WEEK 10: BLOCK AND BEAM

This week the site has been transformed once again. We’ve solved the drainage problem in the bottom of the foundation chambers (see last week’s blog post) and the groundwater is now draining away into the French drain around the perimeter.

An enormous crane arrived on-site this week to lower concrete beams into place from the lorry you can see in the video.

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Here you can see the concrete beams spanning from left to right, sitting on the blockwork foundations. Between the concrete beams are more blocks (you can also see them being delivered in the film.

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In the picture above you can also see part of the French drain exposed – this is the point where the surface water we were concerned about last week drains into the perimeter, to flow gently downhill towards the sewer.

This picture shows a concrete footing (below the gap in the blockwork). Several of these have been created around the perimeter. These will take the weight of the timber frame which is delivered to site next week.

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Also in preparation for next week, scaffolding has been erected around the footprint of the house. A crane will lift the frame over the scaffolding and into place.

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In the picture below, you can see the end of the insulated water pipes sticking up in the utility room. These will take hot and cold water from the main house and into the garage. We aren’t having any water taps in the garage for now, but it allows us to convert the garage at a later date should it be necessary, relatively cheaply.

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By the end of the week, the site is ready to receive the timber frame, apart from a little bit of finishing off around the edges where another course of blocks is being laid.

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Next week is the start of the most exciting phase. It will take a couple of weeks to construct the frame of the new house on the site, and then we’ll be able to walk around inside the new building and really get a feel for the different rooms. Exciting times!

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