A self build house project diary
by Oliver Cannell

On-site meeting with planning & building consultants

A second meeting on-site with the project manager (who I met on 10th November) was also with their planning & building consultants.

In order get a quote from the developer and project manager I met on the 10th November, we met again today (on-site this time) along with their planning & building consultants. They will be responsible for producing the detailed drawings of the house and working through satisfying the planning permission conditions. Other parties that will be involved along the way, will be a structural engineer who will look at the retaining walls on site and house design; a site clearance company to strip all the vegetation from the site; and a ground testing company who will drill a number of wholes in the ground to ascertain what the ground conditions are like.

The biggest question that came out of the meeting, was how to achieve the retaining wall for the site and how to damp proof the house. The really worrying thing at this stage, is that so much of the build costs will be going into the ground, just to get the site prepared and the foundations in place. I'm really hoping this isn't going to blow the budget out of the water, but I know this will be a significant aspect of the build. Daunting.

Next entry: First real physical action on the site (Tuesday 9th March 2010)

Previous entry: Another option - local developer and project manager (Tuesday 10th November 2009)

Hi Oli,

I’m looking forward to watching your self build progress. I like your design. Much more interesting and progressive than the original.

Have you considered Insulated Concrete Forms (ICF’s) as an option for your retaining walls? They are an excellent option for basement construction and the same thermal and strength properties might transfer well for your application.

Best of luck,
The Self Build Guide

James  on  Wednesday, 24th March 2010  at  19:47

Yes I have looked at Insulated Concrete Forms - I have seen them at the National Self Build and Renovation Centre in Swindon.
I think they are a good idea… but I’m not so sure they are going to be right for the quite heavy duty retaining wall that is needed for this house.
We are going to dig down a long way (2-3 metres) so that is a lot of material to support.
To be honest, I am taking the advice of a structural engineer and experienced house designers and builders, so will happy to go with what they suggest, once they have done their calculations.

Oli  on  Thursday, 8th April 2010  at  22:15

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