Planning the build
Why build an extension?
Initial design sketches
On-line Building Regs
Meeting planners
 Meeting building control
 Planning the foundations
 Planning the floor slab
 Marking out the footings
 Damp proof course issues
 Possible drainage problems?

 Construction of the walls
 Proposed roof structure
Windows diary
 Window challenges
 Initial window plans
 Making the casements
 Making the frame
 Designing leaded lights
 Making leaded lights
 Assembling the window
 The little window

 The door frame
Demolition diary
 The demolition starts!
 The demolition continues
 Still more demolition

Foundations diary
 Foundation issues
 Drain issues
 Digging the foundations
 Rethinking foundations!
 Pouring the foundations

Floor slab diary
 Rethinking the slab!
 Floor vent extensions
 Preparing the slab #1
 Preparing the slab #2
 Pouring the slab

Walls diary
 Preparing to build walls
 Build up to the DPC
 Build the walls #1
 Build the walls #2
 The gas men cometh
 Build the walls #3
 Finishing the walls
Roof diary
 Roof structure build
 Tiling the roof
 Finishing the roof
 Finishing the gables
 Roof insulation

 Floor screed
 Shower room
 Shower room floors
 Shower room walls
 Utility room
 Utility room walls
 Utility room floor
 Finishing the windows

Project finished!
 Final inspection
 The certificate
 Final thoughts

 Twelve months on!
 Material costs
Sister sites
 House re-roof project
 Home gas usage data

 Stop paint flaking
 DIY secondary glazing


Not everything always goes right!

I always seem to make mistakes because I rush things but usually I am able to recover without too many problems! To show that things do not always go as you expect here are some of my mistakes or problems in building my extension.

Whoops! I cut the haunches to deep - they should have been flush the pencil line not the rebate shown at the back.

I should have completed just one joint and checked everything was OK before cutting the other three - but I didn't!

Luckily, I had plenty of length available so I could just cut the joint back and correct the mistake!

I was nearly finished routing the rebates on the window frame and bang, My expensive router bit broke in half.

This happened just after smoke came out of my trusty 20 year old router and it ground to a halt.

Taking it apart, I discovered that a coil in the RFI (radio frequency interference) filter had burnt out. I reconnected it and I was up and away again.

I had to throw away 6 short pieces of lead came on this one.

I used two lengths of the 16mm edge lead came in the centre instead of the narrower 10mm lead. This necessitated a restart. I really swore at this one.
I managed to break the handle of my pickaxe trying to lift the flagstones.

I won't show you the bruises I got when I fell over onto a pile of brick debris!
The Building Control Surveyor rang back to say that he would be happy if I used the other piece of steel mesh as well - as long it was keying into the wall.

So this is what I have done.

Whoops, on the first joist - I cut the notch in the wrong place!

Halfway along the roof the wall indents by 130mm. This means that the joists are longer and ride by around 60mm in that depth. However, I've placed the wall plate at the same height which is wrong.

I need to raise the wall plate here by 60mm and replace the joists. What a pain!

Whoops! While tiling the roof I dropped a piece of wood and broke one of the kitchen windows...

Hindsight is a marvellous thing! Maybe I should have installed the insulation from the outside before I tiled. I could have just laid the sheets of insulation across the joists. The I could have marked the distance between the joists onto the insulation quite easily.

Doing it from the inside  has proved to be quite difficult. The insulation has no 'give' at all in it so the insulation has to be precisely cut or just will not fit.

This is very difficult to do, so I ended up up resorting to using a sharp carving knife to trim the insulation as I fitted each piece. Not easy! The result is not as neat as I would like but as it will not be seen I'm won't lose too much sleep worrying about it.

Well, this is a bit of a screw up! I realised that could not connect the drainage from the washing machine and the shower to the same point as water from the machine will bubble up through the shower plug hole!

I need to connect them separately to the soil pipe.
Wednesday, 18th July: Well what a disaster! I was refilling the central heating system after painting the cladding and found that water was spraying everywhere!

Yes, I had made the classic mistake of putting a nail through my nice new copper piping.

After a lot of panicking, I managed to cut out the damaged piece of pipe and and use a compression joint to reconnect the pipe. Panic over!




Tuesday, 21st August: Well, my biggest cock up throughout the whole of the extension build happened today.

I went to pick up my double glazing units and found them to be the wrong size.

I had written down 609mm rather than 909mm. I've no idea how this happened as I checked all three windows and wrote the sizes down on a piece of paper at the time.

What a pain!

Oh yes, I've ordered some more. This mess cost me 100...
Sunday, 26th August: Another cock up!

I carefully cut the tiles for the inspection cover and then discovered I had not aligned the tile edges in the horizontal axis - doh!

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