The Big Build: Foundations Day!

 If you’re short on time, we’ve created this handy video to see what we did today in 25 secs.

But believe me, it took a lot longer than 25 seconds! It was a hot, hot day but we started at 7:30am. Whilst I made a bacon roll run, Andrew gathered the troops and made last minute alterations to the drain and the trench. 

At 8:50am, Big Bertha arrived with her cargo of concrete looking like a bizarre funfair ride and the boys began lining up ready for the drop.

Then it was action stations and go! As soon as the concrete hit the barrow we had 50 minutes to get it in the trenches. Luckily, Andrew had a plan!

Dan, my Dad and Andrew’s dad and AP himself made up the shovel team. When the barrows we ditched, they raked, shovelled and generally squished around in the concrete getting it into everywhere it was needed.


We had rigged up some boards and ramps through the shuttering so the boys could get straight into the far end. We needed a little bit of extra soil behind the shuttering as it was beginning to bow, but it held out.

After 50 minutes, the last barrow was emptied and the mixer was being washed…. But we didn’t quite have enough to get it to the right level. After a bit of deliberation, Mr Concrete said “save your money. Go get 10 bags of ballast, 5 bags of cement and mix it yourself.”

So off to B&Q me and Papa Hey went! 


There was just enough! The boys had created a frame to squeegee the concrete level, which was a great idea. Dan was Captain Concrete getting it all perfect. You can see our little poop pipe happily sticking out – it made a great drinks holder 🙊! (Don’t worry, it’s brand new).

With one final squish and a bit of trowel work, we made it. All that expensive steel was gone, covered in concrete. It just goes to show all the hard work you can’t see.


The finished product. Andrew is religiously dousing it with water to make sure it hardens low and slow, making it as strong as possible – although at 27 degrees and not a cloud in the sky it was proving difficult. At the end of the week we should be able to remove the shuttering ready for the brickie and backfill the holes around the edge so nobody falls down them again…oops. 

The only way is, quite literally, up. Hopefully. 


The Home Tour!

When we were looking at houses, we saw every kind of home going. First we wanted a bungalow, because we liked the amount of land.
Then, we looked at a few 1930’s semi-detached houses, and fell in love. We were already living in a 1930’s apartment, so moving to a house with high ceilings, large doors and big, square rooms sounded ideal.
After a year of hunting, several rejected offers and a few houses we loved lost, we found this bungalow.
She had been on the market for a year, too, but had been listed way out of our budget and with no pictures. The price came down and we thought we’d drive past and take a look.
Situated in a small cul-de-sac, near shops and the river, she was in an ideal location so we booked a viewing.
As soon as we walked in we loved her! High ceilings, a large driveway and garage, a huge hall and three bedrooms. We put in an offer and were fighting off five other buyers, but as first-time buyers we were in a great position.

Now, we just need to get rid of all the textured wallpaper…

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Welcome to our home!


So, there she is. Our new home. This was taken before we got the keys, and the daffodils were out in bloom.

We picked up our keys in April, and have started work already to turn this old bungalow into a modern home.

We’re working with three bedroom, a huge living room, a kitchen (with pantry), and enormous hall and a bathroom with a separate WC (which isn’t next door. No knocking through!).

The outside is a bit of a mess; there’s a greenhouse, a driveway and a garage and a lawn at the front and at the rear. The fences are pretty non-existent.

We’re hoping to make some big changes to it!

E x