Self-Build Diary Part 3 The Beauty Of Constructing With SIPS

"Contemporary Log Living Self-Build Diary Part 3"

With all types of construction the foundations are very much like that famous Forrest Gump quote about a box of chocolates, “you never know what you are going to get”.

We got clay soil, tree roots and a septic tank positioned slap bang in the middle of one side of where the footings needed to be built.

Having had all the tree reports done, all the engineering calculations completed for the base the next delay was waiting for the new septic tank to be connected (to avoid any disruption) and the removal of the old one so that the foundations could be completed and we could get the green light for the build phase.

The weather up to this point has been amazingly dry but on Monday when the build began and again on Tuesday the rain and winds were severe enough to issue weather warnings.

Nobody said self-building was easy, we just maintain that is absolutely worth it. Here’s how it’s looking after week one of the build phase. 

Feature Article: Self-Build Diary Part 3 The Beauty Of Constructing With SIPS

"Contemporary Log Living Self-Build Diary Part 3!

Finally We Are Out The Ground!

It took several weeks of trench digging (2.5 metres deep to be exact), moving hundreds and hundreds of tons of earth, filling the footings with over 100 metres of concrete, constructing concrete pillars in key points, laying blocks and making good to the site before we could get the green light to begin the build phase.

It was a real celebration as we finally got out of the ground and onto the build.

"Contemporary Log Living Self-Build Diary Part 3"

The SIPS Panel Home Begins To Arrive

If you are thinking of self-building in this way you will need to allow for access to large lorries, cranes and several heavy loads during the build phase.

Access to the site is something that if restricted can cost you extra time and money if you have to offload the deliveries away from the site and transport them in.

Due to some very skilled driving we have had quite a number of deliveries this week managing to navigate their way around the tight corners to the site.

"Contemporary Log Living Self-Build Diary Part 3

"Contemporary Log Living Self-Build Diary Part 3"

Cranes Lift The Framework As The Build Begins

This is where all your foundations, calculations and building to plan are put to the test. It’s make or break time as the framework is lifted into place and the accuracy of the foundations is put to the test.

Expect problems with construction, they are a condition of the task in hand. What you should focus on is calling upon a team of experts to make sure you can work together to get over them if and when they arise.

"Contemporary Log Living Self-Build Diary Part 3"

"Contemporary Log Living Self-Build Diary Part 3"

Within A Few Days And The Framework Of The House Is Taking Shape

We made the decision earlier this year to switch to UK SIPS and Timber Frame Manufacturers (instead of importing this type of building from Europe) for many reasons. (*this does not affect our Log Homes which are sourced from Finland which we consider to be the finest in the world)

The most important one for us was being able to respond to any problems quickly and find a UK supplier we could work with that would be flexible and professional in all aspects of the build. We also believe that you will find that when you are working with a UK manufacturer communication is a whole lot easier and more efficient.

With this particular design requiring steel beams and pillars to support what will be a large open plan living area, we believe that this is very much the right decision for both Contemporary Log Living and their customers.

"Contemporary Log Living Self-Build Diary Part 3"

"Contemporary Log Living Self-Build Diary Part 3"

By The End Of The First Week The Build Is Already At Upper Floor Level

Our thanks to everyone involved this week in what has been a real team effort. We’ll bring you more photos and updates over the next few weeks as we see the building go through all the phases of self-building to completion.


  1. Foundations are like a box of chocolates, you never know what you are going to get!
  2. We get the green light for the build phase as we finally get out of the ground.
  3. UK SIPS constructions is every bit as good as our European neighbours but with improved communication and response times.
  4. Access for heavy vehicles and plant will be required.
  5. SIPS construction is a much faster build time than traditional brick. 

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About The Author

Diane Cossie

Diane Cossie is a blogger and social media enthusiast who is the face behind our popular Facebook page, creator of our website and one of our annexe and specialists.

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