Friday, 12 August 2011

Big, big hole!

Well my house has been on site for just over two weeks now.. It's been quite an emotional time and has felt slightly surreal too. It's amazing how scary it is to start throwing loads of money at the ground.. the works here are by far the most expensive single package of the build and the point at which there is the most risk - but all you really get for it seems to be a big, big hole in the ground.

For the most part (touch wood), and considering the complexity of building out to the extremities of the boundary, the ground works have gone smoothly. I did have however have one sleepless night when the council's building inspector spotted three oak saplings which had grown in the neighbour's garden since we originally surveyed the plot at the start of the design right next to where the wall of the new house will be. Unfortunately, when it comes to the structural design of the foundations you have to allow for the effect of any existing tree which isn't to be removed to grow on to be mature. In this case, seeing as the building is on London clay and that the trees were so close to the site, it meant that either the trees had to go or I could pretty much forget continuing with the build unless I had lots of money to throw at piled foundations.. Thankfully I have an extremely understanding neighbour (she is my aunt after all) and so the trees have now gone and building work continues. Phew! But the story just underlines that the riskiest part of the process is in the ground...

Here's a picture of my Groundworker, Scott, to illustrate the depth the foundations and reduced dig have had to go to in the clay soil..

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