My Blog

Arrived at Wallplate

  • 23/08/2017

Now we’re at the wallplate height and waiting for the trusses to be made and delivered.

Not much can be done now until they arrive.

Up Up & Away

  • 25/04/2017

Here’s a couple of clips from the CCTV which show the progress of the build quite well

The Garage

  • 07/04/2017

This is the bit I have been looking forward to the least.

The garage is full of stuff so I could not afford for it to be exposed to the weather for any time at all.

The drawings utilise the existing garage wall as the lower part of the inner leaf and a steel beam to be installed to for the support for the outer leaf.

In order for me to continue building the blockwork upwards I needed to take off a part of the garage roof to expose the brickwork.

This sounds easy but the garage is a flat GRP roof that slopes backwards towards where I am working, this means that any rain that falls is going to run down towards the open roof and into the garage so I better work quickly and pick my day.

First I removed the door & frame in order to make the door central and create a support pier

New blockwork completed and door reinstalled

In goes the lintel and the roof is off

Here you see the padstone in place for the steel to support the outer leaf

What I have done to stop water running into the garage is buy some torch on felt and apply it to the GRP roof and create a dam. So far it seems to work pretty well.

First Two Steels In!

  • 18/03/2017

Now that my padstones are in and set, I have taken the plunge and got my steel beams in.

There are two beams, bolted together with spacer tubes between them in order to give rigidity and the correct spacing.

This cavity wall matches the existing building rather than the standard 100mm gap as it will need to extend onto the existing structure when the roof goes on, to create a gable end due to the uneven spacing of the trusses. More will become clear on this later.

I managed to get both of these beams in without assistance, which is handy as I didn’t have anyone around to help.

Padstone Two

  • 10/03/2017

I bought a Bosch laser leveller and I’m so glad I did. It’s been so bloody handy!

I got the laser out and got a level from Padstone One across to the existing building and marked up where Padstone Two has to be height wise.

Then I broke out the Bosch SDS drill and used my new Armeg mortar chisel to carefully remove a few bricks and dry fitted the padstone. It went in perfectly.


Knocked up some strong mortar with sharp sand (for extra resilience) and bedded Padstone Two in place. Checked the level and it’s spot on, not a bad 45 minutes work.

Time for Tea & Medals.

Getting Cold Outside Now & More Blocks Delivered

  • 24/01/2017

It’s getting really cold outside now, and I’m having to add frostproofer to the mortar. It’s becoming a real task to get motivated to go outside and get on with this!

Second time lucky for Ridgeons as they brought the wrong blocks initially. I substituted the 7n dense concrete blocks for 3.2n celcon standard blocks and they forgot. The driver had to go away and come back with the right ones. We got there eventually.

Vaulted Roof Underway

  • 22/12/2016

Now that the rear of the extension is up to the wallplate height, I have started to frame the vaulted roof using 47×175 graded timber that I bought from A10 Timber

There are two large rooflights to go into this roof to allow light into the interior of the ground floor, these are framed with double joists either side and double trimmers between, all bolted together with coach bolts and timber connectors.

First Lintels In

  • 18/12/2016

So I’m up to the lintel height at the back of the building now and I have fitted the first two lintels. One over the patio doors and one over the kitchen window.

They’re not as easy to fit as I thought, keeping the blocks level on the lintel is actually pretty tricky as they seem to have a tendency to tilt outwards, I took it slow and steady and used support to hold the blocks plumb.


Not sure if I made the right block choice with these 7n dense concrete ones, they are a killer!

Tree Butchery Courtesy of my Neighbour.

  • 10/12/2016

So, it’s no secret that my neighbour has not taken the fact we’re having an extension very well. After giving me some planning advice which I rejected as it would not work for us.

He’s turned from being an alright bloke that I used to get on with, into a bit of a tosser.

I wont go into the issues here save one.

I went away for the weekend for my good mate Dan Bunce’s stag do in Brighton, and Carley went off to her mum’s for the duration with Daisy.

For one reason or another Ashley and I came home early on the Saturday afternoon, and whilst we were travelling up the M23 I get a text from my belligerent neighbour telling me he’s knocked my ladders over (they were resting against my fence) whilst carrying through some “clippings”.

I wasn’t sure what clipping he’d been doing as he doesn’t actually have any trees in his garden but I left it at that for now to see for myself when I get home.

We get back to mine and after a cuppa I decide to go out and sort the fallen ladders out and make sure they haven’t smashed anything on the way down, which luckily enough they hadn’t.

When I tun around to go back into my house, I notice THIS:

I mean come on, really?! What a hatchet job.

Obviously the chainsaw mad gardener next door thought that this was the best course of action to take, perhaps in protest of my extension?! Who knows.


Now bear in mind my neighbour is a landscape gardener by trade, I would have thought that he might have done a better job than this.

After the initial shock had subsided, upon reflection, I don’t actually give a shit about this. The tree will still look just as nice from my side, it’s his view that is going to look bloody awful. Well done pal!

Walls and outline taking shape

  • 15/11/2016
Walls and outline taking shape

Now that the slab is done, I have started to make some progress in getting the blockwork done. It’s not as quick as an experienced builder would be doing it, but I am saving a hell of a lot of money by doing this in my spare time.

I’ve been using a bricky to get my mortar level and so far it has been a godsend. It allows the joints to be nice and even. The only issue is that it becomes really difficult to take out any unevenness with a thicker bed.

Another issue I have noticed is that the bricky is tight against the insulation and this makes it difficult to move.