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08-08-09 – Oak flooring complete, TV aerial fitted.

The oak flooring has been fitted, and looks glorious.  Makes those rooms with it feel huge, perhaps because they have been emptied, but still, gives the house a bigger feel.  Now these rooms are in use, we just await the woodwork to be fitted and then painted, and some furniture is due next week.  We also have an aerial in the loft, and six points around the house.  These won’t all be used, but they’ll help me resist the expensive temptation of getting Sky TV fitted, for now anyway.

All roads lead, somewhere

All roads lead, somewhere



Family room

Family room


06-8-08 – Floor encapsulated, plumbing all but finished

Having now acclimatised the wood floor is ready to go down, which means the screed has to be encapsulated, whatever that means.  The timing of this process has been spot-on so far.  Even to the point of clearing all the rooms to let the fitters at it today, they were on the drive as we were on our way back from dropping all the cardboard at the recycling centre. The plumber has also been here today, re-positioning showers, adding inhibitor to the central heating system and other general snagging.  Our local distributor has been by to inspect our fireplace and give us a price for our desired wood burning stove.  So tomorrow the wood should  start going down and be finished by the weekend, then all the other wood work can be put in, and painted, oh joy.

Hall encapsulated

Hall encapsulated

Family room encapsulated

Family room encapsulated

Lounge semi-encapsulated

Lounge semi-encapsulated


29-7-08 – Wood flooring delivered.

What a day.  I spent the morning waiting for our shiny new wooden flooring to arrive, and most of early afternoon as it happens.  Luckily we had some company and the three-foot-foreman was well and truly entertained.  Then when this stuff did finally arrived, we, or more specifically I, was forced to hand-ball it off the delivery truck and into our lounge, eventually.  The numnuts at the suppliers had loaded the pallet curtain-side, with no regard for if  the pallet would actually fit across the back of the trailer to go via pallet truck on the hydraulic lift.  Well, it’s not like they’ve been doing it for years, bloody scamps.  Anyway, the important thing it is in situ, and I’m still delighted with my choice.  Very excited about seeing it down.  Not least of all because it means the rest of the house can be finished!

        @ The door           Getting aclimbatised            Sample opened
Wood at the door   Wood stowed correctly in the lounge   Sample of wood unpacked


25-7-08 – It’s been a while, but we’re in.

Apologies to anyone who’s been reading this blog for updates, there’s a better explanation here.  Anyway, the majority of works are done.  We’ve both got a bathroom and a working en-suite, the kitchen is in, the heating finally works and we’ve got a nice bit of black stuff to park the car on.  We now await the wooden flooring for the remainder of the downstairs.  Once that is in the rest of the woodwork can be finished and the furniture can be put into position.

 3 foot foreman’s room    Lounge awaiting flooring

 Three Foot Foreman's Bomb Site  Lounge awaiting flooring

                Kitchen                  View from the garden

 Kitchen  View from the garden, 25th July


19-6-08 – Kitchen units going in, some snagging done, drive looking better.

A much better week so far.  The kitchen has arrived, and the floor units have gone in, ready for work-surface templating.  Looks really good, and it looks like the plumbing and electrics are correct.  The landscaper has gone someway to redeeming himself with the drive.  The revised porch looks really good, and the beginnings of a ramp at the other entrance are going to blend much better.  Garage back door is fitted, and the roof has been adjusted so I can fit a roller shutter door.  Dormer windows have been finished off, and some other small snagging jobs have been done.  Electric should be on in the house by the weekend, and the kitchen fitting will continue next week.

           Porch                           Ramped enterance

Revised porch 19th June 08    Other enterance 19th June 08

          Kitchen                        From pantry end

Kitchen 19th June 08 from breakfast area    Kitchen 19th June 08 from the pantry


13-6-08 – Bathrooms going in, cold water on.  Kitchen delayed.

Frustrating week really.  Bathrooms are going in, there’s the odd time consuming snag. Bits missing, tiles that need adjusting.  Just annoying stuff like that.  The kitchen has not arrived, and the supplier has no other excuse than being behind on other jobs.  The plumbing and electrics have been tailored to suit, so I’m not really in a position to look elsewhere.  But they may well face some reluctance on my part to meet the bill exactly.  Garden is all but done, could do with some water on it this weekend.  Still in dialogue over the drive shortfalls.

