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, 13 July 2010

Smooth walls

I couldn't believe that I didn't notice the first of the switches in the house. Neil must have put them in yesterday. It starts to look more and more like a home and not a building site.
Here is a close-up of the strand-woven bamboo. Surprisingly, it is one of only a few engineered floorboards that I came across in my product research that isn't made with formaldehyde containing glue! It is also more sustainable as the bamboo (which is actually a type of grass) grows in only 6 years, a lot quicker than an oak tree!

This strange rectangle is actually going to be the hearth for the woodburning stove. It doesn't look like much at the moment but it is a beautiful polished starry granite. We managed to get it in the back of our tiny car (without breaking the axle surprisingly) but we needed Ebi's help to carry it into the house.
Around lunchtime, Ebi and Charlie started the next stage of the wall preparation. Yes, Charlie has finished filling and Ebi has finished the sanding! At the moment they are covering the walls with 'malervlies' that is a thin fibreglass layer like they use in boats or surfboards. It helps to protect the paint from cracking as the house settles. It also helps to make the walls water resistant, very necessay in the bathrooms, for example. This also means that we will be able to start painting soon.
This photo shows how quickly the building site can turn to chaos. Comparing the stacked materials inside to the mess outside. At the back here my son has started stacking some of the pallets in an effort to keep the site tidy. He has also been moving more sand today, spreading the heap around the sides of the building. The new skip has arrived and at last, the cement has been removed by the first screeding company. There is now hope to restore order in the chaos that is the front garden...
The malervlies glueing continues...

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