Taking Shape

This week the frame has been working its way round the rest of the ground floor. If you look at the house plans you can see that the house is the intersection of two cubes, which makes for a tricky wall where the two cubes intersect. This is particularly true where the west wall of the first floor does not have a ground floor wall below. The first photo shows the beam running from north to south which will support the west first floor wall.

West First Floor Beam
West First Floor Beam
The next photo shows the frame for Mike’s pod with the west wall beam jutting out on the left to form one side of the triangular overhang of the porch.
Pod Frame
Pod Frame
Not only has the outside ground floor frame be finished, but two-thirds of the first floor has been laid. This photo show the ventilation ducting threaded through the joists under the floor.
MVHR Ducting
MVHR Ducting

House Build has started

After weeks of ground preparation, the frame of the house has started going up. The photo shows the I-beams forming the frame of the ground floor. One side of the I-beam rests on the concrete foundation and then cantilevers over the insulating polystyrene which surrounds the concrete. Stacked up on the concrete floor is the rest of the house in kit-form.

I-Beams Ground Floor Frame
I-Beams Ground Floor Frame
The I_beams have also been used horizontally to produce the base for Mike’s study which is cantilevered off some concrete piles. It is covered in plastic in the previous photo.
Pod Floor
Pod Floor
And so what is an I-beam. It is a mixture of OSB board and wood in an I-shape. Here is a close-up of one.
I-Beam Cross Section
I-Beam Cross Section

Scaffolding

The last few days have seen the scaffolding go up, which has given us our first indication of the height of the new house. The top boards are just below the roof at its low end on the left and a metre below at the high end.

Scaffolding
View of scaffolding from the orchard
Despite “Grand Designs” habitually having problems of windows arriving late, ours have arrived before the start of the build. However, as it was discovered that they were being transported on a large artic with no crane, they have been offloaded in Pershore and will stay there over Christmas awaiting a smaller lorry with a suitable crane.

Concreting

Wednesday was the day for concreting the foundations, so it was all hands on site as it had to be smoothed out before it started to set.

Concreting
Concreting

From start to finish it took a couple of hours, but speeded up it only takes 16 seconds.

And Mike has been try out his helicopter flying for an aerial view of the site.

Polystyrene foundations

The photo shows the pale pink slot-together polystyrene system which provides the insulation around and below the concrete foundations for the main part of the house.
Lego So we are now ready for pouring the concrete next week.

Here is a video of the polystyrene going down:

Ground Works Week 8

For a change this week, there has been movement out of the ground instead of holes being dug and filled in. These are the pillars which will hold up the cantilevered floor of Mike’s study.

Pod Pillars
Pod Pillars

Ground Works Week 7

More trenches being dug this week – water to one corner of the field and electricity to the other.

Water_Trench
Water Trench
Only one small surprise when the existing electricity turned out to be not where the plans from the electricity company said it was.
Water and Electricty
Water and Electricity

Ground Works week 6

Another two weeks of digging holes and filling them in. Septic SpreaderThis is a photo of part of the one of the two 25m long septic tank spreaders which wander into the wood. All now covered up and hopefully will silently work over the next few decades.

And now we start to see the shape of the new house for the first time.House RaftThe photo is taken from the corner of Mike’s “pod” looking through the shower room to the kitchen and living room.

Ground works week 4

Photos of holes and filled in holes are not very interesting, so the blog has been quiet for a few days. The drive and garage base are now finished with electric/gas ducting going between the garage and the house.

The re-enforced concrete from the barn has been broken up and transported off site, and the hardcore underneath recycled as part of the drive.

Now we move to the next stage which is dealing with sewerage – no mains drainage here. So a large 3m deep hole was dug for this concrete tank.
Sceptic Tank
Not that much shows once it is filled in – looks rather like a submarine. Apparently they went through 4 layers: Topsoil, yellow stony “head”, red mudstone and finally reaching a clay.
Sceptic_tank

Ground Works Week2

Second week of ground works; the drive has now reached the garage area. The garage area has also been cleared and had its hard-core put down. The telephone ducting is also now laid along side the drive.
Ground Works week 2