        Downstairs w/c                 Bathroom                 Max’s ensuite

Downstairs w/c   Bathroom 13th June 08   Max\'s ensuite


09-6-08 – Upstairs woodwork done.  Tiles on floors and walls where they need to be.  Bathroom equipment delivered.  Drive works continue.

The carpenters did a good, and well timed job last week.  It was if they planned to add the banister to the stairs literally a hour after all the bathroom equipment was delivered.  Shame I’m going to have to bring some of it back downstairs to exchange!  It’s at this stage that little mistakes are noticed, and we are getting into the real nitty-gritty and detail. Due to me not measuring perfectly or not getting my ensuite equipment fitted prior to tiling, I’m going to have to make a change to something slightly different, and thinner.  There are also to be some discussions about the drive tomorrow, which I hope the landscaper will come through.

               Landing                     Kitchen Floor              Bathroom gear

Landing  Kitchen floor  Bathroom stuff




03-6-08 – Front doors hung, stairs in, upstairs woodwork started, drive levelled and tilers have arrived.

Blimey.  I love it, and worry about it in equal measure, when works go on at this rate.  A lot has happened this week and it’s only eob Tuesday.  The carpenters have put the front doors on, so we are secure.  They have also fitted the stairs and they are perfect.  Skirting and architrive installation has started upstairs.  Tilers arrived late today to deliver the equipment to save some time tomorrow.  Landscaping looks great and will be finished this week.  We may even be brave and put down a tarmac base next week!  Bathroom equipment and plumber, hopefully, will arrive on Thursday morning.

            Garden                       Vegetable Patch               Front Door                   

Garden    Three Foot Foreman by his vegetable patch    Front Door 

            Stairs                           Oil tank base                        3FF room

Stairs    Oil Tank base    Three-Foot-Foreman\'s Room


31-5-08 – Garden nearly complete, oil tank delivered, external doors sourced and painting goes on, and on, and on, and on…

The turf has been laid this week, but the doors and stairs haven’t gone in.  Apparently the doors I’d specified had been discontinued, so it was off to the weirdest of weird suppliers to source an alternative.  I’ve actually ended up with a door very similar to the original, but it needed staining before it could go on, which ruled this week out.  So, carpentry should start again on Monday, and the house should be lockable from Tuesday, which means the fitting out can continue at pace, hopefully.  Painting is continuing, and I’d rather not think about just how much there is to do.  Oil tank has been delivered and the landscaper has the materials to make the slab for it.   The Three-Foot-Foreman has even planted some vegetables in his patch, as well as ‘helping’ with the painting at low level.

            Garden                     Front Door                Kitchen

Green stuff going down      Front door ready for hanging      Kitchen going green


23-5-08 – Screed in, garden well under-way and stairs manufactured.

A lot has been completed in the last seven days.  As promised the screed was poured in last Saturday, and the builder has been absent this week, to allow the mix to dry before starting on the wood work.  This has been excellent timing as the landscaper has been in this week to start the garden and drive.  They are well on with it in fact, and I now have a patio that, I believe, complements the house brick work very well.  Grass should arrive after the bank holiday and the builder is due back.  If all goes to plan we should have stairs and doors in next week, which would be just in time for the tiler and kitchen fitter.

          Kitchen                                Lounge                               Patio                         Walkway

 Kitchen screeded    Lounge screeded    Patio    Walkway


15-5-08 – Floor insulation done, underfloor heating kit going in.

They managed to get the insulation done in the best part of a day, which I personally think is good going.  The plumber had started to work out the underfloor heating kit yesterday, but when I cycled to site today (yes, that is cycled you read) about half of the piping is down.  Looks like quite a quick job, when you understand and know what you’re doing.  This means that the system will be in situ by the end of business today, and tomorrow is reserved for filling, pressurising and testing.  Which in turn means that we should be OK to screed on Saturday.  Now this is the pace I prefer, stuff being done every day, that’s the type of stuff you can really see making a difference.  The deposit on the kitchen has been paid, and they are due to site on the 9th of June to begin fitting it.  The biometric lock people have cashed my cheque, so hopefully the lock will follow shortly.

