A bit over 2 and half years since the project stalled, there is now site progress beyond that point. There is first fix electrics and plumbing as well as internal door frames etc.

5 Feb 2015 Update

I’m renewing the selfbuild insurance policy I have for the project. They wanted photos of the current situation / progress. So I thought I’d use the opportunity for a general update.

First a 3D reminder (SketchUP) of the plan !

garage grass level with patio + full area (2)

ie a 3 story contemporary build with a garage under the garden at the front.
– The garage is a separate building. It’s block built with a beam and block roof. The house is a steel and wood frame with thick walls filled with sheep wool.
– Externally some of the building is timber clad and the rest will be render (not yet done).

The buildings (house + garage) are now secure, weather tight lockable structures.

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Looking down onto the top of the garage (ie the front garden) from the top floor, you can see the front hasn’t yet been slate tiled and that the grass didn’t get very long to try and establish pre winter.

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As soon as the weather improves the garage and walls to the neighbours will get rendered.

Walking up from the road at the front to the courtyard with the front door (plan of downstairs and the the courtyard):

04 - floor plan 01 ground floor (2)

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The pipes are for the ground source heat system.

Inside downstairs is the plant room, empty stair well, kitchen area, dinning are & lounge. All of which are mostly areas for tools etc.

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Ground Source Heat Pump on the left in the above photos. Plant room gear in the plant room photo below:

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Kitchen area currently full of wood cladding for the soffits where first fix electrics has now been done.

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More cladding in the dinning area:

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Lounge area:

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You can see that the first fix electrics and plumbing has started:

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This next photo is looking down into the ground floor of the stairwell from the first floor:

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(the stairs are ready, but the walls need plastering and painting before they’ll be put in).

Walking up the outside stairs from the courtyard by the front door to the rear and then looking towards the house:

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Then the first floor. First the first floor, floor plan:

04 - floor plan 02 - bedrooms (2)

The rear most room has a temp sink and microwave.

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A temp bathroom:

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and the bedrooms:

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The top floor is pretty empty:

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But a spectacular view !

04 - floor plan 03 - study (2)

Groundworks – grass and neighbours

The front garden of the neighbours to the west has been put back (some of it collapsed during the garage excavation) to better than it was before.

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The front steps to the neighbours to the east, that got clipped by 1 or more delivery trucks has been re-built with even steps. Before it was a step or 2 and sloping concrete.

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Both the above bits of work were done by Matt and Fabs from Sunshine Landscaping. If you can get into their schedule or wait until they are next available, they’re amazing.

The top garden has had the turf laid:

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Filling the site up

The hole dug for the house was deeper than what will be internal and external finished floor level.

The garage roof also has a large chunk that will have topsoil and then grass.

Ahead of that, now that there’s a loo in the house, the site chemical loo has been taken away:

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First a chunk of top soil went on the garage roof and other areas that are going to be slate paving were filled in:

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In the courtyard, the ground source heat pump pipes needed to be connected up to their manifold:

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Before more material fills up the site:

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and a bit more to the front:

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Claire, the ‘illumina’ lighting expert

Yesterday I had a site visit by Claire Pendarves from Illumina ( to look over the room sizes etc. to refine her lighting ideas and suggestions.

It’s crazy, I expect to go out and buy a light that fits my taste. The more I read up and spoke to others about lighting, the more I realised it would transform or potentially waste all the amazing work to date (and planned).

Claire dives straight into considering every space, the different planned uses, the links between areas, the circuits, the lighting limitations (eg size of ceiling voids, or exposed coastal location for outside lighting) and used my lighting scrap book to show me installed work she’s done, photos of lights and a plethora of fittings from her Tardis car boot.

Even though Claire arrived at 10am, and left at 3:30pm, I think she let me off lightly in terms of toning down the talk of lumen’s, the level of white and a bunch of other technical considerations that are second nature to her.

Have a look at her Websites for work she’s done for others: