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Flooring 1

Most of the internal work to date has focused on insulating the suspended timber floor and with this completed our joiners could come back and put down the sub floor.   We considered two different materials for the subfloor:   22mm OSB or 22mm Chipboard.   We decided to use chipboard as it was 25% cheaper then OSB. Plywood would have been another option but this would have been more expensive than the chipboard as well.   To do this job we needed just over hundred sheets of chipboard, 2800 Spax screws and 6 bottles of expanding PU foam glue.      Whilst our joiners were on site they also attached some ply and osb boards to the internal load bearing walls. This will provide additional racking strength to the house.   As I can walk around all part of the house here are some photos:   The porch and utility room     The kitchen/dining room     Living room which has a part vaulted ceiling and the eventually the French doors will lead onto a decked area.     When this is framed it will be a bathroom, hall & stairs     Master bedroom and en-suite     And upstairs:   Two bedrooms on the gable ends.     A key feature of these rooms is a PK10 top hung velux.       The middle sections between the gable bedrooms will be a wardrobe, WC and a storage cupboard. This area has three PK10 veluxs.       Having a floor down feels like a big step forward for us.   One of the benefits for me is that I now have space to store materials within the house, as previously it was very awkward as often these had to be shifted around numerous times to complete a single job.   The next job is back to insulating, this time in the rafters. 

Thedreamer

Thedreamer

Insulation 2

As the winter weather has prevented us from moving forward with the rendering and other exterior work we have been working on finishing off insulating the suspended timber floor.     We had a short wait for the plumber to install some drainage below joist level, once this was done it allowed us to finish off fitting the insulation boards. We then used expanding foam along the edges of the boards to ensure no gaps.   The next job was fitting the frametherm as the second layer between the joists. I'm using frametherm 35 between the studs but I wanted to use a 90mm layer of frametherm 32 on top of the quinn therm boards.    It's a bit more expensive for the frametherm 32 but the quality compared to the frametherm 35 is very noticeable.  I have found the quinn therm and frametherm work well together.       It took a while for the order to come to site and we had a bit of a race against time to get this fitted before our joiners came back on site to fit the chipboard, which is the next job on the list.      

Thedreamer

Thedreamer

Insulation 1

Our efforts in the latter part of 2018 was spent on getting the exterior properly wind & watertight. With just the render left to do, we could now concentrate on the insides.   Starting to insulate the suspended timberfloor was the first job to do.   We attached some little bits of timber to the underside of the joists, which will keep the insulation boards in place. Our primary insulation for the groundfloor is Quintherm 65mm (another two layers of insulation will be added later). Once ordered these were then cut to size using a piece of wood to score a mark and then cut with a handsaw.       We left a bit of gap either side which will be filled with expanding foam to ensure a tight fit.   The other insulation ordered at this stage was the Frametherm wool which is the primary insulation layer between the studs. But some will also be used to top up the gap left in the joists.   The width is already in the correct size so it was just a cut for the required length and then you can pop into the studwork. Compared to the Quinntherm this is more quicker to fit.     And that is that for 2018. Reflecting on the build process to date:   We are exactly where I hoped we would be at this stage. A proper wind and watertight shell that can stand up to the Hebridean winter weather.   Reviewing the finances we are about half way through our build budget.   We have been fortunate no real issues. A problem with a wrong size velux flashing and the metal flashing provided for utility roof was provided at the incorrect angle, both were the suppliers fault!
At the start of the build, I had visions of the concrete wagon sinking in the road, the windows being dropped on arrival and the trusses not being able to fit down the access. The lesson here is watch programmes like grand designs and building the dream, but don't let the drama put you off, self building, it is achievable by anybody!  

Thedreamer

Thedreamer

Cladding part 2

Following on from finishing our blockwork a few weeks ago, our brickie came back the next week and fitted the concrete cills.   We then had a short wait before before our joiners could come back on site and fit the remaining Siberian larch cladding. Here are some photos.       The next exterior job will be rendering, but with the winter weather it might be some time before this can be done. Our attention will now be concentrated on getting the house to 1st fix, fitting the insulation is the first job on the list.            

Thedreamer

Thedreamer

Blockwork

Our blockwork started three weeks ago. This was always going to be weather dependent and it was mixed for the first two weeks in November but since then we have had a really good weather window where its been calm, sunny and not too cold which allowed the remaining work to be completed.     Our brickie was fitted a temporary gutter which could be taken off when required.   This gable end is where the prevailing wind comes down off the mountains, we have shelter belt here but its nice to know that we now have a solid concrete wall.       Next on the list is fitting the concrete windows cills which should be next week. The sections that don't have blockwork will be fitted with the remaining Siberian larch cladding in early December.