         Controls                                 Lounge                             Hall/Dining

Underfloor heating controls      Lounge underfloor      Hall/Dining underfloor


14-5-08 – Sewer connection on, underfloor heating gear arrives.

The road has been dug up for a third time on this project, the highways will be thankful that we don’t have a gas main near us, but hopefully this is the last time.  This time we, or my contractor, were looking for the sewer.  It was a little deeper than anticipated, around 13 foot and the highways agency were getting a bit edgy on having the road out of action for too long.  All-in-all it meant a long day for the contractor yesterday, but on the plus side, I now have somewhere to send my filth.  Underfloor heating equipment and insulation has arrived, the plumber and the builder were working it out and putting down the insulation respectively this afternoon.  I hope to get some pictures of the pipe runs tomorrow, as with a bit of luck they will only ever be on view for about 48hrs.  Fingers crossed.

            Digging                          Manual Digging          Connection to sewer main

 Digging for the sewer       Manual digging for the sewer      Connection into the sewer


08-5-08 – Plastered

The plastering is complete, and it makes the whole house look huge.  They’ve got a really good finish on all the walls, and I’d recommend them for anyone to who finish is much more important than time.  Nothing will happen until Monday now, that’s when the plumber will return and the insulation for the floor arrives.  The builder has just called to give me the latest plan, which is heating downstairs and screeding next weekend.  Thereafter the stairs will be put in, and front doors will go on.  In the meantime, we need to crack on with the painting, and I’ve received a permit for the sewer works.

   Master bedroom              Master’s bedroom             Rustic stairs

Master Bedroom 8th May 08     3FF Room Reverse View 8th May 08      Primitive Staircase 8th of May 08


02-5-08 – The end of the plastering tunnel is in sight.

It looks likely that the plasterers WILL actually finish by the middle of next week.  I was beginning to think this part of the project was never going to end.  The builder has also been frustrated with their progress, but the quality is fantastic so once it’s done I’m sure I’ll quickly forget the age it took.  I’ve all but chosen my wood flooring supplier, not that I’m going to tell them before we enter final negotiations!  They have indicated it may be a while before they are prepared to fit it, the screed needs to be bone dry, so we’ll probably move in without this floor down, but that’s not really a problem.  Need to get some tiling quotes in next week. 

Interesting Angles                Kitchen Plastered           Landing Part-Plastered

 Interesting angles          Kitchen plastered         Landing part plastered


22-4-08 – Plastering continues, decisions required on floor coverings and bathroom tiles.

The huge plastering job continues.  I still think an end of this week estimate is a rose tinted glass one.  More hands are due to aid completion, but they have yet to arrived.  Virtually everywhere is boarded now, apart from the area over the stairs.  More stands and planks are required for the plasterers to actually reach this area.  Once this is done the underfloor heating should be thrown in and then the screed can be laid.  I estimate we are about a month away from having to put the floor coverings in.  I’m in negotiations with several wood floor providers, who all have different views on which type of wood, and method of installation I should use.  I’m sure I’ll be making a decision and placing an order soon.

          Family                              Lounge                            Kitchen

Family room 18th April 08  Lounge 22nd April 08  Kitchen 22nd April 08


17-4-08 – Plastering continues, first fix plumbing all but done.

Bar fitting one shower tray, which the waste is already plumbed, and moving one sink waste, the plumbing first fix is done.  The plasterers are free to plaster whenever and wherever they please in the house.  I don’t think they quite worked out just how much plastering there is.  They are shortly doubling man power, and gave a more realistic estimate for finishing, as the end of next week.  Second fix electrics have been started around the plastering and even some sockets have been fitted.  Next big stage will be the underfloor heating and the screed.

The Bedrooms with sockets, radiator pipes and drying plaster

          Master                          3-Foot-Foreman              Bedroom 3

Master bedroom plaster drying   Three-Foot-Foreman\'s Room With Sockets   Bedroom 3 with sockets and rad pipes


16-4-08 – Moving on slowly, I’ve been in danger of doing physical work this week.

Lots of decisions need to be made now.  Shower trays have been picked up and are shortly going to be put in, so the tiling of the bathroom floors can then start.  I’ve sourced and put in place an oak beam for the fire place this week.  I even had to assist in the long drawn out process of sawing it. Phew.

