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About this blog

Having done a large renovation project and turned an old 1770s vintage wreek into a fantastic Home we decided that living in Cheshire was no longer for us,  so we sold up and moved, to be closer to family in the Southern  Lake District. 

 

However the journey was far far from straightforward, we really had no idea what we were looking for, was it to be another renovation project or a self Build? Having viewed around fifty ‘oportunities’ ranging from dilapidated houses, to an old pub, to a closed garden centre, we gave up!!     Then about six weeks after ‘giving up’ Debbie had to come clean, she’d not actually given up, but had been searching online and she thought she’d found what we were looking for. So we arranged to view a rather sad looking dormer bungalow on a very wet, cold and overcast March day. Once into the property we both realised this was the one! So we bought it and moved in.

 

Having  lived in the property for a year it was clear that this wasn’t a renovation  job!

Entries in this blog

 

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

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Triassic

The Slates Start Going on in Typical Cumbrian Weather

The Slates Start Going on in Typical Cumbrian Weather

We have a lot of roof and the only planning condition we have, is that we use local slate, 18 tonnes of it at a cost of £22k.   So here’s the front roof of the house.   And the rear roof of the house.    A total of 18 separate roof planes in all! Why oh why did I let the architect talk me into this design?   Once the Timber Frame company left a local roofer started to batten our the roofs for our random width, diminishing course roof. Everything was

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Triassic

 

The Timber Frame Goes Up

The Timber Frame company arrived on site on a very wet mid-January morning. Very quickly wagon loads of components started to arrive and before long every space around the slab and up the drive was dotted with Ikea style flat packs, assorted timber and steelwork.   The first job was to floor out over the basement to form a flat working platform for the main house erection. The original specification called for pre-stressed concrete floor panels, these were changed to Posi-joist, as thi

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Triassic

Scaffolding and things that go bump in the night

Scaffolding and things that go bump in the night

Since my last blog post things have been fairly quiet. Our frame manufacturer, Lakeland Timber Frame, have confirm that our frame is in production and we have a date for erection  of mid January. The crane company have visited site to check the narrow access and hairpin bent for themselves, they’ve confirmed that their smallest crane will be able to get onto site, with difficulty!   Ss with a start date agree it was time to get the scaffold up. Originally I’d considered buying my own a

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Triassic

Foundations

Foundations

Because our site was on a slope we always envisaged having a walk-in basement, that’s a basement surrounded on three sides by the slope and open at the front to a lawned area. The architect recommended a structural engineer to design the basement walls, what I hadn’t realised until it was too late, was that the design would be way over-engineered. His design is for a 200mm thick steel reinforced poured concrete wall tied into the basement slab. The slab and retaining wall contains about 52m3 of

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Triassic

A Winter of Peckering

A Winter of Peckering

Our site slopes, so we had the idea of digging into the slope and creating a walk in basement. Having done two trial pits into nice soil and clay  during the initial design phase, we were confident that it was a simple soil dig out sort of thing! Once the bungalow was demolished it became clear we’d quite by chance dig into the only two areas of soil and clay and the house had been constructed on a large lump of limestone rock called Cumbria.  After a hit of head scratching and a coffee with my

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Triassic

Demolition

Demolition

Having promised my wife Debbie that I’d get people in to do most of the Work associated with the new house, i contacted two local demolition companies and got prices to demolish the old timber bungalow. The prices were £6,000 and £12,200. Being tight I demolished it myself, it cost the price of three skips, £540, The bonus for me was over £1,000 in payment for the scrap from the house, things like a hot water copper cylinder and piping, lead off the roof, the old cast iron AGA and two baths, the

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Triassic

 

Somewhere to Live During the Build

Like all Self builders we found we had a limited number of options for living accommodation during the build, given that we needed to demolish the bungalow to clear the plot for the build.   The options were, rent locally or a caravan on site. Renting locally wasn’t an option due to the high rental costs, so we looked at the caravan option. The main problem was access, an 8 feet wide drive with a hairpin bend half way up, a dry stone wall, 80 feet tall trees and limestone outcrop put p

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Triassic

 

First Steps - The Design and Planning

Having done a large renovation project and turned an old 1770s vintage wreek into a fantastic Home we decided that living in Cheshire was no longer for us,  so we sold up and moved, to be closer to family in the Southern  Lake District.    However the journey was far far from straightforward, we really had no idea what we were looking for, was it to be another renovation project or a self Build? Having viewed around fifty ‘oportunities’ ranging from dilapidated houses, to an old pub, t

Triassic

Triassic