A self build house project diary
by Oliver Cannell

Site rubbish and weekend jobs

At the weekends, when the builders aren't around, we can do some small jobs ourselves.

Having the luxury of living immediately next door to the build, is great at the weekends too, as we get the chance to survey what's been achieved during the week (or not achieved!) and also to do any little odd jobs ourselves to help move the project along.

The main ongoing job is clearing up and sorting out waste materials on the site. As we have opted to save some cash by not having skips to take the rubbish away, and recycling it / disposing of it ourselves, we need a lot more time to sort through everything than we thought. We certainly didn't realise there was going to be quite so much waste material involved in a build. It's quite shocking actually. However, this gives us a chance to sort things better for recycling.


We are keeping all the timber for use later on the log burner, to help heat the house. Not only are there offcuts from the constructing the roof, but also from the door frames, setting-out / levels pegs and all the old original boundary fencing panels and posts which we removed.

We seem to have a constant flow of pallets onto site too, which we are keeping.

Insulation Foam

There is a load of foam from all the wall, floor and roofing insulating work which has been done. We're putting it all to one side at the moment, but I don't know whether it can recycled yet or not. I suspect this might all be going into landfill which is a shame.


I'm sure we'll be able to make use of these one day (to build a barbecue, line footpaths, etc). If only to help fill holes and raise levels for the patio build, it makes sense to hold onto these.


I didn't realise there would be so much wrapping and packaging. There are so many bags and wrappers which we're collecting - again, which I wasn't expecting so much of. This will all have to go into landfill as there is no use for any of this.

There are a few hard plastics too (like pipes) which can recycled, thankfully. And the hugs sheets of polythene which have been used to cover the roof, until the final rubber membrane has been installed, are being kept (for now). I'm sure this will come in handy for something.

Rubber roofing membrane

There are quite a few sizeable offcuts from the roofing membrane which we are keeping. This will be used to secure the sedum roofing tray support brackets, when we get to that stage. Hopefully there will be some left over to put a new roof on the garden shed too.


The plan is to keep as much of the large cardboard as possible to use as flooring, until we get the finished flooring down inside. But there is way more than we need, and lots of smaller cardboard boxes / packaging too, so this can be easily recycled.

Next entry: Fiddlers on the roof (Wednesday 14th January 2015)

Previous entry: Burning rubber with the roofing details (Friday 9th January 2015)

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