Another piece of oak in the gaff

Fire place taking shape 15th April 08


11-4-08 – My glorious stain glass window has landed.

Have a look at this picture.  The stain glass design has been put into effect and put into situ. I love it.  I did ask the window fitter if he thought either The Three-Foot-Foreman or Myself had designed it.  He refused to answer. But I’m really chuffed with it, and the window folks have done a great job on it.

My stain glass in-situ


08-4-08 – Water is connected.  This is turning into a very busy week.

The water has been connected this morning.  Our on site works were satisfactorily inspected about a fortnight back, and I’ve thought little more about it.  Yet, they were there this bright and early this morning to make our water connection ‘live’.  Interesting the electric connection is due at the end of this week, so if that goes according to plan we shall just be waiting on the sewer connection.  Which I estimate I’m still a few weeks away from.  Once that’s done the drive can be started.

Water connection          From the garden            From the drive

Water connection going live   View from the garden, bright morning 8th April   View from the drive, bright morning 8th April


07-4-08 – Windows have arrived, plasterers return and quotation for garden and drive in.

Busy day today, in what will be a busy week.  Four window fitters on site today, maybe as a response to my builder’s agitation that they didn’t arrive last week.  Windows were going in rapidly today, and they’re hoping to have them all glazed by the end of business tomorrow.  That is some smart work.  It’s also meant that the plasterers have continued with their job, and that they can look forward to escaping the wind soon.  I met with, our now contracted, landscape gardener this afternoon.  We tweaked his original plan, now we can actually visualise the garden versus the house.  And also with an eye on keeping the costs down.  I’m pleased with what he’s come up with and I’m sure he’s pleased to know he has the work.

View from the drive             View from the garden

Windows going in, view from the drive 7th April 08             Windows going in, view from the garden 7th April 08 


06-4-08 – Porch is done, chimney has been finished. Where are the windows?

Porch is complete.  Looks really good, I’m pleased with it.  Just need to decided whether to paint or stain the rafters.  Plasterers have come and gone again.  They’re really waiting on the windows, which were due last week, before they can continue.  The only delay the project has really had, let’s hope it’s a very short one.  Busy week this week.  Electric will be connected,  bathroom equipment will be ordered, tiles will be ordered, kitchen ordered and visit to the Homebuilding and Renovating show – to look primarily at wooden floors and door furniture – all planned.

View from the drive   Porch,pre-treatment     Three-Foot-Foreman

View from the drive, 5th March 08    Porch, pre-treatment.   Three-Foot-Foreman inspects his en-suite


02-4-08 – Plasterers have arrived, water connection inspection.  Plumbing and electrics continue. Porch is taking shape.

I’ve yet to meet them but the plasterers have arrived on site.  First thing in the morning I should get a good idea of how they are getting on, with what looks like, a massive plastering job.  The electrics first fix are virtually done, just waiting on the ceilings being plastered.  First fix plumbing is taking shape and it looks like I have final designs for the bathrooms, even if I haven’t actual put pen-to-paper, or card-to-machine, to seal an order for the sanitary ware.  The carpenters have taken on board my spec for the porch and it is taking shape as I’d hoped.   Starting to think about a moving in date, exciting and sleep depriving in the same breath.

The porch taking shape

The porch, 31st Mar 08


23-3-08 – 1st Fix electrics in.  Measuring up for the sanitary ware.

‘Sparky’ has got the vast majority of the 1st fix electrics in over the Easter weekend.  But for a couple of queries with the plumber on thermostats, he’s done what he needs to before the plastering begins.  We made a visit to site today to take actual measurements for the various bathrooms.  The plumber needs to know if we are sticking to the architects plans, and if the wastes need to flow as per drawings.  The Three-Foot-Foreman was laying claim to three of the four bedrooms today, but at least he seems to be getting the message that the master suite, is my future domain. 

3FF in bedroom 4                   Kitchen with 1st fix elec

Max laying claim to bedroom 4                 Kitchen with 1st fix electrics

 3FF in his en-suite                  3FF on the drive

3FF in his ensuite                3FF on the drive


20-3-08 – Stud walls are all but done. Drains and soakaway are dug, garage slab is ready for concrete.

