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Project Management



With any self build, unless you can afford an Architect/Builder to oversee the whole project, you're going to be chasing people, materials, answering questions and more. 


My own project is up to roof stage, timber frame is finished, roof finished but outer brick/block leaf is next, then soffit, fascia, gutters, then porch, then windows & doors. Each have their own challenges. On top of my day job! 


I've a delivery of lintels tomorrow and I only thought to ask what size rigid truck is it to find out it's a full Articulated Truck with a moffet (look that up in goggle!!). Won't fit in my housing estate!! cue plan B, C and D !! We're going to offload it to a footpath outside my house on the other side of a council wall and I'll use a hand truck to get them one by one into the site through a gap some teen made wider last year and it was never fixed by the council! 


I'm sure each self builder has a raft of such stories. My house needs 2500 bricks and 1280 blocks. The brick supplier I'd booked and paid for in full, was meant to deliver this Friday along with the block supplier providing all the blocks, sand, cement etc. They gave away the bricks to another (assume larger) customer and it's 2 weeks to get a new order in from Belgium. I tried the other supplier I found in google for the same bricks and got through to the same woman I'd been dealing with, same company, one's a shell I'd say. Tried the supplier and they only supply to this one company in Ireland. Anyway, as a one off house they can bump you down the list so I tend to like to get things onsite a week or two early to avoid this added hassle. I've very tight for storage but if you have a brick layer onsite and no bricks you'll be forced to buy something, anything and have to live with it forever. 


Time management - getting answers to questions is one thing, learning on the job is another. I want to nail in about 200 nails by hand but after realizing my initial attempts were leaning tower of Pisa'esque, I purchased a first fix nail gun, my first! Wow! 200 nails in 3 hours, all batons attached to the window openings. I can sell it later but the right tool for the job for sure! I've to install my first express nails tonight after learning about them from a neighbour - fixes wood to concrete. 


The roofers left 6 Velux boxes behind with BBX on them. What are they for? An extra? Do I need them? I think they are to act as a vapour barrier and possibly air tightness according to initial google searches. Something else I've to figure out later on. 


The roof has turned out well hasn't it! They had to finished the Oriel Window Metal / Trocal flashing before they finished roof tiling. It has a ventilated ridge and those plastic covers at the edges all the way along the roof line instead of cement they used to use. I've about 40 spare tiles stored away! 


The outer brick/blockwork is my next major hurdle. There's a few items I need to buy, figure out and get onsite:

  • 100mm DPC for above 1st course of blockwork above foundation
  • 18" DPC for around windows
  • Expansion ties - Ancon PPS200 ebonded Safety Tie - box of 250, at least I have spares! I can return the unused ones. 
  • Wall vents - using Timloc Cavity Wall Drill Vents - you drill a 25mm hold angling upwards and then plug this into it. This absolves the brick layer from having to install them as they go
  • Wall ties - the timberframe supplier provides 4 boxes of these and marked up where the studs are to get good purchase
  • Stop Bead and Drip Bead (plastic) for render, Weber OCR, Weber paint (I'm doing this job once the blockwork is finished), Mitre bond glue (2 part glue)
  • Gutter Brushes for later
  • Expansion Joints - I've two 10 meter gables, each require two expansion joints. There's an awkward window and ESB box on one end of one side so thankfully we're putting the expansion joint past both of these even though you should have one every 6 meters and within 1/2 of this distance from the corner, ours will be 3.8m from the corner. the timberframe amazing team marked up the best positions for expansion joints and identified this one before the Structural Engineer signed off on it. 


I've taped up all the Solitex on the outside of the Timber Frame, plugged the side door up with timber, OSB and more Frontex WA. We're still installing a lintel in the blockwork but will ignore it otherwise for the block course and if someone wants to open it later they can with an angle grinder! It saves wasting a lot of space in the utility room having a door there with no purpose. There's no sink = reason to not make it a boot room really. 


I'm lining all the window openings with insulation over the next week or so and adding batons to take the window straps. They want a strap within 100-150mm of any corner and no more than 700mm apart. The Straps are 1mm thick and come inside the window about 100mm. I've sourced wood to exactly match the insulation thickness which can be hard but avoids trying to plane / table saw wood onsite. 


This Friday I've to hope everything fits onsite as it's delivered and we've room for a telehandler afterwards for when the brickie's start! 


That's a snapshot of my week! I'll do a post about powering electrical devices onsite without a generator using an Electric car & Anker 2kW battery soon I think, some lesson learnt there! 









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