Self-Build Diary Part Two Regulations And Footings

"self build diary part two"

The thousands of new homes being built by commercial developers regulate themselves to a certain extent under the NHBC, It is a proven system that protects the home owner for 10 years after construction and ensures quality of the build during each phase of the process.

When it comes to self-building you will need to be prepared to go through an extraordinary amount of processes once planning permission is obtained especially if you are planning to build near trees.

Building control will be involved in every stage of the build to check the work being done but you will need a team of experts to call upon the moment you start digging test holes because as with any foundations or footings you never really know what you are going to find.

The reason we decided to pull away from using Swedish SIPS Panel Home companies and use UK SIPS & Timber Frame manufacturers for our panel houses was primarily because all the communication, engineering reports, SAP calculations and more need to be dealt with quickly and efficiently and in our experience it is a whole lot easier when you can just pick up the phone or take the drawings to the manufacturers and have a meeting.

So here is a quick update of “where we are at” with our current self-build project.

Feature Article: Self-Build Diary Part Two Regulations And Footings

"self-build diary part one"

Trees And Building Control

As you can see from the plans the site is surrounded by trees and therefore where you find trees you will find roots and naturally this can be of a concern for preparing the ground and making provision for any root damage to be avoided.

The soil in this case is clay and Building Control may need you to hire an expert to design the footings or foundations as an extra measure.

In this particular case strip footings are required that will also need to take into account the proximity and species of trees in accordance with NHBC Building Neat Trees guidelines.

Your selection of the company to carry out and build your self-build home will be vital because you will need them to calculate the loadings of the substructure and liaise with you every step of the way.

Clearing The Site Ready For Strip Footings

"self build diary part two"

It is far better to use your team of experts at this stage to make sure everything has been thought about when it comes to the substructure of the build itself. It pays to ask every question and cover every angle now rather than have to rectify something in the  future.

With the site clear and ready for inspection the next stage will be the strip footings. As this is a timber frame building with a suspended floor only strip footings are required which given the wooded area is much less problematic than it would be if it was to be sited on a concrete base.

The only other problem is the existing septic tank will need to be moved as it is right in the middle of one side of the footings.

Discharging Conditions Of Your Local Planning Authority

"self build diary part two"

Your planning permission will typically be granted with conditions that must be satisfied. For example you may need a Trees Officer report with regard to certain condition with regards to tree protection measures.

Once you have addressed all the conditions set by your Local Planning Authority, you must inform them and get them discharged.

(*all this is about as far removed from those Grand Designs TV programs as it gets!)

Again it really is all about teamwork and having experts to call upon to make sure compliance is adhered to.

Next Stage Will Be Completing The Footings Ready For The Build To Start

Kingspan TEK Building System

It seems a little back to front that the actual build phase of the house is likely to be the shortest part of the process.

Obtaining planning permission took many months of negotiations and redesigning. The Local Planning Authority took just under 8 weeks to grant permission to build.

Building control has taken a further 3-4 weeks and we anticipate the build to take less than 12 weeks in total.

Is everyone involved fed up waiting to start? You bet!

What we have learned is that choosing the right network of people is vital to the success of your build and that you will need to ask many more questions from your manufacturer during the process than you would anticipate.

You will also need to think about health & safety, site access for deliveries and vehicles, scheduling the various tradesmen for the build and then stay in control of everything that is going on.

We will bring you an update in the next few weeks as we progress to the start of the build itself where you can see a UK SIPS Panel home going up!

Summary

  1. Self-building success will require a network of expertise. There will be reports for everything that you will need to have prepared.
  2. Making the right manufacturer selection is vital as you will need to call upon their expertise from day one.
  3. UK SIPS companies are every bit (if not better) than European companies, don’t be duped by what might seem “a bit cheaper.”
  4. Be prepared for surprises once you start digging test holes, like Forest Gump says “You never know what you are going to get”

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About The Author

Diane Cossie

Why@dianecossie? Diane Cossie is a UK based interior design & self-build enthusiast and pioneer for self-building in the UK. We are on a mission to inspire others to dream BIG and self-build their next home and to offer a new choice to the UK consumer (like the rest of the developed Western world) when it comes to their next house move. You can rent, you can buy or you can self-build!

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