It’s been a busy few days on site.  People everywhere, doing much smaller jobs, but all necessary to take the project further, and some crucial for other trades to start their particular work.  The stud work upstairs sizes all the rooms, and they are as expect.  The first three bedrooms are big, mine is huge.  The fourth bedroom will just about take a double bed, the bathroom will be very functional but not overly grand.  But having the extra space on the landing, will give the house a great reception feel upstairs, the same as downstairs.  I’ve also been to the window making factory today and got all that specified and ordered, will be interested to see how my stain glass window design comes out!

From Max’s room               Master en-suite

View from Max’s room 20th Mar             Master en-suite 20th Mar

Drains being dug                Garage floor

Drains being dug 20th Mar             Garage floor 20th Mar


18-3-08 – All the scaffold is down, the box ticking starts in earnest.

The utility room and garage scaffold is down and the organised chaos has picked up a fantastic pace.  As predicted it is now that the real work starts for everyone, not least of all, me the client.  These people now need specific answers to their questions.  Some are opinions, like where I want lights, others are only available from third parties, like how high the porch will be.  Today I’ve, virtually, finalised the kitchen design, it means the plumber and electrician know where their services will need to be.  Tomorrow I have meetings booked with the window firm, the plumber and the main co-ordinating contractor.  Phew.

View from the drive                  Garage, no scaffold

View from the drive 18th March - No scaffold                  Garage 18th March - No scaffold


13-3-08 – Scaffold is down, I need to get my backside into gear.

The majority of the scaffold is down. All that is left, is there to facilitate the roofing of the single storey block.  The utility room and pantry essentially.  I’ve contracted the builder to continue with the fitting out, minus electrics, kitchen and bathrooms.  I have an oil tank engineer meeting me later, and the kitchen designer is coming to measure up early next week.  I also need a walk through of the house with the sparky, and a meeting about spec with the plumber.  Action stations.

Now you see it, now you don’t

Pre & Post scaffold from drive and garden


10/3/08 – Roof is tiled, scaffold due to come down.

The roof is tiled, with the exception of those areas that can’t be done until the scaffold comes down.  Bad, or expected bad weather have put the builder off from sorting the rain-water goods out for the last couple of working days, which in turn means the scaffold remains in place.  With better stuff expected in these parts tomorrow, the guttering should go on to the rather fetching painted truss ends, in lieu of a soffit, in the next 24 hours or so.  Then the scaffold will come down as we edge ever-nearer to having a water tight structure.

View from the drive                View from the garden

7th Mar 08 - View from the drive                   7th Mar 08 - View from the garden


03/3/08 – Roof is nearly tiled

After a week away from the site, I returned to find the builder had done as predicted.  The tiles had arrived as planned and they’ve been tiling since the middle of last week.  The roof is virtually done, they were doing  the ridge tiles when I arrived today.  Some of the scaffold will have to come down, and some re-arranged for them to complete the roof over the utility and garage.  I await to here from the builder but expect that to happen later this week.  

 View from the road               View from garden

3rd of Mar 08 - View from the end of the road                3rd Mar 08 - View from the garden

View from the drive              Beams in situ

3rd Mar 08 - View from the drive                3rd Mar 08 - Beams in situ


21/2/08 – Brickwork is done and the roof is being prepared for the tilers 

The improve temperature has brought with it an end to the brickwork.  Brickwork on both the house and the garage structures.  Both chimneys looks great, the one that will actually works looks enormous, but I suppose it was always going to.  You can now really get a feel for the site, as the garage is just tiles and doors away from virtual completion.  It gives a great idea of the space and what great use this house design makes of it.  I will miss the brickies, who I’ve enjoyed ‘working’ with.  I might not get much time with the tilers as they are only expected for a week or so, the lucky so and sos.

Garage                                   Chimney above hall

Garage from above             Hall chimney

Main chimney 

Main chimney


18/2/08 – The rest of the roof takes shape.  Purlins are in position.

