All posts by Michael

End of the second week

Work is on schedule as we come to the end of  week 2, and “The Beast” has been returned.  For all future work, Tom will use his own smaller 3 ton machine.

Angie talking to Tom about the garden
Angie talking to Tom about the garden

Materials for building the basement started to appear.

Mikael delivering timber for shuttering
Mikael delivering timber for shuttering

With the hole for the basement created,  David the surveyor arrived to set out the position of the new house.

David surveying teh site
David surveying the site
Setting out the new house
Setting out the new house

With the house set out the base of the hole was blinded to provide a flat firm surface on which to lay the insulation.

The basement set out in the hole
The basement set out in the hole
Delivering the sharp sand to blind the base
Delivering the sharp sand to blind the base

 

Break in to site office (the garage)

The site office
The site office
Inside the site office
Inside the site office

Arrived on site this morning to find the site locked up as usual but on closer inspection found the garage door already open. Checking carefully it was obvious someone had broken open the door (a yale lock) and ransacked the place taking an almost new chain saw, Stihl hedge trimmer and a few other items.

I immediately reported it to the Police who will send someone over to check for finger prints, but don’t expect much other activity.

I will now have to take more strident action to prevent any further thefts – security lights, deadbolts, camera etc.

Disappointing.

Update – PC  Cowell, visited us on site and said this was a typical rural crime. Thieves target two stroke equipment as high value mobile items. He suggested I fit security lights and cctv as a detterent.

Burying Sidney’s Time Capsule

With the the hole for the basement completed, and the under floor insulation about to be laid, Sidney (my 4 year old grandson) asked to bury something to be found in the future.

Sid & James arrive with his box of treasures
Sid & James arrive with his box of treasures

 

The contents
The contents

Some interesting things in Sidney’s capsule: –

  • Photo with Mum & Dad
  • Coins
  • An old mobile phone
  • A USB data stick with loads of interesting stuff – encased in wax to protect it from water
  • Some hair from 3 generations of Dowlings!
  • etc.
Deciding where it should go
Deciding where it should go
Making a space
Making a space

Tom made the hole with the digger much to Sidney’s delight.

Sidney placing the capsule in the hole
Sidney placing the capsule in the hole
All gone!
All gone!

Tomorrow the capsule will be covered by Insulation and then the reinforced concrete basement floor. It may not re-appear for a 100 years!

 

 

 

End of the first week

I have had a stinking cold most of the week, but kept going through sheer exhilaration / nerves. The change in one week is just dramatic

Taken just a few days before work started
Taken just a few days before work started
Friday afternoon the first week into the project
Friday afternoon the first week into the project

The excavations are about 2/3rds through and the under slab insulation is delivered on Monday. I can see the start of my dream turning into reality.

 

Starting to dig

The Beast at work
The Beast at work

The basement requires approximately 560 cubic metres of chalk to be dug of which about 200 cubic metres is used as back fill once the basement is complete. So 300 cubic metres is either taken away at great expense or used to level the very sloping garden.

 

The 2.8m trench into the chalk is no problem
The 2.8m trench into the chalk is no problem

A good few days to dig out all the material.

Work starts – Monday 3rd March

The "beast" arrives
The “beast” arrives

Tom Farley and his sons arrive on site at 08.30. Shortly afterwards the 15 ton digger is delivered. The lorry parked on the A417 and was driven down Townsend Road.

By the end of the day the house looked like this : –

Demolition day-2

No going back now!

Moving out – Thursday 27th February

A big day, everything has to leave the house. It will either: –

  • Go into Storage in Wallingford (Do really need all of this old stuff?)
  • Move down to the study bedroom I will be living in for the next “six months”(not much room for Sally – my flat coat retriever and me)
  • Be donated to Sue Ryder (they only want nearly new items).
  • Freecycled (Items were snapped up within half an hour)
  • Or collected by the council for disposal (£51.50 to collect two old sofas and a washing machine which needs s subtle kick to encourage it to work!)

Disaster –  the removers having told me it will all fit in one container (£60 per month) can’t get it all in. Hire another container for a few items or distribute amongst friends and family (Thank you Angie x)

First night in Tim’s old bedsit not too bad.

The excitement is building

I will move out of my home on 27th February at the start of the project to build a new “Low energy home”. Not a Passivhaus but using a lot of those technologies. The house will look like a traditional “Arts & Craft” but be built using very modern materials and building methods. Wish me luck!