blockwork

First fix plumbing, ducting and stove blockwork

The sparkie had done his bit and we were now waiting on the plumber.   Not much to see here just your standard first fix plumbing.     We had a couple of dust sheets removed before the scaffold went down. It was great to have our kitchen view back it had been almost a year.     Moving onto the ducting I had previously ordered.     A 45 degree bend was deemed easier to fit so now I got to get that ordered.    We al

Thedreamer

Thedreamer

External painting

External painting

With the rough casting having completed its two month cleansing period, I was keen to get painting.   I started with a roller but found it to be ineffective in getting into all the nooks and crannies, therefore this was going to be a brush job. Most of the time was spend dealing with the edges near windows, cladding and soffits. The use of insulation sheets provided a good screen to any paint gone in the wind.   I concentrated on the gables first and was able to use trestles

Thedreamer

Thedreamer

Adapting a House for People who are Frail, Elderly or Disabled

Adapting a House for People who are Frail, Elderly or Disabled

I have written a number of articles about adapting a house to be more suitable for use by people who are frail, older or disabled.   This is a list so that anyone interested (or not interested) can find them slightly more easily.   Converting a Downstaitrs Bathroom into an Accessible Shower Room   Cost for this was just over £2k, including about £1k for the Fitter Labour and £250 for a shower seat and grab rails etc. A full replacement would have cost about £2500, w

Ferdinand

Ferdinand

 

Trade-offs

Because of our budget, there's some hard decisions and trade-offs to be made. Grateful for any constructive comments!   Remaining garage size It's a double-length garage - 9m. We could just convert half of it, leaving the front part as a regular-sized garage, but that will leave us tight on space. Instead we're leaning towards taking around 5.5m, making the front part just a workshop and store (and hopefully, micro-brewery 🙂. Floor will be raised by 100mm using PIR with 18mm chi

Gooman

Gooman

 

The grand plan

Apart from a lick of paint and a recent bathroom, the house is pretty much unchanged since built: Gas warm-air heating (ducts, and lots of 'em) with electric immersion heater for hot water Parquet floors to lounge, hallway and dining room which needs resanding, filling and sealing (plus filling the gaps left when we remove the warm-air heating outlets) 1970s kitchen, including sliding-door cabinets!   Our aspirations are: Immediate - Convert current tiny ut

Gooman

Gooman

 

The Design

Well lets say it has evolved and been shaped by the titanic forces of nature and the planning process. Its not quite what we initially wanted and has been compromised and compromised over its various iterations and has sadly lost some of our ‘must have’ features. But it is kinda cute, and we do really like it!   The site is about 1/3rd of an acre slopping up from the road and has a shared driveway to our neighbours at the rear. In the middle of the plot is a 3 bed 1960’s bungalow which

Red Kite

Red Kite

 

The Back Story

A very very long and difficult history to our self-build that we will compact into as short a space as possible to save readers much of the grief we have been through.   We have always lived in (and renovated) old, cold, draughty and character-full houses, and our last house (a Victorian vicarage) had lots of glass and double aspect rooms and was full of light. We wanted to downsize but couldn’t find anything with similar light and space, and some of the new build ones we looked at

Red Kite

Red Kite

 

Foundations, frame and posi joists delays

Been a busy few weeks. Following the groundworks, the slab was set out and poured. It was a bit of a warm day, and there was a definite sense of urgency as it went off fairly fast.     Now we've got a local joiner putting a frame up for us. It's being built from I-beams on site. I'd planned this all as best as I could, expecting our posi's next week based on what the supplier told us about lead times. It now turns out it will be another 4 weeks. While I'd rather not leave th

jamieled

jamieled