I was greeted with the site of a huge crane when I arrived on site earlier today.  I was wondering how they were going to get the 12″ square beams in to position.  The builders ‘we’ll hand-ball them’ was always a little optimistic.  They did try though, even if they all knew that method was somewhat floored.  It’s quite impressive watching a crane drive get these beams in the right place with the minimum amount of fuss.  It took more time to site, set-up and then do the reverse with the crane, than it did to lift the beams to their new home.  The end result is the roof in the master bedroom, or my bedroom more accurately, is fantastic.  They’re a bit overkill, and I’m sure some people will doubt if they are real. 

The crane                             Beam on its way

The crane 18th Feb           Beam me up Scottie

Nearly there                        There

Up up and not so away           Beams in situ


15/2/08 – We have a roof, well the Three-Foot-Foreman does!

Great progress again this week, barely a drop of rain and a decent temperature has made steady progress possible this week.  The garage is taking shape, and we have roof trusses on the majority of the house.  The Three-Foot-Foreman was happy that they had started the roof trusses over his room first.  ‘It’s because I’m the gaffer,” he said.  Huge oak purlins have arrived for my bedroom.  These will be exposed and be a fantastic feature.  That’s if they can actually get these things up and into the wall.

 View from the garden      View from the drive

View from the garden 15th Feb           View from the drive 15th Feb

Garage                                  Oak purlins

The garage 15th Feb           Oak purlins, all 12 metres of them!


11/2/08 – Walls ready, trusses on-site.

Another great day for building, fantastic conditions.  Just need to protect what wet courses of bricks there are, against tonights probably frost.  The walls were all but ready to take, the delivered, roof trusses.  Scaffolding should go up by another level tomorrow, and the trusses should start to go on from Wednesday.  So these pics below may be the last of the house as just brick.  The builders will switch to the garage tomorrow.  They’ll be doing the brick work overhand on that, as it is so close to the boundaries.

View from the garden                       View from the drive

View from the garden 11th Feb (last taken without roof trusses)                      View from the drive 11th Feb (last taken without roof trusses)


8/2/08 – Garage foundations in, house looks almost ready for roof trusses.

Foundation trenches dug and poured for the garage.  Brilliant weather today, shame it was a Friday, the builders had gone by my 3.30pm site visit.  Still, the house looks almost ready for the arrival of the roof trusses.  I’ve a concern over the blending of the bricks, as we appear to have a clear line around the house, where the pre-scaffold walls meets the line above.  I’m assured this is down to these bricks below the line being saturated.  Fingers crossed, that’s the case. 

Garage foundations                View from the garden               View from the drive

Garage foundations, 8th Feb                 View from the garden, 8th Feb                 View from the drive, 8th Feb


7/2/08 -Lines are drawn for the garage.

The setting out has been done for the garage.  Although it’s a simple square box, its position is crucial.  On a relatively tight site, and with it being firmly butted along hedgerow, it will be interesting to see the trenches dug tomorrow.  I’m happy with the position, as is the builder. Looks like it will still give us plenty of drive, there’s good room to get in and out of it, and still, there’s a little bit of land at the reverse for our oil tank to go. 

Lines for the garage                              View from the back of the garage

Setting out lines for the garage                        View from the back of the garage


6/2/08 – Second tier of scaffold up, roof trusses due soon.

The walls are getting higher.  Now we’re at first floor level the wind has come into play.  What I mean is, they are building from the outside-in rather than the traditional, block then skin from external scaffold.  As we have a first floor internally, this makes this technique possible, and minimises the risk of the wind blowing anything over, without really having an impact on build time.  The roof is due soon, possibly next week, and that has not been without its issues.  As suspected, due to the different wall heights and the conglomerate of angles the roof trusses have proved a challenge for those in the know.  It may mean that one extra wall remains in block upstairs, instead of changing to stud-work – no major issue, for me.  There has been mutter of an exposed supporting beam, which I’m hoping stays as just that, a muttering.

View from the garden 6th Feb (No thumbnail due to little fingers ‘playing’ with camera)

View from the drive 6th Feb (No thumbnail due to little fingers ‘playing’ with camera)


30/1/08 – First floor in, downstairs layout shaping up.

I was a little staggered to see the first floor actually in. When the builder told me first floor joists would be in this week, I imagined that it would stay that way until the roof is on.  But, not, these are water proof and as such can be laid now.  The house has really started to feel, like somewhere we’re going to actually live, rather than visit every day to check on building progress.  You get a good idea of how the rooms will work downstairs, and I must say I’m very pleased and excited to see how the rooms are shaping up.

