Blogs

 

Air test

Only a short update for now and a distinct lack of photos. I'll put something more interesting up in the next week or so. Suffice to say that combining work with trying to get to completion has been quite difficult. Throw into the mix that my other half is shortly due to have twins and you understand why I'm often getting comments like 'do you ever think you've maybe bitten off a bit more than you can chew?'.   One milestone recently was getting our air test done. I've decided to write

jamieled

jamieled

Background - the plot search

Background - the plot search

So, I have told this story to quite a few family members, friends and colleagues over the last few years, and thought I will record it here so that other new members might learn about the patience and surprises that can occur in this phase of the self build adventure ⛺    It all started when I was 14. I blame my stepfather. He made me dig ♠️  foundations by hand 🖐️   OK, it was only for an extension, but they didn't tell me about the concrete encased foul and storm water drains  we wou

BotusBuild

BotusBuild

Nov 18th - Phase 2 Contamination Results

Nov 18th - Phase 2 Contamination Results

Yesterday, ahead of schedule, we received our phase 2 contamination survey report. No surprises, but it's good to hear that everything is good.     The report is 72 pages long, but then for the cost of it I expect to have lots of detail.   It's been a long drag to get this far with difficulty getting planning permission and needing lots of reports, surveys and plans We went into this process thinking that we would spend up to 10k trying to get planning an

LSB

LSB

 

The Empire Strikes Back.....!!

Interesting developments in the last week. While trying to figure out a way forward for my build as cheaply as possible I discovered a company that does SIPs and has just finished a slight larger house for a LOT less than the tender prices that shut me down last year (€375k). So my job this month is to crunch the numbers again, get a more formal quote from them and see if this is a runner.  As always there are three factors I've to balance: Architects fees - the crowd I used before are

mike2016

mike2016

Nov 11th - Let's not forget

Nov 11th - Let's not forget

I have huge respect and admiration for those who have gone before us, including members of my own family, for what they did in any war to protect us. At times I think they were conned as much as any of us, but they were there in good faith putting their lives at risk.   Thank you one and all.   But, back to this blog, this is also so I don't forget. I'm going to try and update weekly on what I've achieved, or failed at, in the previous week and hopefully on plans fo

LSB

LSB

 

Financing and reflection

This will be the last entry for our self build blog.   Our plan   We originally commenced a self build as there was no affordable housing for us to get on the housing ladder.   The approach for the self build, was whether we could build a better-quality house than what we could purchase from a developer for the same cost. This was later refined to achieving a lower mortgage if possible.   For the self build we decided to split the project into three chunks

Thedreamer

Thedreamer

 

Building Control Plans Submitted for Extension

As promised, here are my completed (I hope) drawings for building control, which I've just submitted to the local council. I'll post back on here with what they come back with, any changes required, and also any restrictions imposed.   I know some were asking what was required for BC plans, so hopefully this will give a good guide for a masonry cavity wall build.   Side Extension Drawing BC.pdf

MikeGrahamT21

MikeGrahamT21

Give your head a wobble

Give your head a wobble

Combine the chaos of building work, attempting to project manage various tradesmen and coordination of items, living and working in a caravan and not knowing where we were going to live in 3 weeks time with a stressful period at work and I finally had a complete meltdown. I've been pulling my hair out (literally) so have 2 inch pieces of hair in places where I've ripped it out through stress, I look like a lovely female version of Freddie Kruger (great 🎃 attempt) due to a stress skin reaction an
Nov 4th - It's not good being a woman at times

Nov 4th - It's not good being a woman at times

This week I have been getting price estimates for everything I need, the list is getting very long and it's taking ages as I'm trying to get multiple quotes, I may give up on that idea. I am also submitting this to estimating companies / builders merchants, but want the control of also doing it myself.   This morning the roofing company man rang me, asked some stupid questions and didn't listen to the answers as he talked over me. He then said, I'll be there at 11.  At 12:45

LSB

LSB

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 Downstairs 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, wi

Ferdinand

Ferdinand

Oct 28th 2020 - Estimations and dumpers

Oct 28th 2020 - Estimations and dumpers

This week I have been going through each room of the build and looking at what it needs, not furniture, but sockets, lights, floors and painting amongst the list. I have never in the past appreciated just how much is involved in creating rooms from scratch, despite doing multiple renovations & extensions. Before I can send off for estimates I still have the family room to complete, I've been avoiding that one as with the kitchen, multiple doors and outside access it will be quite d

LSB

LSB

Master Bedroom renovation

Master Bedroom renovation

Wasn't going to post this one, as in the grand scheme of things its fairly regular and a bit boring, but there is a few interesting points which may be of use to others...   The photos are panoramic, don't worry the floor isn't bent! 😂 This was a before photo once all the fitted furniture was removed   Everything stripped out, and underfloor fully cleaned and hoovered   New timber put in which has been post-delivery treated (bloody builders merch

MikeGrahamT21

MikeGrahamT21

 

And then there was windows!

