Self-Build Diary Part 5 First-Fixing, Tiles & Cladding

"self-build Uk contemporary log living"

It’s the middle of July 2015 and as you can see in this week’s feature article our latest self-build project is moving ahead fast!

(If this was that TV programme where people try to build a house for £100,000 it would have come to a standstill by now because the outer frame is just the beginning.)

As we move forward every week with the help of our excellent tradesmen and teams the house is beginning to take on the shape and sense of the 4/5 bedroom home we set out to build at the beginning of the year.

This is a large home in terms of today’s houses with the downstairs floor area being larger than the total living space of a 4 bedroom detached house on a modern-day development which translates to more living space per square metre for your money than buying a traditional house.

Feature Article: Self-Build Diary Part 5 First-Fixing, Tiles & Cladding

"self-build Uk contemporary log living"



With 20,000 Roof Tiles To Lay These Guys Are Amazing

Our roof tiling team have been quite amazing to both watch and work with. With a steep sloping roof and 20,000 tiles to lay individually (plus several valleys and ridges to navigate) they are doing an amazing job of starting through to completion in just a matter of weeks.

Despite roof temperatures at nearly 40 degrees over the last few weeks at times they simply haven’t stopped and the warm brown colour of the tile (you will need your Local Planning Authority’s approval of the tile you use) has added a whole new dimension to the building.

Cladding of the exterior walls is British cedar that has a much more uniform colour than traditional Western Red Cedar and looks perfect against the roof tile colour.

"self-build Uk contemporary log living"

Battening & Cladding (Plus All The Work You Never See)

In order for the roof tiles to laid and the cedar to be put in place there is a whole host of preparation work required using wooden battens.

Most of the framework in any UK is made from wood, its bit of a myth that we live in brick houses, the vast majority of houses are simply a brick outer skin over a wooden frame.

In our self-build project if you look back over Part 4 of our self-build diary you’ll see that this house is a SIPS panel home for a quicker build time plus higher insulation properties too.

When you walk into any show home you usually fall in love with the way the interior is styled and perhaps it has never even crossed your mind to ask the house builders how the house has been constructed. Perhaps as more people choose to self-build in the future it is something that more people will know more about and that can only benefit the way our homes are built in the future.

"self-build Uk contemporary log living"

First Fix Electrics, Heating & Plumbing

At this stage with the building water tight after two weeks you can (particularly at this time of year) work on the outside and the inside of the build at the same time. (Obviously access is an important consideration when you have several vans, deliveries and teams working at the same time.)

Once again the teams for electrics, plumbing and heating have been working hard on preparing all the electrics, plumbing and heating pipes into the new build home.

At this stage the first fix electrics is complete and the plumbing & heating first fix soon to complete to the point where thanks to the tireless work of the carpentry team we have successfully been able to OSB and plasterboard most walls and even complete several rooms ready for plastering.

"self-build Uk contemporary log living"

Plastering, Kitchens & Bathrooms

With the final kitchen designs signed off and ordered we can push on with plastering rooms that are ready as the other teams complete all the first fix elements required.

Most of the TV shows such as Grand Designs typically do not feature all the work that goes into this crucial part of each build and it is probably a significant area where most new self-builders fail to provision enough for in their budgets, especially if they start making changes to the original design as the building goes up.

Over the next two weeks we expect everything to progress towards the pre-completion phase and would like to thank everyone who has worked tirelessly on this project for all their commitment and hard work.


  1. Self-build diary part 5 and the roof tilers are doing an amazing job.
  2. Don’t underestimate the amount of preparation work required before you can put one tile or piece of cladding in place, its extensive.
  3. With quick build methods you can get weather tight quickly and speed up the build time.
  4. Managing multiple tradesmen at the same time takes careful coordination and timing.
  5. It is essential to stick to the plans and avoid changing things as you go along wherever possible to avoid extra costs and delays.

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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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