The concrete blocks have arrived and Les and his team have made good progress. The sloping site has dictated the choice of a suspended block and beam floor rather than a conventional slab build-up, so pre-stressed inverted “T” beams are ordered from the local quarry.

The blockwork on this house needs to support four equally important elements:

  1. the oak frame
  2. the concrete block and beam floor
  3. the sips frame
  4. the external stone plinth
The blocks are laid. They form the base for the beams.
The blocks are laid. They form the base for the beams.

So the block walls need to be quite wide. Getting the measurements spot on is essential from the outset. There can only really be a few millimetre tolerance over the whole building both in terms of level and square if everything is going to fit. The pressure is on!

The loadbearing oak posts in this house are entirely visible internally and as such need a loadbearing blockwork pad going right down to the concrete footings. It’s a bit of extra blockwork but better than a sinking house.

Once the blocks have set, the bison beams are laid out and the blocks placed in manually. These will be ‘fixed’ in place with a concrete slurry mix. Is it just me or does everything seem to be running too smoothly…?

Next week: the oak arrives on site

About the author:

Rob Dawson built a stunning oak frame home in 2009 for less than £100,000. He is now the owner and founder of Castle Ring Oak Frame.

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