Jump to content

So how are we going to build this....

Kai casswell


You think getting planning is the final hurdle, and then you start talking to building control, structural engineers and steel manufacturers! Thank goodness we didn't have to talk to builders as well, as we had made the bold decision to do it all ourselves. I am a plumber by trade with a weird niche sideline of repairing solar thermal systems so i have some site experience. Having worked on a lot of new build single plot sites and with a variety of builders, project managers and architects I assumed i would manage it all ok. As we had preemptively done the Nudura ICF course for our 'never to be new build', i decided to do the basement at least in ICF. I had considered doing the whole extension in ICF - see picture, but in the end stuck with just the basement. I would come to regret that decision later on....


Due to the slightly weird nature of the existing house with steep pitch roofs coming into the first floor rooms, the design needed a-lot of steel work. Also with the basement starting about 4m away from the back of the old house we need some fairly substantial foundations between the old house and the basement, as well as a couple of enormous steel posts to help hold up the extension walls.


I had done a consulting call with The Green Building Store and discussed the options for making it all airtight and highly insulated. I decided on External Wall Insulation (EWI) over the whole building, and also filling the existing cavity with beads. As we were going to build the extension ourselves, and we weren't (yet) bricklayers, we decided on solid block-work walls for the new bit. They didn't have to be extra neat as it would all be covered by the EWI. The engineer suggested lay flat block-work, as it was stronger and would sit nicely on top of the basement ICF walls which have an 8" core.


These were each 18kg 7N dense concrete blocks and i calculated we had to lay 2700 blocks. Like i said, i would come to regret that....

basic elevations blog.jpg

Bradgate Road_12 ICF.jpg

Edited by Kai casswell

  • Like 1


Recommended Comments

Personally I think you’ve lost some of the character of the old house. I’m also not convinced with the flat roof parapet. It looks a bit unwieldy and out of place.

  • Like 1
Link to comment

During a kitchen / diner knock-through refurb, the customer asked me, "What do you think of the tiles Nick?". I said "If you like them, what the feck has it got to do with me?".

It's your house, and your design, done the way you like it, and you're the one paying for it. Pointless asking what people 'think', I'd just say to ask 'the massive' here for constructive criticism; so you get feedback to hopefully illuminate any non-obvious faux-pas.

Good choice with the Nudura, how far are you going with the upgrade to the rest of the original build fabric though? 

  • Like 1
Link to comment

I really like it. I love the Huf Haus look. My wife’s uncle built a Huf Haus 10 years ago and it looks as new and fresh now as it did when it was built. He is a very accomplished architect (retired) so could have designed his own house but didn’t. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...