The time has finally come to stop procrastinating with the little jobs and get on with building myself a new bedroom
This Project is Still Ongoing (and will be for some time!)
I’ve spent a lot of time planning and designing this extension, researching everything from cranked vents to ridge boards.
What Do I Need to do?
A fair bit!
The DIY tasks ahead of me are huge but I’ve designed everything so that nothing is beyond my means and if I do come across something I’m not sure about, I’ll just wing it. Rather than list all the individual DIY tasks, which will be a bit boring, here’s a run down on the extension, let’s start with some layouts that I used for planning:
Just for a bit of fun, I have a go at estimating the cost & time
Well this is tricky. A total stab in the dark here and I reckon I could build the lot for £35,000.
On the timings, another total stab in the dark and let’s go for 14 months, by mid Summer 2020.
A brief log of my battles with the tasks! with a few pictures chucked in…
January/ February 2017 (before this website)
The first thing to do with any new project is to get surveying, and for a 2 story rear extension, this is quite a bit of measuring!
Once measured up , I drew my existing plans and elevations:
The survey drawings are pretty simple. It took me 2 months to survey the house and draw it all up, that was in my spare time.
It took me a further two months to draw up the set of plans for the planning submission. This took quite a bit of thought as we new we wanted a balcony but realised that would be tricky to get through planning. Mainly due to the invasion on our neighbours privacy.
Once all the plans, existing and proposed, were made, I filled out the form and popped it all in the post to the council and commenced biting my nails! Was a nervous time as we’d bought the house with the sole intention of having a new master bedroom, en suite and especially a balcony!
November 2018-January 2019
So a bit of a gap there! I got the planning approved after a few compromises (many thanks to my neighbours!!!!) and over Christmas 2018 I got on with the detailed design. I’d already shipped the approved planning drawings to an Engineer for some structural input, and he’d come back with the structural items to include in the build. These were things like beam and columns specifications, some details, foundation design and lots of other specs for me to adhere to.
The new drawing included loads of close up details and sections, so I knew exactly what I was going to build and how to build it.
Week beginning 11th February 2019
Finally starting on the extension this week and I realised I have to remove about 50 cubic metres of soil by hand, into skips! This lot weighs approximately 60 tonnes! That’s about 8 large skips. Still, I’m doing the London marathon in April 2019 and this is just really good training.
And once it had got too late to dig, I did some setting out
26th February 2019
Today was the day for pouring the foundations, but first the excavations had to be inspected by the local building inspector. After a 2 minute “inspection”, and a comment questioning the depth of the foundations (the one’s next to the 10m high tree), I was pleased to hear all was well, and I could proceed with the concrete pour.
I calculated I’d need around 18 cubic metres of the stuff, that’s about 43 tonnes. I had the help of two others, so we started off the day by placing planks over the trenches in readiness for the barrowing.
I also had to secure the Claymaster heave protection foam sheets to the sides of some trenches (they’re the white sheets in the picture above). For some reason, I opted for us three to barrow the concrete from the front. To this day, I don’t know why I didn’t just get a pump, it would’ve been so much easier! Needless to say, it was hard work, so I stopped at 12 cubic metres (two mixer lorry’s), leaving the top of the concrete lower than planned. At the time, I figured I’d just use more blocks to build the walls up from the lower foundations, not realising that it wasn’t quite this simple, as I’ll explain later.
2nd March 2019
Now it was time to start putting the blocks in place. Before this, I had to set-out the outline of the building and its corners, so I knew where to lay the first blocks.
Once I’d set everything out, I began laying the blocks. By the end of that day I’d got a few in, then it started to rain!
And it rained, and rained, for months. The trenches became submersed in water and the only way to remove it was to pump it out.