Welcome to our blog.

This blog will follow the ultimate in home improvement: demolish and rebuild!

This is our starting point: a 1930s bungalow. While not a bad house; it is too small for us with three teenage children so what should we do? A full storey extension versus complete rebuild - ultimately the stronger eco-credentials and more certain finances of a new-build helped to guide our choice.

For a number of years we've been trying to find the right route for us to build an eco-friendly, low energy home. We tried various architects and building companies and have eventually settled with a German prefabricated build. The new house will be nearly to passivhaus standards (but not quite due to budget constraints). In any case, the house will be heavily insulated and airtight.

As a family, we have not built a house before so everything is new and exciting but the risk of making a mess of things is quite high!

This blog aims to outline the day to day steps involved in our build.

Monday, 14 June 2010

multi-tasking first fix day 6

Following from last week's less than perfect first fix alarm installation, James works to remedy the situation. Unfortunately, the situation last week resulted in unnecessary holes in the house envelope; let's hope that there aren't too many more of those! Anyway, it is sorted now.

Ebi returns to the build and he's brought his assistant Charlie with him. Ebi has brought literally over a tonne of plasterboard along for the ride. It's a type that we can't get over here. Thankfully Ebi didn't have to emergency brake en route.

The mechanical heat recovery ventilation first fix was started. Here Adam and Josh are sorting out the ducting. The white unit in the corner is the main unit of the system. It will take the warm stale air of the house and extract the heat and then use that heat to warm up the fresh cold air. The air will also be filtered. Here are some of the flexible ducting pipes that are going to go into the upstairs rooms through the flooring. Unfortunately, some of the predrilled holes need to be adjusted so Ebi will sort these out and the first fix ventilation should be finished on thursday.

Ebi and Charlie did lots of small jobs around the house and even found time to plasterboard one of the bedrooms!

Meanwhile, Joss is installing the rain water harvesting tank control panel. He got a chance to play around with a blow torch. He looks like he's having fun.

Another day on the build finishes, the garden is getting wilder, in contrast to the neat house. Tomorrow, the electricians will be back to carry on with the first fix electrics. It is good to have Ebi on site again, not least because he can fill in the gaps between trades and can tell the tradesmen what can and can't be done and Charlie has even taken out a broken key that's been stuck inside a lock for nearly a week! In addition, we have a very tidy house now that Ebi and Charlie have swept it all! Thank you!

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