Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Guest Post - Home Renovations: The Build

Whilst I'm moving home, I've asked some lovely blogging ladies to fill you in on all things housey!

First up is my friend Jen from Jenstar Knits. Not content with being a full-time engineer, superstar knitter and owner of Jenstar Knits, she's also renovating her home whilst being pregnant! Phew! Jen has written a three-parter on the various stages of her stunning extension!

♥♥♥

Week 1 Foundations - The work began on Monday 7th of September, the first week of an 8 to 9 week build. It was all go, with a skip arriving, mini digger on the scene and two workmen needing supplied with tea and coffee to keep them going. It was hard going for them as it turned out that there were huge amounts of rocks and rubble under the very thin layer of top soil, one rock proving so large that it was immovable with the equipment and manpower on site so the structural engineer had to be called out for a site visit in order to assess what should/could be done with it in order for the foundations to be laid. Thankfully it was a agreed that this rock was so large that it didn’t require moving and that pilot holes should be drilled into it so secure the concrete pad which would be poured on top. Thankfully this didn’t set the guys back at all and progress was swift – including ripping out the raised bed and patio to the back of the garden.

Week 2 framework – Work speeded up a pace with the timber framework going in and the structural beams arriving on site. The floor is heavily insulated with not one but two layers of foil backed insulation.

Week 1 Foundations - The work began on Monday 7th of September, the first week of an 8 to 9 week build. It was all go, with a skip arriving, mini digger on the scene and two workmen needing supplied with tea and coffee to keep them going. It was hard going for them as it turned out that there were huge amounts of rocks and rubble under the very thin layer of top soil, one rock proving so large that it was immovable with the equipment and manpower on site so the structural engineer had to be called out for a site visit in order to assess what should/could be done with it in order for the foundations to be laid. Thankfully it was a agreed that this rock was so large that it didn’t require moving and that pilot holes should be drilled into it so secure the concrete pad which would be poured on top. Thankfully this didn’t set the guys back at all and progress was swift – including ripping out the raised bed and patio to the back of the garden.

Figure 1 - Day 1 - the big rock

Figure 2 - Day 5 - foundations

Week 2 framework – Work speeded up a pace with the timber framework going in and the structural beams arriving on site. The floor is heavily insulated with not one but two layers of foil backed insulation.

Figure 3 - Day 6 - deliveries

Figure 4 - Day 10 - the floor

Week 3 walls – The walls of the extension went up extremely quickly due to the method of construction used by Dab Den; out with the labour intensive (and as a result expensive) mortar and block walls and in with the well insulated and incredibly quick to install CIP walls. (CIP – composite insulated panels). These are made to order foam filled chipboard panels that slot together with the frame in no time. The roof also goes in speedily and like the floor is heavily insulated with the two layers of insulation.

Figure 5 - Day 11 - steel beams

Figure 6 - Day 13 - CIP walls

Figure 7 - Day 15 - membranes

Week 4 windows – What windows? Due to a hold up at the supplier there were no windows to install so instead the guys moved on to the internal rearrangement and preparing the inside of the extension for the internal fixes. Down came the wall between the kitchen and the dining room and we also had the door opening to the dining room blocked up as it’s right next to the kitchen door.

Figure 8 - Day 20 - door what door?

Figure 9 - Day 20 - wall be gone

Week 5 walls – The big reinforced concrete beam arrives and gets installed and out came the old external wall between the dining room and the extension. This was a major milestone and finished off a week of more internal reconfiguration with a radiator being removed and a new sleek radiator for the dining room going in and the removal of the patio doors from the kitchen.

Figure 10 - Day 23 - radiator

Figure 11 - Day 25 - big opening

Week 6 Windows – yes we have windows!! They arrived on the Friday and the guys wasted no time in getting most of them in. Prior to this they had cracked on with the plasterboarding and the first fix for the electrics on the inside and the larch cladding and final roofing finish on the outside.

Figure 12 - Day 30 - windows inside

Figure 13 - Day 30 - windows outside

Week 7 Trims – The cladding is now on and most of the external aluminium trim has arrived and is fitted. The decking to the garden is also fitted and from the outside certainly things are looking fantastic.

Figure 14 - Day 35 - nearly there

Week 8 Plaster – After a slower week as the builders didn’t have so much to do on our site the plasterer arrived and we are now good to go for getting the kitchen installed.

Figure 15 - Day 40 - Plastered

Figure 16 - Day 40 - looking good

All in all the build went smoothly – this is in no small part due to the flexibility of Dab Den to work around suppliers and keep things moving when some of the parts or sub-contractors were unable to be on site when originally planned. There are of course a few snagging items still to be completed but I have no doubt that the finished extension won’t just meet but exceed our expectations and we can’t wait to move in properly and really make use of the space.

♥♥♥


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