DIY Two Storey Extension

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Chris: this is amazing. I'm a spark who started in the industry in the early 1980's and have seen all sorts of builds, good, bad and ugly!

But yours is incredible with such great attention to detail! Absolutely amazing. You should be well-chuffed with that!
Screed The Floor

Hi everybody, i'm back with some updates! Got a little bit more time on my hands at the minute with this lockdown so thought i'd post some more progress pics.

So i was at the point of laying the floor screed and it's done (done in Nov or Dec) and boy was that hard :LOL:!

The area to be screeded was 21sq metres which I knew was too big for me to do in one go so I decided i'd have to split the work load over a couple of days, or four as it turned out!

I made a couple of mistakes doing the floor.

1. doing it in sections wasn't the best way as you don't have a perfect continuation of floor!
2. trying to do it on my own which was an impossible task really to mix and barrow and lay!

I started by doing the small utility area first...

I used my mixer and loaded in the sand and cement at a 4-1 mix and added some re-inforcing fibres and only a little water to try and leave it as a semi-dry mix, doing the grab text with my hand to see if it minded together. I found getting the mix difficult and it didn't really mix how i'd of liked, probably wetter than it should've been although dry enough to hold form so i could put a spirit level on and use a timber length to flatten and level.


This area took me a several hours (most of the day and i was knackered :sleep: :LOL:). One mistake I made here was not putting some re-inforcing mesh at the door threshold whist the mix was still setting. This is only because I was doing it in stages.


The next day I started on the main room using the same idea. As you'll see, I placed some timbers on some screed and levelled those, then filled the gaps with screed and tamped (is that the correct word? o_O) down. Once all the screed was in and packed I used a plastic float to smooth the area and then a metal float to give it a nicer finish.


End of day two and again... i should've used some mesh between the join!


When I made the join between the two screeds it seemed to take nicely, and at the end of day three it was nearly there...


Floor done! Not perfect but level .... ish!


The floor set and hardened well over the next 48 hours and was walkable.


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The next job was to start the bedroom, I debated whether to bond and skim the walls or plasterboard and skim, but decided to plasterboard them which I think was the correct decision (and easiest! :sneaky:).


The electrician came and did his 1st fix...




I loaded the loft space with insulation, 170mm in total.


Then boarded the ceiling.


I invested in a Refina Superflex ...


and ...



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Will be interested in how you did the skimming process as I have a bit of skimming to do and have no real clue!!

Where did you get your insulation from and how much?
Plaster the Walls

I have done a little plastering previously (only on a DIY scale though) although it had been a couple of years so I decided to start with the ensuite ceiling as it was smaller.


It went okay although I had forgotten how hard ceilings were to plaster :LOL:.

I then started on the bedroom ceiling and at 17sqm I thought I'd go for it.... big mistake! It was really hard for me to mix and cleanup the tools and skim the ceiling on my own! The result was the plaster was setting before I could flatten and smooth it properly. The ceiling in the bedroom was done and it is okay but not as perfect as I would've liked.



Then I white washed the ceiling and walls once it was dry...



Added some decoration as per the wife's taste!





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Will be interested in how you did the skimming process as I have a bit of skimming to do and have no real clue!!

Where did you get your insulation from and how much?

Like anything, skimming gets better the more you do it. Look on YouTube there are some good videos explaining how to do it although here is my advice.
  1. Mix the skim as per the volumes specified on the bag and put the water into the bucket first, then add the plaster and mix using a paddle mixer. The mix is really important to get right and after a while you can do it by eye.
  2. The aim is to get the plaster on the wall and covered as quick as possible. Start in the top left corner if you're right handed and work across the top of the wall, then do the lower half. Try and make the plaster cover as much as possible, don't worry about it looking perfect at this stage.
  3. Once you have covered the whole wall, flatten the plaster (ideally with a speed skim or some kind of featheredge or your trowel) and then mix up another plaster batch for the second coat.
  4. Skim the wall again with the plaster, again try and get it on as fast as possible.
  5. Flatten the wall with the speed skim or featheredge again and this time try and ensure any dips or raised bits are smooth.
  6. Depending on the size of the wall you might then be ready to smooth the wall off. Go over the wall and ensure it is smooth and take any trowel marks out, fill in any dents, dips etc.
  7. Go over the wall again although this time take a water spray bottle and lightly dampen the wall in parts and use the trowel to smooth off the plaster. This will pickup any fat off the plaster and fill the imperfections. Do the whole wall like this.
It's really difficult to explain actually and better if someone can show you or you just learn by practice. Most importantly, keep your tools clean. I clean mine between skim coats, after flattening and after the whole job, so three times whilst doing a wall. By cleaning the tools more regularly it stops dry plaster ruining the job.

The insulation? You mean the ceiling insulation? I got it from

Knauf Earthwool 100mm Loft Roll 44 Combi-Cut (13.89m2 roll) knea100 2 Ex VAT: £39.58
Incl. VAT: £47.50
Knauf Earthwool 170mm Loft Roll 44 Combi-Cut (8.01m2 roll) knea170 3 Ex VAT: £55.86
Incl. VAT: £67.03
The Ensuite

Next was fitting out the ensuite. The front window was put in primarily for aesthetic reasons and was always to be blocked up on the inside. I still plastered the reveals and even installed a window blind to ensure the outside looked okay.


I laid plywood board down on the floor and under the shower tray.



I then made a frame for the front window...



and then tanked the whole area with a liquid membrane...


Tiled the floor....


and then the walls....


Well all i can say is if i need any building work going i going to get you in to quote Chris. You have worked hard and the results are spot on mate. The deco really nice too. Hope you and the family ok too.
Ensuite Part 2

I used a mosaic tile for the inset shelf (within the window recess).

I sealed the corners of the tiled walls with a silicone that matched the grout (Mapei do matching grout/sealant).


Installed the shower glass...


Basin and toilet installed...





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Bedroom finishing touches

I used Cloud 9 underlay and bought a new carpet off eBay :eek:. It was risky as I couldn't see it and didn't really know what the exact colour and quality were like but it paid off..

My daughter loved the carpet she didn't want to get up.


Radiator and blind installed.



In December we made the decision to open the room up more than it was. This was the room...


I decided to get a builder in to do the RSJ's as there was no way I could've done it on my own. So they installed the beams, provided the building regs and structural calcs for this.



I installed all the plumbing work and put 100mm rock wool between the joists as per instruction from building control.








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