Our Second Photoshoot Raffle Winners
If we start from the beginning we had been looking to buy a house for about ten years but every time we returned after viewing we preferred our current Grade II thatched cottage.
Our favourite angle in the back garden
We also became fans of the Self Building and Renovation Shows and having always liked oak thought this could be a good way forward.
A chance phone call from Lorna’s good friend Claire prompted us to bid for the land in Terling Essex only 1 ½ miles away from where we live and because we were not developers the seller favoured us as purchasers.
Facing the front of the house in last winter's snow
Our balcony to the master bedroom
Our chimneys - Noel's pride and joy
Two years of planning hassles later, we eventually started but the time was not in vain as we continued to accumulate and research many ideas. When the planners reduced the size and height of the house we introduced the idea of a basement which was immediately passed and has given us the luxury of a sunken garden and a second basement exit. The house is 260 square metres with a basement constructed by Thermonex.
Work in progress - insulation time
Immersion tank waiting to get a home in the airing cupboard which now looks like a powerhouse
The construction is the Oakwrights frame sitting on a brick plinth which itself rests on basement walls and other footings. At one end of the building is the utility and boot room constructed with the same bricks as the plinth.
Solar panels on the most southerly aspect & Underfloor heating pipes
We commenced two years ago. Unfortunately our ground worker died so that was a challenge finding a ground worker who would take over the works. The basement eventually went in very smoothly and watching the oak frame supplied by Tim Crump and Oakwrights was really exciting and enjoyable. So much happens so quickly and the team were lovely. I have never made so many cakes – good job we have chickens!!
The roof and tiles went on, windows and glass in but then the work really started in earnest. Insulation, upstairs partitioning , electrics, under floor heating, plumbing and piping – oh my goodness the amount and time and money that goes into these later additions is a little frightening to say the least.
Another snow scene from our favourite aspect
We previously had no building experience of this nature. We built from our building regulation drawings and even without architectural detailed construction drawings we crossed each decision as we went along – it can be done.
Master bedroom and bathroom work in progress & Work in progress in the utility room and lots and lots of pipework
Even our chimney heights were designed from the end of the garden looking up to get the correct perspective. The sub contractors we have chosen have advised us well along each step of the way. A number of builders have stopped by and asked if we have built before and been rather surprised when we admit this is our first self build. We feel this is a real compliment to our self build endeavours.