8 Dec 2013

Week 3 - Soakaway, hub & more rocks

What a week.  Well, we are really getting into the swing of this housebuilding thing and the honeymoon period is well and truly over!  Why, oh why, does the most unpredictable and therefore most costly and stressful part come first?!?

But let's start at the beginning of the week which on-site was going really well. The soakaway was completed - a large deep hole filled with crates and stone which allows rainwater to soak back into the ground instead of running off.

The soakaway.

Look concrete - something is being built!

The success of the week was to build the hub, a genius idea of Charlie Luxton Designs.  A little mini version of the house where all the services and their meters are located, a one stop shop. No ugly boxes on the side of the building.  It may even become where the bins live...

What a beautiful sight...
Paul has done a lovely job on our first wall.

The other job this week was to begin on the foundations for the retaining walls. These are adjacent to the house and not part of the house structure.  It's really important to get these in to make the site safe and sound for everyone.  Around the base of the cut, in some places, there was not enough space for the heel of the footings, the part of the foundations which project behind the final wall. Huge seams of solid rock are in the way.

The team looked at whether the walls could be redesigned to just go around the protruding rocks, but it would have meant a complicated wall design and brought the walls too close to the house.  After a day of discussion it was felt that the best option was to hire a breaker and simply remove the offending rocks and carry on as before. Unfortunately it was not possible to hire just the attachment so another digger with the breaker attachment was hired. This has obviously added extra cost and time.

Look there are two!

Yep, solid rock.

Good progress was made in one corner with only a day or two of extra work. Work started in the other area at the end of the week and then...
a landslip!!! 

The slip!

Thankfully it wasn't huge and no one was hurt, unless you count a tool which had been lying nearby.  The ground in this area is less of a solid rock face and it would seem that the vibrations put through it by the breaker destabilised it. Frustrating for Andrew and Paul as the clearance they had achieved at the base was undone in a few seconds.  However it was important that no further work was done until we had made sure it was safe.

One of the many mounds of rock. 

The site is covered now in piles of large rock and spoil. Anyone got any clever ideas about how to put them to use?  Rockery? Rustic craggy dry stone wall?  Some of them are massive!
All suggestions appreciated, i'll have to get onto pinterest for inspiration.

Offsite - it's all been about finance - the budget, implications of further costs, costings for the next stage, cashflow, etc.  I shed my first tear regarding the project this week. I had remained really calm and pragmatic about everything on site and the cost implications, but it was a matter which is beyond my control which shook my confidence due to the potential implications it has for the project.  Hopefully it will turn out to be a trifling matter but it reminds me that there are an awful lot of balls to juggle at the moment.

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