Yaffles

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About this blog

Quite some time ago I thought it would be a great idea to write a blog.  Time (or lack of it) has been an issue and the blog writing never got started.

But here we go.

 

First self build.  Husband.  Two kids (one of whom is now bigger than us).  Caravan.  Full time day jobs.

 

Here's where we are at......

Entries in this blog

 

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

 

External finishes finished (almost)

Well, it’s over. The company that did our render and cladding has finished and the final bill paid so the warranties can be issued. Now I feel I can blog about what has been an up and down experience.   We started looking at companies to do the render and cladding before we had finished knocking our previous house down. The sales guy sat in our caravan in May last year. We felt we had got on top of this at an early stage.    One issue we were really concerned about was the jo

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Weebles

 

7.5 Tonnes of Pumped Cellulose

That's alot of insulation - over 600 bags of the stuff.       They cut a load of holes in the MBC vapour layer ply.  More holes than we ever imagined.     Then they pump the insulation into the holes to fill up the walls (300mm deep) and ceilings (400mm deep).         Some of it escapes.  Easy to vacuum up though.     Then they put the ply discs back in and tape over the holes.  They hav

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Weebles

 

Rockwool, and lots of it

After reading every post on this forum on the subject of sound insulation and in particular Rockwool I wanted to document our experience.   Until the delivery arrived and we opened the packets we really didn't know what we were going to be working with.  Here is the best description I can give.   We ordered the following from Insulation4Less.  They told us the lead time was about 4-6 weeks (nationwide shortage) but actually it all came within a week leaving us with a literal

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Weebles

 

Pocket doors go in - thought it would be easy, but......

Our design calls for some pocket doors - 6 in total - good for space saving, should look tidy.  We decided to go with Eclisse and got them from the ever helpful Alan at Door Supplies Online.  We will also get our door sets from him, to match, and he'll supply some matching architrave to finish the pocket doors nicely.  Will post photos of the finished doors when we get there (probably September).  In the meantime, we needed to install the pocket frames in advance of plaster boarding.  

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Weebles

 

We have rooflights! (and some tricky joinery to do)

Today our roof lights were installed.  We are pleased with the finished product and how they fit.  The blue sky and sunshine helps of course. Almost helped take the edge off the unexpected contract lift costs (£1380 in the end, but we have managed to avoid the additional VAT and we got him to lift some roof trusses off the scaffolding which saved a job). Their man on site today admitted that it had taken a long time to get to this point.  Not wrong! The photos will hopefully do th

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Weebles

 

Will they be worth the stress (and the money)?

Our designed house has 5 rooflights.  3 rectangular, 1 small square one in a bathroom and a large circular one above a two storey entrance hall, making it, I guess, the "feature" of the house. Our plot is surrounded by trees on two sides so getting light into rooms is an issue, hence the rooflights.   Here is our rooflight story (part 1)   We got some quotes in from companies and decided on our roof light manufacturer based on price and reasonable service. MBC agreed to

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Weebles

 

Roofing a flat roof

Our flat roof guys have been great.  Though they worked very short hours compared to MBC (doesn't everyone).   With a flat roof you apparently need at least 18mm OSB to lay the roof membrane onto.  The standard MBC spec is less than that for a flat roof so we had to stump up some money to upgrade the roof deck to 18mm.   We have three different roof decks.  Here is one roof deck with the roof lights (more on those in a separate post one day).     The upper roof

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Weebles

 

Ooops (anyone need a window?)

So going on holiday in the middle of your build is not ideal.  Best laid plans and all that.  Holiday booked a year previously.  With extended family so couldn't avoid it.  House build delayed by lots of things.  Resulting in our holiday being slap bang in the middle of the timber frame construction.   Reluctantly we left for northern France, asking the build team at MBC to send photos.  They didn't.  [But a friend did, so we knew it was all going up] The problem is that we didn't

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Weebles

 

Blink and you miss it (MBC timber frame goes up)

Using a timber frame company (such as MBC) made the frame erection stage of self building quite satisfying.  It only took two weeks to build something that truly looked like a real house.   We did spend more than 7 months in dialogue with MBC over all the little details.  And still we made some quite clanging errors.  More of that in my next post.   It was glorious weather back in July.  [How I wish we weren't in rainy autumn now - we are still not watertight......]  

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Weebles

 

That's alot of polystyrene

MBC arrived on site, laid Type 1 and soil pipes pretty quickly and 50mm sand blinding and then set to constructing the EPS raft that is now our slab.  Its been said many times on this site, but I will say it again.  These guys work hard.  They arrived before 7am each day and left at 6pm or later each night.  They hardly stopped.  And after a week it was assembled.  Ready for concrete.                

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Weebles

 

Foundation - how deep shall we dig?

The SE suggested digging 900mm deep because the soil survey said we had clay.  And we have trees. I used the NHBC foundation depth calculator and did alot of reading around foundation digs.  Overthinking it all, alot. BC said to dig to 700mm and see what was there.  Guess what?  No clay (well, only a tiny patch amongst loads of gravel). So the SE suggested a new depth of 200mm.  But we are already at 700mm I said.  No problem he said.  Fill it back in, with crushed concrete and th

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Weebles

 

Demolition part 2

From this     To this       The demolition guys worked alarmingly slowly.  They didn't bring any machinery in until late on when the slab needed to be dug up.  Unbelievably they were loading the skips by hand, brick by brick, concrete lump by lump.  Anyway, we ended up a bit behind schedule due to them taking 3 weeks longer than planned.   If we were ever going to do this again, which we are not, we would know better.  I would drive a digger into

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Weebles

 

Demolition

So, as I am backdating this blog by 6 months I need to catch up quickly.  I covered alot of our demolition in other posts due to the asbestos issues.   The bungalow was encased in plastic sheeting and over the course of three weeks amosite asbestos was removed from the soffits, chrysotile asbestos from the roof tile edging and from inside every internal wall.  We left this job to the professionals and were pleased to do so.  It whacked up the cost of our demolition by about £20K in the

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Weebles

 

Our new home

Back in March our new home arrived.     Manoeuvring it into place took more time than we possibly imagined.     And we looked at our snow covered new home from the relative warmth of our 1960s flat pack bungalow and wondered if it was too late to turn back.     Thanks to fellow buildhubbers we got it safely hooked up to gas.  Thanks to You Tube we got it levelled.  Thanks to him indoors it got all plumbed in to mains drainage.  We moved

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Weebles