Overall it went swimmingly well, couple of minor issues but soon resolved and need to return to sort out a handle issue but John Knight Glass were, IMO really great and for final sign off we wait for contact over next couple weeks when someone else comes to site to check everything with us so enough time to raise any snagging issues hopefully.   Despite some panic on the canal bridge when the trailer was about 8 inches off the floor, everyone held their breath when the glass got over s
No gas here - well probably not anyway

No gas here - well probably not anyway

Today was the penultimate of 6 gas monitoring check as part of our phase 2 contamination survey.  They dug 6 bore holes of 3 m deep and then left 2 with gas monitors in situ.   I noticed today though that the one on the left has some dying plants around it, which is slightly worrying as it used to look like the other one.   But, at their last check they have not found any gas at all in their holes, mainly because where they are looking is subsoil where a building u

LSB

LSB

GRP Part 2

GRP Part 2

So.... Old roof off this week, firings sorted so our roof has a fall on it and the professionals arrived today for the GRPing, thank god it's dry. On site at the moment and just had a sneak peak.   We are so pleased with this compared to previous.   This is the fall, not sure how the builders are going to deal with the exposed wood yet.       Credit to the guys who were on site before 8am.        
Final external works

Final external works

Following on from the last entry we had our final inspection and were on the cusp of getting our completion certificate. A few final documents were uploaded and a certificate was received from building control.   We had built a house.   A few final jobs were completed following the last blog entry.   I order 20 tonnes of gravel from a quarry on Skye and then barrowed it down the access and spread it around the house.   I also had enough to put som

Thedreamer

Thedreamer

Another week, another plan change

Another week, another plan change

14th Oct 20   I have spent less time than usual in the last week looking at the build and layouts, probably a good thing. But, I still worry when other commitments get in the way, it doesn't really matter at the moment, but it will do once the action really starts.   Once thing we have done is look at buying a digger rather than hiring. The issue we have is the back of the barn only has a very narrow passage way between the existing wall and a steep bank, so this ne

LSB

LSB

 

Dodging the rain while wielding a slating hammer

Progress has been made intemittently between the various storms. The guttering is getting a thorough testing some days. My friend Jeff has returned to site for a week so we have a chance of getting ahead in the inevitable race against the bad winter weather. Some jobs just go better with more people on site...   Like moving hundreds of slates around!   The 15 metre long north roof very close to completion. Just the top row left to go, and we'll do this from t

dnb

dnb

 

It's not a roof update . . .

To those who commented on our GRP, this is not an update. The next installment to that will hopefully be at the end of next week when the crap roof will be off and a proper company coming in to sort after we insisted on an insurance backed guarantee. I shall update then, watch this space!   Flat roof aside.....   All our new extension had insulation laid and our existing flooring excavated for insulation too. We had the UFH pipes laid and there was A LOT.    
It's not a roof update . . .

It's not a roof update . . .

To those who commented on our GRP, this is not an update. The next installment to that will hopefully be at the end of next week when the crap roof will be off and a proper company coming in to sort after we insisted on an insurance backed guarantee. I shall update then, watch this space!   Flat roof aside.....   All our new extension had insulation laid and our existing flooring excavated for insulation too. We had the UFH pipes laid and there was A LOT.    
PD Planning Permission and Pitch

PD Planning Permission and Pitch

Another week of not really achieving anything. Due to our class Q PD planning we have to keep the dimensions exactly as they are, well I guess we could be smaller, but definitely not bigger. This is up, down and side to side. I have been looking at the roof, the main one as we have 2, which is huge at 24m x 10m and a single roof, i.e. not a pitch. This is how the barn looks now, we want a zinc or at least metal roof, but the minimum pitch is 8 degrees and I hadn't realised, a

LSB

LSB

1st Oct, layout decided at last

1st Oct, layout decided at last

At last, after a huge amount of discussion and lots of 'what about this.....' we have decided on our final layout. Due to cost constraints, the windows are smaller than originally hoped for.     As the rear of the barn has a low roof I have a ground worker coming on Sunday to look at digging down. The floor currently has 4 different levels, I want them all taken down to the lowest so we can basically start from scratch. We want UFH, but as the roof and ridg

LSB

LSB