CREATING THE OAK HOME
The subcontractors were chosen based on how Ian felt he could get on with them working together, their apparent flexibility, professionalism and of course cost. Generally, Ian felt that he made his choice correctly, although some subcontractors did prove to be easier to work with than others. The general carpenter proved to be a very good choice and was very helpful, and used his time to apply a high quality of finish to the oak home project. If there was a weakness in the subcontractors it was in not keeping Ian and Sue as informed as they would have liked to have been if costs were increasing as the project moved forwards.
SOURCING CONSTRUCTION MATERIALS
All materials were negotiated for and bought by themselves, including the water reed for the thatch that was bought from Poland. Ian focussed upon the main building work and management of the workforce throughout the year long build programme whilst Sue handled all financial aspects of the build as well as the interior design, layout of kitchen and bathrooms and the general finishes they wanted to achieve.
THE SELF-BUILD PROCESS
When asked about the high and low points of the self build process Ian started with the lows. He said that he thought he had reached an agreement to discharge his foul water into a neighbour’s treatment plant, but after laying the drainage pipes to fall in the correct direction he found out that things were not going to work out. The drainage pipes all had to be dug up and re-laid in a different direction to a treatment plant on Ian & Sue’s plot. Ian commented that in the end, while costing more, this was for the better as it means that all of his services are self contained within the plot, which will make it much easier in the future should he wish to sell. The main high point of the construction was the erection of the oak frame. Ian said that the Oakwrights team worked hard and efficiently and his main frame was completed in four days, followed by the softwood panels and the softwood cut roof. From a slab on Monday the frame grew to the skeleton of a complete house by Thursday evening.