View from garden                       View from drive

 View from the garden, 30th Jan                  View from the drive, 30th Jan

Kitchen                                                Lounge

Kitchen, 30th Jan                   Lounge, 30th Jan


Hall, 30th Jan


28/1/08 – Scaffold up as planned, first floor joists being laid.

The building is really now starting to take shape.  All the walls are nearly now at first floor joist level.  They have started laying the joists across the supporting walls.  This makes a  huge difference to the house, and also makes a difference when you’re inside it.  This house will have rooms in and everything!  With current weather predictions being OK, the builder is now planning for the roof, and the bricklayers think they could have finished by the end of next week.  I’d be surprised, but delighted, if that turned out to be correct.

From the patio                        From the garden             

View from the Drive 28th January               View from the garden 28th January

Living room                                      Kitchen        

Lounge 28th January (from hall)                The kitchen from the scaffold


23/1/08 – Ready for scaffolding.

I’ve taken today, pictures of my proposed dwelling without scaffolding. Hopefully, the next time I will be able to do it again we shall have a roof and shiny new windows in.  The workings-from-the-ground are all but done. I left the builder putting up an interior block wall and building the fireplace, with the inside-out design.  Fingers crossed that when I drive passed tomorrow on the way to nursery the scaffolding will be up.  It would a shame not to be, as we seem to be having, much needed, better building weather.

From the drive                               From the garden

23rd Jan view from drive                  From the garden 23rd Jan


18/1/08 – Outside skin up to first lift level, nearly.

The outside skin is up to first lift level, almost all the way around the house.  I need to resolve where the electricity meter housing has been sited, and the problems with irritated neighbours don’t seem to be going away.  Anyway, we’re at the end of week 4 (of building) and I’m really happy with the progress made.  Weather permitting, scaffolding should arrive next week and more manpower will be sent to the site.  

View from the drive                            View from the garden

 18th Jan from the drive                     18th Jan from the garden


16/1/08 – Sunshine, and the bricklaying continues

Today we are graced with the presence of glorious sunshine.   The odd scattered shower can be tolerated, especially with the amount we’ve had over the last fortnight.  Bricklaying continues, and we can now see how the bottom window lintels will look. A quite smart soldier course.

From the Garden                   Bottom Window Plinth

16th Jan view from the garden/porch           Bottom Plinth Picture


14/1/08 – Bricklaying continues, hindered by the torrent of rain. 

The brickies are basically lining the plinth of the house.  A brick will rest half on the plinth course and t’other half on a course of about end bricks.  Therefore that’s what the bricklayers are presently doing.  I told them they were lucky to be inside the house in such terrible conditions.  They love me. 


9/1/08 – The bricklaying continues.

The weather is such that the bricklaying can continue, and to me it continues at pace.  The builder is not as enthusiastic as he’s still a few men to come back from winter holidays.  Which means that as of next week, if we have half-decent conditions, the bricks should start to fly up.  Hopefully not literally.

From the drive                                  From the garden

 Bricklaying 9th Jan Front                   Bricklaying rear 9th Jan


8/1/08 – The bricklaying has begun.

A new year and a new start.   The Christmas and New Year weather would have been perfect for building work.  The temperature didn’t really drop too far and in Staffordshire we only had a rain a few times.  So what has this week brought?  The threat of a low temperature and today H20 has descended.  But not before the building inspector has been twice to inspect pre and actual DPC level.  They have also managed to pour the beginnings of the floor, and now the real it-looks-like-a-house work has begun.  Fingers crossed for better weather. 

Can you guess what it is yet?

  Start of the plinth


21/12/07 – The work is done for this year. 

Site work is complete for 2007.  We’ve got a lot further than I’d planned.  Didn’t think we’d start until the New Year, so to have done anything is a bonus.  In total I think the builders have had nine days on site.  Three have been too cold to lay bricks, but they are still virtually where they said they would be.  Still the builder was a little frustrated when I spoke to him earlier.  All good signs, and I’m delighted with the work so far and you can see the footprint of the house.

