The build: laying the foundationsย 

It’s been a while, but we’ve been busy! 

This summer has been a bit of a blur of digging, ripping up and more digging. The conservatory came down, the trenches were dug and the old drains were removed. Then we found that our house was built on pretty shoddy soil (which also made it very hard work to dig!) and so the nice easy foundations we had planned turned into a fancy steel raft. We had some much debris in our ground that the raft will keep the new part of the house nice and stable. 

   
I came home one day to find the conservatory pretty much gone. The house looked so strange with its exposed yellow walls and vinyl “patio”! 

 Next began the hard work. Andrew got his money’s worth of the Titan ripping up the thick concrete drive and pad. 
An important planning meeting! Papa T and AP discussing where to put the new drains (which will hopefully actually work!).  You can see the first trench dug. This was the day we were told we needed a steel raft.

Getting stuck in! We had to dig two new trenches beside the existing walls for the steel to sit in.    
The trenches didn’t have to be as wide for the steel, so AP created some shuttering from the old conservatory roof. Clever! You can see the loo waste pipe here (nice). 

 

The steel was delivered. We bent 70 pieces; 35 into a “bucket” and 35 into an “r” shape.
   
Here are the “r” pieces ready to go! 

Goodbye toilet! It’s buckets from now on as we removed the waste pipe.

   

 

The bent pieces of steel get attached to the straights to create a frame. The same happens to the bucket pieces. 
   
  

Polystyrene is stuck to the existing building to give a crushable zone should anything move.

  
The frames are put into the trenches. They were pretty heavy! 
  Once all the frames are in around the edges, four mesh layers are added over the top. Spacers are put underneath to ensure the mesh doesn’t touch soil; it should end up embedded within the concrete.  
The pieces of steel are cable-tied together. Now we await the concrete!