How to build a house
This is my post on how to build a house. If you can’t view the video and full blog post, please click here.
Here we go!
I can’t believe I’m actually writing this post! This project has been so long in the pipeline I was starting to wonder if it would ever happen.
There have been a number of setbacks, but also me deciding to write a book this year didn’t help!
Yet here I am just about to embark on my first self build.
Yep it may seem a little misleading to call this post ‘How To Build A House’ seeing as this is my first experience, but that’s exactly what this series will be about. Everyone has to start somewhere and you might as well learn from any of my mistakes (and hopefully positive steps!) if you fancy giving it a go yourself.
What I do have in my armour are years of successful renovation projects, the very experienced and trusted Doug the builder, and my track record for perseverance!
Dump to dwelling
So in a nut shell I’m going to build what should end up being a 2-bedroom house on what was a single garage plot. Sounds nuts doesn’t it? It’s also a great demonstration of how much-needed homes could be built in unlikely places.
The current garage is a dilapidated old shack frankly. You may have seen the video of me shovelling human defecation out of it once (is that what they call over-sharing?!).
So yes as this garage has been gradually crumbling it’s also been a source of pain as I or my family have had to regularly clear it out.
As much as I love renovating and saving the old, I’m afraid this garage is past saving. The plan is also to use the area to one side where there are some old steps, to bring it forward and of course add another level above. The end result is over 90 square metres.
It will comprise a garage, downstairs bedroom with ensuite, upstairs bedroom with ensuite and an open plan lounge and kitchen.
Challenges so far
Well it’s in a conversation area first of all, so I wasn’t sure we’d even get planning permission. But the very fact it’s an eye-sore, and probably a hazard as it stands, meant that the council planners saw the benefit of this space being improved to become useable.
So thanks to BHD Architects we got planning permission yay! Although the addition of a roof terrace was rejected.
It’s also next to an electricity sub station…
This isn’t actually as problematic as it sounds. Once it’s all built it shouldn’t impact at all. During the build though there will be restrictions as we need access to the station for scaffolding. For this we have simply had to liaise with the relevant authorities (at a cost of course!).
We also had to make sure there were no power lines running under where we were building which a search confirmed – thank goodness!
There are a couple of trees that need cutting back and removing. Whilst consulting with a tree surgeon I’ve used before, Nick from Treeability it turned out that there is Ash die back in the area and so the big decaying Ash next to the site will also need to come down.
We needed to get permission from the council for this as well. Obviously all this means extra time and money before we even get to the first stage of the project.
Other issues are the fact that the back wall will not be open as it is against a wall holding up a garden above, and a similar situation to one side. So a structural engineer’s plan has also been needed. The has also given us a bit of a headache when working out window positions and ventilation.
Let the build commence
We are there now though, so next week the tree work will take place and Doug and I will come up with a plan and timescale. Meanwhile I’m already purchasing art and thinking about colour schemes of course!!!
I will keep you updated with videos, blog posts and daily social media posts so hopefully this series on ‘how to build a house’ will either entertain, intrigue and/or educate you as well!
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Glad to read there’s no power lines running under the existing garage and that back wall with the existing garden could be interesting. Wish you all the best luck, can’t wait to see how it goes.
Good luck. Wish I had your courage.