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.

Tuesday, 1 June 2010


Early this morning I arrived on site to find that the delivery lorries were already there! I definitely recognise this one from the factory photos!

Tom, the crane driver removed the protective sheeting from the house panels.
Very quicky, Tom hoisted the first panel into place. The expert crew: Michael, Stefan, Tobias and Alex each had their job to do and without speaking got to work. I like the fact that the plans were stapled to the wall even before the crane hoists had been disconnected or the support bracket had been screwed in place!

The external walls went up in a flash. Here Ben, the crane driver's helper (apparently called a Slinger), signals to the driver. The front door is in place.
The crew are very used to balancing on top of the panels as they work to tighten the joints.

I must apologise to the neighbours as there were times when the lorries did have to block the street!

Here we can see the large bolts that are screwed in to strengthen the joints. It's just as well it's not like flat-packed furniture...we all know how that would have fitted otherwise.

Once the external walls are in place, the internal walls are made ready.
Thankfully, everything is being filmed by capable Malcolm, who had his camera in a protective bag due to the rain.
 Here is an internal wall being hoisted in to place; the crew are ready to receive it, the man on the ladder on the right will bolt it in place.
Then this capable crew member tightens the joint with a ratchet.

The ground floor is completed and the site empty as Michael, Stefan, Tobias, Alex and project manager Ebi, have a well-earned coffee and lunch break.

The workmen return and fill up any gaps under the panels. Here is the downstairs bathroom, complete with is saniblocks!

Next the floor/ceiling elements are hoisted into place and the green vapour barrier stapled down.

The staircase is waiting, all packaged up to keep it clean until we are ready to move in!

The first floor back wall is put in place followed by the front wall.

Towards the end of the day we get a chance to go upstairs. The only time we will see the upstairs without a roof or internal walls. It is a good space!

The local scaffolding team arrive and work hard, getting ready for the next stage.

Finally, this incredibly long day draws to a close, the crane stops, the lorries are all off-loaded ready to return. It has been amazing. So many people have contributed to this moment that I cannot begin to thank them all. It has been team work at its best. I can only show a fraction of events on the blog. A BIG thank you to everyone. Really, I'm at a loss for words. All I can think of is WOW! See you tomorrow!

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