A self build house project diary
by Oliver Cannell

Big boys toys

Bigger digger. Bigger holes. Bigger mess.

After a couple of week's break, while we tried to speak with a) the Planners to get them to signoff each of the planning conditions; b) the Highways people to get them to decide whether they had any issues with us digging up their grass verge and footpath while we build the retaining walls; and c) the Premier Guarantee surveyor to make sure he is happy with the 'basement' tanking we're going to be installing (once we've found a supplier willing to actually to give a guarantee); we now have the guys back on site.

This time with a bigger JCB to make a start on the "reduced dig" to remove all the soil to get down to the new base level for the house. The foundation trenches will then be dig even deeper beyond that level.

After spending a few hours today, there is already a massive pile of earth on site. They have brought some more ballast in today too, to create a 'road' into the site, so that the trucks can come into the site as far as possible tomorrow, to collect all the earth. This will unfortunately have to be dumped (at great expense I might add) as nobody I contacted wants to make use of it. I tried writing to local farmers (37 of them!), shooting ranges and golf courses. I was hoping somebody might have wanted to make use of 200-250 tonnes of earth of help create some flood defence banking, what with the deluge of rain and floods we've been having recently... or just to level off a piece of land in need of attention... but I guess not. Shame. We now have to pay a few thousand pounds to take all the soil away, which is quite shocking when I hear that people pay £25 a tonne to buy top soil.

The development on-site today, is that some Heras security/safety fencing has been installed around most of the perimeter. This will help keep people out and will keep the site safe.

It's all starting to look very official now. It's a proper building site!


UPDATE (9pm)

The wind has started blowing a gale and the rain is coming down like we're living on an oil rig in the North Sea. So we popped outside (after puting all our wet-weather gear on) to check all the fencing and stuff out.

The wind has blown down some more of the old panel fences at the back of the plot, but luckily the Heras fencing is outside of that, and has kept everything contained.

Hopefully there wont be too much destruction revealed come the morning!

Next entry: Builders working at midnight? No, it’s a teen hoodie causing a scare! (Monday 10th February 2014)

Previous entry: Actual size? Or just an illusion? (Sunday 12th January 2014)

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