Thedreamer

Thedreamer

Guttering

In our last blog entry we completed the roof.   Guttering was one of those areas in the build that I had never really given much thought to. After doing some research, and asking on here, we came across cast iron effect guttering from Brett Martin. Unfortunately the lead time to get the guttering to Skye was quite long (3-4 weeks). When the outlets and fascias finally arrived, the actual guttering was missing having been lost in transit. We had to order it again, waiting another three weeks for it to get here. Having placed the original order at the end of August the guttering finally arrived last week! Its now up and looks great.    Whilst waiting for the guttering we decided to paint the soffits and fascias, putting on a primer first following by a couple of top coats. This took a few weeks, waiting for dry weather windows and painting whenever we got an opportunity.   Our joiner fitted some fire stops today and he gave the okay for me to take down the majority of the scaffolding leaving just the gable ends.   I was also able to take down the internal bracing.   Weather depending the blockwork should be starting week commencing 5th November.     Here are some photos of the house.          

Thedreamer

Thedreamer

Roofing 2

In my last post we were waiting on two items arriving from our suppliers: Velux flashing kits and a metal roof to be fitted at the back.   The velux flashings arrived first and we were able to make good progress and finish this side.       Our joiner then came back on site to fit the metal roof. Unfortunately as mentioned in my Terrible Thursday post the flashing arrived at the incorrect angle, the plan was then to use the lead, but thankfully we decided not to and we managed to get a replacement flashing sourced quickly, which allowed the rest of the slating to be done.     Last bit.       And then finally ridge tiles.       To be honest the roof was a bit harder than I thought. Various different materials, which can all take a while to arrive on site. If one supplier delivers late or supplies an incorrect part it can hold up the entire roof fitting.   As with the entire build, except the blocks and concrete the materials are all organised by us, so perhaps it would have been less stressful to leave it to a single contractor. We had a great roofer who did the work in all conditions and a joiner who came on site quickly when we needed him.  

Thedreamer

Thedreamer

Roofing 1

We started the roofing last week.   We decide to go for CUPA 3 heavy slates, these are a thick spanish slate and designed for the weather we get in the Hebrides.        Let's hope they do what they say on the crate.   The first job was setting out the the various lines using a line and some red brick dye. Our roofer than graded some of slate pallets into different levels of thickness and any rejections.   Now my job was to carry the slates up the ladder. So far three pallets have made there way on the scaffolding.         Before the first slates were fitted we attached the dry verge strip. I did some research and asked a post on here, but finally decided on the Klober 'S' strip. We had already attached our barge board so I didn't want a 'T' shaped one that would go over the barge and underneath the slates. The 'S' strip is actually designed for slates and battens rather than slates and sarking boards, but because of the thick slates we have used this fits snugly where it meets three courses. Not the best photo but you can see the black strip above the fascia.     The plan was to the front first, but unfortunately we had a mix up with the velux flashings so we can only go so far just now.     We are however able to do some slating at the back, but we are waiting for our metal roofing material to be fitted which will hopefully arrive soon.

  Our joiner has prepared the timber for this to be fitted.    

Thedreamer

Thedreamer

Larch cladding

Cladding now installed on the utility and porch.       Unfortunately, the rest of the cladding will need to wait until the start of the block work starts in a month or so.   I have also been busy nailing away and fixing what felt like a million truss clips.          

Thedreamer

Thedreamer

Windows

The windows were delivered last Friday.   They arrived in three pallets, two of them were lifted off by the lorry's tail lift and a pallet truck. The larger pallet had to have the windows taken off manually.   Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures of the offloading as it was all hands on deck.   I was however involved in the lifting of the windows, on average the windows were about 75kgs each, but the french doors were double at 150kgs.     Here are some of the exterior.         And the interior.           Facias and soffits have also been fitted around the house.   The next job will be fitting the Siberian larch cladding and followed by the slates next month.  

Thedreamer

Thedreamer

Sarking and Velux windows

With the fabricated trusses already fitted on site. The next job was to create the middle section of the roof, this part was cut on site and it was quite satisfying helping to fit the rafters into place.     We had some good weather for this job and I was pleased once these were all in place.   The next task after this was creating the bridles for the Velux windows, fitting the smaller lean to rafters and then the gable ladders.     After this, we were ready for sarking boards.           The next job was the roof paper and fitting the velux windows.        The next job will be the ground floors windows, these are due to arrive on Friday.  

Thedreamer

Thedreamer

Structural timber 5

This was one of the days that I was most excited about, the raising of the roof trusses.   Our joiners used our trusses as a template for constructing the gable end panels.    The trusses then just went in one by one.      3 lengths of Kerto were spiked together to form our central ridge beam.     The middle section of the 1st floor is being hand cut on site by our joiners. Our children will have a room on each gable. The middle section on one side will consist of a cupboard and WC. The other side will be partly vaulted above the living room and this required a steel beam which was fitted by our joiners.      

Thedreamer

Thedreamer

Structural timber 4

The attic trusses arrived today after making a three hour journey from Inverness to Skye.    Offloading took place at our site entrance.     Our joiner did a great job weaving between odd trees on our access.     Trusses unloaded and ready to start being fitted over the next few days.   Had a sneak peak on the top of the scaffolding to get a view from where the treble velux windows will be fitted.       

Thedreamer

Thedreamer

Structural timber 3

Some day for it.   Today was one of those special days where suddenly years of work starts to come together in front of your eyes.     No machinery here just elbow grease.       It was all going so well until the building inspector turned up.  
    A few internal load bearing walls to be finished and then on Monday we have the telehander coming to stay for a couple of weeks, followed by the delivery of the attic trusses on Tuesday. 

