Hi All, Newbie Here in midst of extension

19 Apr 2015
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United Kingdom
Hi All

Was directed to this forum via our friendly neighbourhood google.

Anyhow, having used another forum for some years and more recently for questions regarding the extension to my home which I'm trying to project manage and attempt a lot of the manual labour work myself, its great to find this forum to ask my questions for the best advice.


Started excavation back in September 2014 for the footing for rear single story extension, full width of house and to the front of garage, bringing garage forward and reinforcing centre and rear garage pillars for steelwork to extend upwards too.

So far, its been slow going as I work away and try to get as much done as possible whilst home.

Im, looking for some advice for other parts of the build so will find the appropriate sub-forum to post in.

Anyway, glad to be here and look forward to the advice which will be gratefully received

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looking good so far and welcome to the forum. You will get a lot of good advice here and some not so good but what I like about this forum is it's simple layout.

And if you are feeling brave, try the General Discussion :LOL:
Ha ha, cheers squeaky

There are worse forums out there for sure, only time (& advice) will tell :D
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So, with SWMBO insisting that she does not want to move and my hopes of a double garage dashed (for now) I had to come up with a viable option to increase the size of our home without;
1) Annoying the neighbours too much
2) Make best use of the space available, considering it was a starter home when we bought it so size is somewhat limited.
3) Try my best to project manage it myself and do most the manual labour myself with the help of my father (who's a builder by trade but should have retire but won't) and family...

So plans submitted and after a few tense months of objections and a committee hearing, we received approval.

So from the current layout,

Here's what Im working to build

With a new 1st floor layout similar to this but I have amended it since but you get the idea.

The garage will remain a large, longer with the addition of moving the washing machine and dryer in to the rear to allow more storage in the kitchen
So this is how it started prior to the excavation

And so in September 2014 we started work.

There was a choice to get a mini digger in but given the fact I needed some kind of physical activity I decided manual labour was the way to go….

Here I started by excavating the corner just to get an idea of where the storm water pipes were running

Once that was established, I ripped up the rotting decking (albeit it looked ok from the top) the frame underneath just fell to pieces…

Next we broke up the dwarf wall to open up the garden a little…
Its not big anyway, but with the extension an extra 300mm out compared to the conservatory, I decided a patio would be going down and extended further out at some point thus the wall had to go no matter what.

Next in line for dismemberment was the conservatory. It was originally going to be rebuilt at my folks house but the doors and opposite side wall being full uPVC were the wrong position to of use, so we dismantleld it as carefully as possible, kept as many parts as possible and sold it on ebay

Next up was to excavate the trench further. Here I have put the shovel in place to give a view of perspective.
You can see both the storm pipe and foul water pipe exposed. Both to be renewed later on

Due to a neighbours nearby imposing tree, building reg’s wanted a further meter depth on that side for the footing. Recent rain and damp ground made for bucketing out the water every few days to expose the ground

Here we have a better idea of the depth so far

In the mid upper right of this photo you can see the footing depth for the front wall, quite a difference but finally approved for the footings to be put in

7.75 meters of concrete later

The polystyrene is in place to protect and provide the required measurements for the sewer pipe to be replaced and covered with pea-gravel

The blockwork and engineering bricks could then go down and built up to damp course

I then started digging out and removing as much soil as I could and exposed all existing pipework for the purpose of renewing it all with brand new pipes and diverting them in a far better manner than what that had been laid.

I found a couple of the storm water pipes had been put together without even having the rubber seals present, no doubt leading to soaking the ground for the last 15 years!!!!

Here the new sewer pipe is fitted with its connections outside the footprint of the extension.

A new inspection chamber was relocated outside the front wall with the waste water from the house now tapped into the foul water just short of the chamber to aid is washing any waste through

A few tonne of pea gravel was then used to cover the pipes up, just leaving one connection that will be utilized by the waste water from the washing machine that will be placed in the garage

In this picture we are looking at the back corner wall of the garage, the concrete was broken out and the waste water pipe positioned, which proved difficult due to existing footing position and the requirement to strengthen this area for a pillar to take steelwork for 1st floor construction.

We also broke out the centre column to reinforce this section too.

Once Building regs had observed the reinforcing and passed it, both sections which would take a thicker wall for pads and steel work, were concreted

We then set about putting down 6+ tonnes of type 1 to prep for the rear pad

The membrane was put down after it had all been wackered down with a covering of sand

Before putting the 100mm celotex insulation down

With celotex to the side walls too…

Then covered and the vent pipes placed across from the where the original air bricks were situated to the new exterior air bricks. With my boy checking on the standard of work

With the Building Reg’s officer popping over and approving all the work so far we could go ahead with ordering a few meters of concrete which was barrowed through this time (footings were pumped) and the pad left for a while.

As there was nothing more to do at the back for now, it was time to start at the front.

With the supervisor present we could set about digging out for the footing to extend the garage out

The whole estate was built on ‘made up ground’ so we had to dig pretty deep to get a suitable ground

In this photo you can see, the storm water pipe, The 2 course on blocks the existing footing which is about the same depth again, and we had to expose a further depth equal to the original footing to make building regs approval for concrete to go in

Once the footings were in, the block & brickwork were soon up…..

Once the weather had picked up and everything else was done, the Bricky and his labourer were able to start work.
This is the only job to date I couldn’t do, wish I could though

Once the backs were up as far as they could go, he cracked on with the front wall

The extension rear opening being 4800 and steelwork on order specified to the structural engineers requirements, I set about making the pad stones and knocked up a couple of moulds to the required sizes

One of them with my lads details for ever immortalized ☺

and proudly put in place

With the scaffold ordered and the brickie unable to anything more until put up, we set about stripping the roof off

We found 1 nail in total out of all the tiles removed!!!!

With the tiles removed and stacked for re-use and the steel universal beam having been delivered it was time for several blokes and several cups of tea to put it into position.


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