There have been lots of trials and tribulations since the groundwork began and many a sleepless night. Somebody though has definitely been on our side. The weather has been incredible with very little rain to hamper our efforts.

In general things have gone very smoothly with just a few items that required further attention. Getting the electricity connection and meter sorted took a little longer than planned, but a petrol mixer hired for a couple of weeks got us out of trouble. We are currently fitting the block and beam floor thus completing the groundwork by the end of the week. We will then be ready for the next and most exciting stage — the erection of the green oak frame.

The footings ready for foundations to be built
The footings ready for foundations to be built
The foundations ready for the block and beam floors
The foundations ready for the block and beam floors
block and beam floors being laid for hemcrete self build
Block and Beam floors

I’ve been getting stuck in where I can, time allowing, and have greatly enjoyed being part of the build. You really can’t beat dropping concrete blocks into a floor as a way to de-stress. I have also found it helpful when on site to step back and consider the works to check we haven’t missed anything. Some mornings I have felt as if the phone has been stuck to the side of my head. It is incredible the amount of different people you need to contact and liaise with when building a house.

I am sourcing all the materials for the build myself. This is very time consuming and requires a lot of forward planning. Significant savings can be made however and so far it seems to be well worth the investment of my time. I continue to learn more about building a house on a daily basis and despite the pressures this remains an enjoyable process.

My site foreman and chief builder – Jack Webb of JC Renovations – deserves a special mention. None of the works to date would have been possible without his hard work, attention to detail and dedication to the build. Jack has essentially been project managing the build jointly with myself. He has provided me with a wealth of support and guidance. Jack has been in the building trade for many years but remains enthusiastic and keen to learn new skills.  I am lucky to have him on the build he is without doubt the best man for the job.

bricks and material deliveries
Jack Webb busy sorting deliveries

My neighbours are all still talking to me which is a good sign I hope. They have been incredibly tolerant of the works to date for which I am very grateful. As well as completion of the groundwork the next few weeks will see the scaffolding erected in preparation for the arrival of the oak framing team from Carpenter Oak.

So we’re up out of the muck and next we are going to head up to the sky.

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