From the ‘Drive’                            From the ‘Garden’

 Nearly DPC front                Nearly DPC Garden


19/12/07  DPC (Or is that I’ll be coming home) for Christmas?

The bricklaying has started after a bitterly cold delay.  It must be 2 degrees and rising to lay bricks, and earlier this week it certainly wasn’t.  By current estimations we should have the brickworks complete up to DPC by the end of this week, and thus the Christmas break.   There’s also an outside chance that the slab will also be laid, but this is dependant on having full days for the remainder of the week, and I haven’t seen the forecast. 

   Down the site                     From the garden

 Start of DPC   DPC from the garden


14/12/07  The foundation pouring has started 

I have popped to site this morning to find that we’ve been able to start pouring one side of the house’s foundations.  Max was absolutely mesmerised by the builder who was digging the trenches at the other end of the property (see picture!). 

A couple of problems have arisen with the neighbours. The local bus, in trying to get around our concrete waggon, has mounted someone’s verge and cracked a paving slab.  Our builder, good on him, offered to repair it, but they said they’d rather sue the bus company! Enough said. There’s also an issue over parking in a housing association lay by, the police have been involved and have sided with the builder on grounds of safety.  Lastly they’re not happy with damage made to some of the hedges and trees on my site.  Which of course will be replaced as and when is correct in the building cycle. I hope they can be satisfied, but have a feeling I won’t be on their Christmas Card list.

 Concrete and Max 


13/12/07 – The ground is of the ‘Rolls Royce’ quality

I’m quoting the builder here, but he says, “I can’t believe the ground, it’s the Rolls Royce of soil, best type for foundations, best type for drainage, you lucky _________!”  You can fill the blank.  Have a look at the trenches, and the building regs guy who gave us the thumbs up for concrete pouring tomorrow.

Getting the thumbs up               Trenches are about 1100 deep

  Trenches and Building Regs Officer                        Trenches with Shaun in


 13/12/07 – The Diggers are back!

The setting out is being done today, and the trench digging should commence as well.  We’ve had two slight problems, I predicted the one, the utility is too close to the boundary edge.  Not really a problem as we shall step it across, the pantry will get smaller, or may have to go, but that wouldn’t be the end of the world.  The second problem is a bit more annoying.  At the insistence of the planners a decorative plinth exists around the building.  Due to the tightness of the site, we may lose 100mm on the internal dimensions.  Builder is looking at it, but through my eyes and ears, we may well have to accept it.

 Setting Out          Diggers at Setting Out


 10/12/07 :- The day the build, or more specifically, the dig, commenced!

Building Control we’re not too concerned about the SAP figures, as they believe the design and the U-Values within the design are sound, and thus have allowed us to start.  Have a look at the pictures at 9.00 am and 10.00 am this morning.  End of play photo taken at 3.00pm

          9.00am                                  10.00am                              3.00pm

Site Start          Site 10th December 2007        Land 10th December end of play


13 responses to “Latest pic/info

  1. Will you be in for Christmas 🙂

  2. Why thank you Steve. And I assume from your recent, which really was not so recent, experience of the buying and selling property. That you mean Christmas 2010!

  3. Magic Pizza 2000 Fan

    Looks like you could do with some wellies and a wax jacket. Ask Steve for his new country tailor’s number, what what what.

  4. As previously advised I already have the wellies. Will stick to the paddington bear coat and dodgy scarf, even if it does make me look like a geography lecturer.

  5. Magic Pizza 2000 Fan

    A 6 year old geography lecturer. 😀

  6. Pizza No 1 Fan!

    Good work, will you be getting stuck in yourself?

  7. Looks great, must be great watching it being built.

    When can me & Ray move in?

  8. It’s champion.

    You and Ray can move in as soon as I have the internal locks fitted.

  9. Well done, i think your site is really interesting and informative. I did a self build 6 years ago and i am just about to embark on anouther one. It gets you kind of hooked, when you stand back and look at what you have achieved it is a very rewarding feeling!

  10. Thank you Dawn. I’m pleased you enjoy my blog. When are you starting your build and blog?

  11. Well done on the blog, keep up the good work

  12. Thanks self builder.

    And I will, but hopefully not for too much longer!

  13. Pingback: Apologies « The Self Builder’s blog

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