Week 2 – Let it snow
Winter is here; the predicted snowfall and cold weather has arrived which are conditions that are not necessarily conducive to house building.
A dusting of white powder gives the site a slightly more majestic feel and covers the unexciting appearance of the site at this point of the build.
The temperature has not been above 1 degree all week but to the guys credit work has carried on and the block work in preparation for the slab is halfway there.
Here are the remainder of our blocks waiting patiently to go in.
One of the key investments we have made this week is in the bacon butty and coffee fund. A couple of deliveries of these very welcome supplies have ensured the guys are kept fueled and positive in these tricky conditions.
Although it is little difficult to see on the photo, the foundations are all done and several rows of blocks at the rear of the site now rise up from these foundations. As with a lot of this work it is not necessarily pretty and it feels like more money than expected is being poured into the ground – all of which we will not see at the end of the day.
Hopefully, with the timber frame approach we are taking to building our house, we will start to see something which resembles a house go up relatively quickly. Speaking of which, one of the tasks this week has been to finalise the external design and specification to finish the SIPS. This will enable the external finish to be applied in the factory and then delivered to site ready to go and then craned into place, with the external finish already complete.
After much discussion rough sawn larch is decided upon as the preferred option which we think we contribute to the overall house and a more sustainable and natural feel.
Our order has also been placed for our passive ventilation system…and more cash out the door – this house building is an expensive hobby!
Once blockwork is complete the plans are for the slab to be in place by the end of next week. Am not sure if the weather will be kind to us but either way the show must go on!
Along side this service voids will need to be allowed for in the slab and the services need to be connected. As any of you will know, if you have had any dealings with gas, electric or water service providers yourself, the process can be a painful one and not necessary the most efficient.
With a schedule to keep the unnecessary delays that may be caused trying to get these in place is the one area that now concerns me most. Although the conversations have been had and orders placed until we see guys on site I will not be convinced.
One of the companies suggested to us that the only way to find out the depth of the service pipes was to lift up a manhole in the middle of the road to check for ourselves – no plans were available and this was their best suggestion for how to gain this information – unbelievable! No health and safety concerns there then!
As the snow set in by the end of the week the tiny slope of the road outside our site soon became a treacherous ice slide. One of the guys thought that moving his van might be a good option rather than it sitting by the side of the road as a potential target for the next sliding motorist to take their best shot.
Not even 10 minutes after moving it the screech of locked wheels skating across the ice was heard accompanied by a car sliding into the gutter and resting in exactly the same space where the van was parked… A good call boys! One van still in tact.
We have finalised the plan for the timber frame to be ordered and on site exactly 2 weeks from now. It is an unusual concept to know that our entire house is sitting in a factory in Wales waiting to be delivered and we are yet to see it! We just need to give the go ahead and provide a rather large cheque and the wheels will be set in motion. We are proud of the fact that we are able to source our timber frame from within the UK, built from FSC sustainable forests.
We will update again next week, along with details of how our site has now turned into a real building site…