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The slow crawl towards building a new home in Dublin....

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Roof Cutting in

This week the roof was cut in. Can see the spaces for the Velux rooflights and get a different picture of the inside - the vaulted ceilings in the rear living area in particular. The builder recommended a ceiling in the upstairs  bedrooms at around the 3 meter / 9 foot mark which is high enough even if you're bouncing on the bed! Still leave a bit of space for storage so may leave a small hatch and floor this area after setting it up. It's a warm roof so this is all conditioned space. Next week

mike2016

mike2016 in Roof

Timber Frame arrival & erection!

The timber frame arrived this week from the factory. There was a large crane onsite all day yesterday. Got decent weather, no wind and only a bit wet in the morning. The lads have the walls fully up, 1st floor done and a ridge beam in place. They are starting cutting the roof today as that is built in situ. Really surprising walking around the rooms after looking at drawings for years! The window openings are a LOT bigger than I ever thought though, huge would be the description! Had a lodger ar

2nd Foundation Completed!

Finished the Kore Passive Raft Foundation this week. Just in time as it's currently sleeting it down out there! Cold enough to make a pour more difficult. they set in a 70mm rebate for the lift & slide door and also cut out the kore to let the concrete out to the edge (up to shuttering) for a steel post to carry the blockwork over the two corner windows. We'll insulate around that later. the Kore went in really fast, then rebar, ductwork for the kitchen island and getting it finished before

1st Foundation Completed

Concrete was poured via a pump on Monday. Finally have a Concrete sub foundation!  Took delivery of the Kore insulation for the actual foundation. Lots of angles sheets, L shape and other ones. I've 88 silver EPS boards too in packs of 8. They needed 2 men to move, the others could be handled one by one. The delivery driver helped offload as getting a forklift and driver for 4 Pallets (@150kg each) was going to be expensive and on too much short notice to arrange insurance for me to drive o

mike2016

mike2016 in foundations

Groundworks - muck out, hardcore & Foundation Screws

Everything kicked off on January 8th 2024 finally after 8 years of faffing about and trying to line up finances, finding someone to sign off building regs and a year of selling the old house eventually succeeded.  There was about 120 tons of muckaway judging from the number of trucks. The guys brought a 17 tonne digger and were glad of it. The big roller they didn't use in the end but went with a more compact diesel unit. hardcore was added and leveled.  The trickier element was gettin

mike2016

mike2016 in Groundworks

Site Insurance - The first or final hurdle?!

So the site is almost ready to start, my house is sold, moving out this weekend. Got the last tree stump ground out so there's nothing blocking the foundations. But the reason we write some of these blogs is to vent frustrations and in my case today it's about insurance.  My site has Made Ground. I went through the trouble of getting a ground analysis with dynamic probing and there is good load bearing at 2.2 meters but it's poor above that. I switched Structural Engineers and Tanners in Co

mike2016

mike2016 in insurance

Wall Build up (Choices)

Still in the Sales cycle for my old house (3rd try!) but while I'm waiting I'll be doing site clearing work next month and I want to take a moment here to make final decisions on my wall build up as this moves the locations of my floor penetrations by 100mm.  Target U Values are as follows: 1. External walls U value = 0.1 W/m2K 2. Sloped Roof U value = 0.1 W/m2k 3. Floor U value = 0.07 W/m2k This is based on PHPP calculations, they are more strict as my house is quite sm

mike2016

mike2016 in Wall insulation

Pull Test - Ground Screws

So - Attempt #1 of trying to build my house failed - Made Ground (Poor soil bearing), a buyer who wouldn't grant me legal permission to access the mains water after I sold and changed their mind after I'd let go all the builders, and my planning permission extension was refused.    Attempt #2: Re-Applied for Planning permission from scratch - preliminary decision due July, final decision August 2023. Place my house back on the market in the meantime somewhere between tho

mike2016

mike2016 in ground screws

Stabbed by the soil investigation!

Well, everyone is back from holidays today and my Structural Engineer made a comment about the Ground Investigation Report I've been digesting all day. Turns out my soil is very poor despite hundreds of houses being constructed all over the rest of the estate 25+ years ago, I'm the one with a problem now! I'd have to dig / excavate nearly 2 meters of soil to reach sufficient bearing capacity which means my plans to start groundworks next month are almost dead. If you see results like mine....RUN

Selling up and Moving out!

So I'm in the middle of the sales cycle for my Home. The first buyer pulled out but after a month I lined up another. The market is doing well enough despite % increases. So I had the estate agent around today to perform a valuation, the Surveyor comes around on Monday for 90 minutes to inspect the property and I'll be ringing the solicitor to get an update on where the contracts are at! I'll feel a lot better with them signed and a move out date to close the deal (hopefully!).  In the mean

mike2016

mike2016 in preparation

Driveway to Darkness - Part 2

I've been looking forward to getting to a point where I can park my car in my driveway again, and finishing my July Post with a part 2 here to mark a finish to my Driveway project finally! Took a bit longer than the two weeks I was hoping!! I just finished adding up the damage and it was @ €7.2k all in all. I think the length of time increased the costs as there were days where I couldn't get to use the compactor and I had to get it back a few times to progress the project on. Some notes observa

