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, 19 October 2010


It has been some time since I wrote on the blog as the project has nearly reached its conclusion. In many ways it is just the beginning as we grow more and more settled in our house. We have had our house-warming which was a grand food fest and a chance for friends and neighbours to see what has been going on for the last few months.
We were about to commission the hard landscaping at the front of the house but realised that if we do that then when we do the fence to the side, all the rubbish will come through and make a mess. We bit the bullet and decided to go for it. 

 Nothing is straight forward in our garden, we couldn't get the old fence down until the leylandii bushes, well rather trees, had been taken out. Simon returned with his chainsaw and had two days of slashing and burning, going to the tip and an abortive attempt with a chipper.

Benny arrived and quickly made light work of the remaining fence. The concrete posts were dispatched to the skip.  
Soon all we had between us and the neighbours was a thin yellow line of string. It's a good thing we have very patient neighbours.

Benny and Jason worked really hard and by the end of the first day we had the frame of the fence up. It looked rather elegant and were wondering whether close-boarded fence was the way to go.

By the end of the second day the fence was done. It looks amazing. Suddenly our garden looked really long. If you look carefully there are a few laylandii trees that defeated all chain saws but they will be no match for the digger when it returns.
So progress is still being made. I will keep updating the blog but only occasionally as life takes on a more normal routine. Maybe one day I will get rid of that pile of sand outside the house, but not just yet.

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