Week 5 saw the signing off of the concrete slab woop! and we are on budget woop woop! The additional costs of moving drainage pipework and filling an old underground tank with concrete were cancelled out by the labour cost savings of the work we have done ourselves.
Check out the final prep for the concrete slab and the pouring of the concrete, with our Brinno camera..
And the manual labour…moving blocks again at the end of the week…
Week 6 is pretty quiet, as the builders are elsewhere all week. Probably a good job as we have had so much rain. Just the bricks arriving, which is exciting as we haven’t seen our furness ember blend bricks properly yet!
One of the first (and easiest!) decisions we made about our new home was that we would be having Underfloor heating instead of radiators. As part of the renovation of our last house we installed underfloor heating in the whole ground floor and really liked it, especially Charlie, he loved laying on the warmth!
As part of the renovation we took down a couple of walls and changed the flooring throughout so it was a great time to add in Underfloor heating, especially as we no longer had wall space for radiators. We had this designed by Polypipe with their 18mm thick board which didn’t increase our floor height much, we also went with their ‘Smart’ controls which was a very cool gadget and allowed us to control the heating from our phone, room by room. For flooring we went for tiles in the back of the house and a real wood floor in the front of the house.
It worked out more expensive than radiators however we managed to save some cost by installing it ourselves, very easy to do using the Polypipe layout drawing.
For the new build we again decided to go with Polypipe and have decided to have the Underfloor heating downstairs and upstairs this time. Downstairs the pipework is going to be within the screed whereas upstairs we are going to use the 18mm overlay board again, Polypipe have a new lighter version which should be better for our backs! We will be having the smart controls again as we enjoyed the functionality. Installation will again be done by ourselves with the support of our plumber who will be installing the boiler etc…
Based on the levels of insulation we are putting into the house the Underfloor heating will provide more than enough heat for us (even Caz) however we are having a log burner in the lounge, more for the focal point, and when we design the bathrooms we may put towel warmers in.
Charlie is really looking forward to getting his Underfloor heating back, the radiators in the site cottage are just not the same.
I don’t know about anyone else, but whilst I love the kitchen design process, deciding on styles, layout, appliances etc., I do love the storage element of it! I find this to be most satisfying! Who doesn’t love a pan draw?! We are having a lot of them!
We have pretty much decided on our kitchen design, I will do a separate post with the visuals, as we are just waiting on them from Wren, and got into the nitty gritty of integrated storage. Yay!
We have decided to have a pretty big kitchen island due to the shape of our open plan kitchen diner. And so this really lends it self to some big draws, and with that a big cutlery and knife draw
We are also having some full height cupboards which will be fab for all our tins etc.
In our last house we had a corner cupboard that was pretty pointless, so this will be much better in the utility!
Anyone get excited over kitchen storage? We are going to go for some shelves as well but thats for another day
Well the weeks are flying by and the third week saw the dreaded (heavy) footing blocks being laid woop! Hopefully I won’t have to lift another one of these ever again! I’ve heard breeze blocks are lighter…we shall see about that when they arrive…
Rain stopped work Monday – Thursday, so week 3 was Friday and Saturday pretty much. Andy helped with anything he could while his Uncle laid the blocks on Saturday
As you can see from the timelapse below the house layout is starting to take shape! Week 4 should see the footing blocks being finished.
What do you think to the garden furniture over the weekend?!
A whole two videos! Ha! Our second video is a two week update of our self build progress together with some time-lapse and ring footage. We do love making the little video diary to look back on if for nothing else!
I think we are getting the hang of it now with the youtube, we now understand that you need to pause when you mix up your words for the editing…who knew (!) And we have a little intro set for our videos so we should now be able to stick to a weekly one fingers crossed!
As you may be aware from our other blog posts, we are using a Brinno camera for timelapse videos but we also have Ring set up. Brinno works really well for say a weeks worth of footage, simply because you need to get the ladders out, take the camera down and download from the memory card, and we are a bit lazy! We can’t really be bothered with doing this every day so ring works really well with quickly downloading snippets of footage from the event history then speeding up the videos within edit on our phones. Super quick and easy and works well for insta and fb stories!
Now to the point, I kinda thought we had enough camera related options, pretty much covered all angles however Andy decided to try out a drone as well to get a higher angle. The first one was £35 and not worth the money, it kept crashing into things and we ended up losing it in a neighbours tree! I was then of the opinion that you probably need to spend alot to get one that can be controlled easily and get some good footage. However after some research we bought this one for £80 and it is really good!
It hovers well, camera footage is good quality and it does pretty much what we need it to do. The only negatives are that the range doesn’t seem great but we will play around with it and see if we can improve that. The camera is also fixed so you can’t film straight downwards.
We would recommend this drone, if you are self building and would like some footage from above it works really well and gets you some great clips!
Lots more progress in week 2, it really is happening very quickly now. Thursday was a very busy day for the builders, they finished off digging the last of the trenches and got the building inspector sign off just before the concrete arrived!!
3 full loads of concrete arrived one by one, luckily being a corner plot we could pour into 3 of the corners so only had to pull the concrete over to the fourth. Wellies were on and we were in the wet concrete. We managed to get plenty of footage on the time lapse camera and on the Ring.
Friday brought the excitement of the first delivery of blocks, around 800 footing blocks in total. As we are keen to get our hands dirty and save some money we volunteered to move them all from the front of the plot to where they are needed. This was back breaking work but we got help from Caz’s mum and dad and managed to get them moved by Sunday afternoon, just in time for our Wren kitchens design appointment. The Dodsons couldn’t resist the Leeds United graffiti opportunity.
All the blocks are now randomly scattered around site ready for the builders who are back on Tuesday to carry on, hope they appreciate our efforts.
The stairs have probably been our most difficult decision so far. We have shared some ideas and looked at so many Instagram and pinterest pics! And now we need to make a decision..it’s all starting to feel real
As we are going to go with a parquet wood floor and microcement walls in the hallway we have decided to go with a precast concrete stair and wooden treads. I love wood against concrete, its definitely a timeless look and we are keen to get the “bones” of the build right first time
We didn’t really think about the shape of the concrete stair until now, so many little details to think about aren’t they?! We do like the step shape below….
Or there is this as an option below where you have the best of both (!) This one will be determined by cost really, as we don’t mind either look
And now for balustrades, we do like something quite simple, the two pics below are contenders. This will depend on whether a hand rail is required so this one is still up in the air but very close!
So we are a week in and there has been a lot of progress! The trenches are pretty much done ready for the concrete woop! I dont think we realised how quickly things would progress. After digging started on the Friday, by the Wednesday Andy’s uncle said that the building inspector would be checking the foundations to make sure they were deep enough on the Friday (!) We then would have had the concrete poured on Saturday, however we had a little delay as a brick wall was found when digging.
The building inspector decided that this area could be filled with concrete, and then the rest done after this has set.
So currently the rest of the concrete is coming on Wednesday, and Monday/Tuesday will be finishing off the trenches
Eek very excited!
Timelapse of week 1 below! Note that we only got up to Thursdays footage on the camera because we stupidly didn’t delete the previous footage we had copied over but luckily could use our ring camera footage phew!
Just a sidenote that it has been a mammoth job getting rid of the soil, farmer Charles kept filling up his skip then taking it to his farm 15 minutes away, as you can imagine there was alot!