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mike2016 in driveway

Driveway to Darkness - Part 1

After following others journeys into the self build world for years, it looks like I'm finally about to embark on my own after several soft starts. The first major work is to realign the driveway and I've opted for paved over other styles and to do most of it myself. I got a driver & digger to take up the concrete driveway and grass and pile it up and hired a grab truck to take it all away. Less than two days later I was left with a barren front garden! Since then I've been figuring out a fe

mike2016

mike2016 in driveway

June 2022: Patio & Finding an Engineer

While I was uncertain about ever getting to build my new house I decided to hire some plant and build a patio out in the back garden of my existing house. It will allow me to sit out in the morning, absorb the sunshine and ponder things! I found some nice 40x40 concrete flagstones and edged them in and finally grouted them yesterday. They need a cleanup and a wash and I've to fix the drainage in one spot but otherwise it's done! The experience will also come in handy as I'll explain shortly. 

mike2016

mike2016 in driveway

Finally - Planning Condition Submission Accepted!!

There were two obstacles blocking me from proceeding with my build. After finding a professional who could sign off the compliance paperwork (I couldn't afford the Architect) I had a boundary issue which I agreed with a neighbour to resolve and then I had to add a window to the plans and submit them for approval before I could lodge a commencement notice and get going.    Issue 1: When the house was built years ago a hedge was planted at 90 degrees to the house fronts but the land

2022 Update

After giving up for a year or two, my stubborn side has gotten hold of me. I've been looking at direct labour and surmounting the crazy compliance regime in Ireland when building a new house and involving a bank. As I can't afford an Architect or a builder I needed someone else to sign off the build stages & compliance paperwork. Well, I finally found someone for 5K so that hurdle was crossed. I then went about examining the planning permission I had previous obtained. There was a compliance

mike2016

mike2016

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

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

Tenders are in...

Background: I'm living in a house with a side garden I got planning permission on. Just purchased it a year ago so only 1 year down on the mortgage.    Recap: I was going to wait a year to get my finances in order but the Architect talked me into going out to tender anyway to see what prices come back. We sent out 6 Tenders and 3 responded. I can go back to the cheapest one in a year they said and get it repriced accordingly.  So i was rightly worried that prices in Dublin would b

mike2016

mike2016

The Banks press Pause

Disappointing week. I've been waiting three months on a decision by the bank about splitting the property folio and allowing me to sell the old house but keep the side garden to build on. They are concerned if I don't sell the house they are taking a risk as the LTV would then exceeds the Central Bank limits. The reduced property value post split plus the fact I've only a year paid down on the mortgage plays into this. I thought they would hold the side garden as security but it doesn't work lik

mike2016

mike2016

Tender does it....!

I received the tender documents from the Architect last Friday, about 4 weeks later than I'd hoped. Still it had around 12 documents and a cover letter for me to absorb and read over the weekend. They provided all the details the builders need to price the job which is a lot of detail, wall makeup, foundation and roof elements and I finally get a preview of different cross sections of the house. They provided a window and door schedule, room elevations including a design for the kitchen, utility

mike2016

mike2016

Windows and Tenders

I'm currently awaiting the Architects tender documents for review. It's been a two month process and I've been making inquiries into specific heating, MVHR and window options. Budget as always is a worry. I've drawn up a list of timber frame companies and builders and met those on the short list face to face. The Architect will have other names to drop I'm sure but getting a feel of the building pulse and talking with the builders really helped me identify the risks as they see it. Masonry vs Ce

mike2016

mike2016

Got Planning!!

Planning Permission Granted! After trying to ring the planning department on the day of decision at around 4pm and not getting through I resolved to wait until the next morning. At 5:03pm I get an email indicating that planning had been granted. I'd forgotten I'd subscribed to any activity on my planning application! Now, I've still to see the official notification letter with conditions etc but thankfully it was plain sailing. No objections, no requests for information. I took the planning site

mike2016

mike2016

Financing & Insurance

I've been spending the last week or two chasing banks because of a clause in the Self Build Costing Template - "*Standard Timber Frame Structure with traditional block exterior". I've found they nearly all have a timber frame line in their stage payments due to front loading of the mortgage when using a factory built house, but they all without exception carry the clause above. I'd not queried this up to now but decided to chase it. I've enquiries out now with several banks but so far only 1 per

mike2016

mike2016

Planning Permission

My planning permission is now submitted and I've a reference number and everything! So, there's about 5 weeks waiting for objections and then 3 weeks where the planners will come back with questions / start examining the submission. Then you get a preliminary approval with a 4 week cooling off period before the final official permission is granted, with their contribution bill! Once granted, I'm planning on some preliminary groundworks on the current old house to realign the driveway and access

mike2016

mike2016

Overheating

Well, finally after years of iterations of drawings in the pre-planning and planning phases we're off to the races! Before I post the final plans I was talking to the Architect today about the potential for overheating shown by the PHPP calculations. I'm going for a Passive House and my concern was rising global temperatures (during the build and more likely afterwards!). The PHPP package allows for 10% of days where the internal temps can rise over 25 degress celcius. That's a lot of days! Not

mike2016

mike2016

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