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.

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Digger Time Again

Just when things were beginning to be settled in the house, the scenes of devastation in the back garden begin. The rationale is that we don't want to bring muck from the back garden to the front and make a mess on new front garden. This is the last time we saw the grass in the back garden. If you look carefully, you can see two garden sheds in the back right corner as well as the summer house in the middle of the plot. The summer house was just in the wrong place so we thought it would be a good idea to move it, but first we got rid of one of the two wooden sheds.

Then Phil arrives with a little digger and helps to dig a small wildlife pond (to keep the resident frogs happy).

Meanwhile Jerry is working hard getting the edgings down so that our shingle that will go around the house won't get trampled into any lawn.

Another day and Project 'Move Summerhouse' starts. It was a battle with the roof but with the help of teenage son and husband power they manage to dissect the summerhouse. It was quite some achievement given the amount of insulation, plywood lining, not to mention the large amount of building materials and general crud, that was inside it.

Here the men discuss Project Summerhouse and wonder who is going to be the first to admit that their backs are hurting.

Miraculously, by the end of the day they have achieved the impossible, Project Summerhouse, albeit with temporary tarpaulin roof, has been completed! Good job!

A quick moment to enjoy how much larger the garden looks now. The kindly donated trampoline will be barely visible from the house. Time for a skip for all that rubbish. We also have about as many old concrete paving slabs as the local builders' merchants.

A few days later and I spot a familiar sight ...there's no point hiding behind the trees, we can all see you Phil!

So Phil finishes up levelling out the ground at the back so it is now suitable for my veggie patch (one day). Now the back garden will no longer see the likes of a digger, any other work will have to be by hand.

So the saga of the garden continues, as usual battling the elements as Autumn turns to Winter. At last, all effort can be concentrated on the front garden and maybe one day we'll get rid of that heras fencing...

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