Thedreamer

Thedreamer

Structural timber 2

Our joiners finished our ground floor joists last week and have been making our panels this week.     Hopefully tomorrow we will have the ground floor panels raised.

Thedreamer

Thedreamer

Structural timber 1

Following the completion of the foundations, we now moved onto putting the kit up.   After putting together a list for our timber merchants we are now ready to start. The materials for framing and sheathing arrived last week.   The house will be stick built by a team of two joiners, with prefabricated trusses arriving on site in a few weeks.   Today marked the first day of joinery. The first job was attaching the wall plate followed by cutting the suspended timber floor.
  And on day two, joists finished. Next job will be ground floor framing.      

Thedreamer

Thedreamer

Foundation 4 - Final stage

It's been a quiet few weeks on the house site waiting for the contractors to come back,  but we have done the following:   Building control and quantity surveyor inspected the works carried out to date The plumber supplied our the internal drainage. Anchor straps fitted. Alum clad, triple glazed windows order finalised and placed Attic trusses design reviewed and finalised    We are now commencing the final stage of the foundations. In filling the solum is the first job.   The solum has now been infilled and whacked with the aggregate. A finer layer is now being added on top.     Plenty of diggers and dumpers here.     Last day of the foundations. DPC was put down and then the concrete wagon came back on site.      We used around 25m3 of concrete and as the photos show through the last few blog posts, we had fantastic weather conditions during this foundation.     I was also pleased with the amount of the rubbish that is going to the dump, just four cements bag full of plastic waste.      

Thedreamer

Thedreamer

Foundation 3 - Blockwork

Last week we poured our concrete strip foundation and we have now moved onto the block work. Monday was a day of stacking the first blocks, taking measurements and setting up lines. By the end of Monday we were all ready to start with the first course in the morning.        By the end of the Wednesday we were at:       By the end of the Thursday, a lot more blocks were delivered and we were at:     The good weather continues into the second week and so does the progress on the blockwork.    
  A little job during the weekend, trenches now dug and ready for the plumber to put in waste drainage pipes   

Thedreamer

Thedreamer

Foundations 2 - The pour

Yesterday we completed the excavation of the trenches. I had a half day at work and came back to the site after lunch to get started on the pour.     I was slightly worried about the heavy concrete wagon coming down our access and over the culvert, but the driver did a great job reversing and the road passed the test with flying colours. Our digger driver than used the bucket to spread the concrete as required.     Half way through.     All done.     We now move onto the blockwork next week.   It was a good day and I'm pleased to get this over and done with. Half a day for excavations and half a day for pouring.

Thedreamer

Thedreamer

Foundations 1 - Excavations

Today we started on our foundations.    It was snowing this morning on Skye and I took this one just before the digger arrived. Our brickie had pegged out the site a few days previously.         The digger then arrived on site and the snow stopped and sun came out.
        I helped to mark out the foundation tracks and then wandered up the access to do a few hours at work.
n   I came back in the evening and the trenches were just about finished.       After walking down to the site for the last million years, it took a bit of time to sink in, we are now building our home.   Tomorrow the concrete wagon is booked and all being well we will have the trenches filled and can move onto blockwork next week.

Thedreamer

Thedreamer

Preliminary/Design/Financing

Where it all began in 2009 on our family croft in Skye. Once we selected the site we put in outline planning for a three bedroom 1 1/2 storey house.           We then undertook the legal process of decrofting the house site to enable a future self build mortgage.  For the next few years very little happened as we needed to save money towards the project.   In 2013 we submitted a detailed planning application for a traditional 1 1/2 storey property which was in keeping with the local vernacular.     As with outline planning this was easily achieved and we could now concentrate on creating an access and making the site a serviced plot.   The access road was to run through an area of woodland so the first job was cutting down a number of trees.       With the trees now cleared and stacked as future fire wood, we arranged for an excavator to form the access, clear the site and put in the services. This work commenced in 2015.   The first job was to scrape off the top soil.      One of the unexpected costs of self building can be how much an access can be to install. Our access is fairly long and we also need over 100 tree stumps cleared, soil/clay excavated and some form of hardcore put down.   Although we are building on clay we also had access to hardcore about 100 meters away. A borrow pit and track was created with enable the hardcore to be quarried with the clay used to fill in the hole and eventually the turfs put back on top. This results in the ground being reinstated to the same condition.       With the necessary rock extracted we could now complete the access.       Organising services can take a while if these are coming long distances, crossing third party land and road crossings. Unfortunately we had all of these to contend with.   Electricity was the hardest to achieve but this task was eventually overcome and a temporary supply was on site.     Our water connection putting down the telephone cable were far more straight forward.   With the site levelled off and services ready for contractors our initial works were completed in 2015.   
For the next few years we continued to save money and completed a few small jobs such as installing a gate at the access.     In 2017 we decided to rethink our design we were able to achieve a non material variation.      In early 2018 we submitted our building warrant and arranged a self build mortgage.   After nearly a decade we were now ready to start building!

Thedreamer

Thedreamer