With new builds there are many aspects that need completing before works can commence.
We conducted a Ground Investigation since we are building on chalk, which confirmed that we are able to construct normal strip foundation. Asbestos survey and Section 80 notice to Local Authority had to be concluded for Demo Co, along with utility services disconnected (and temp supplies agreed).
Numerous elements had to be in place - Planning Conditions had to be satisfied, design elements (timber frame etc) had to be concluded, Building Control, Building Warranty, Site Insurance to be organised. I then created a detailed schedule of works that since we are building using individual contractors, had to itemise every aspect of the entire build. Quotes from contractors were received and analysed, so that we knew exactly what the budget was before any works would commence.
Clients moved out, services disconnected, site was set up including tree protection, and we were ready for Demolition.
Firstly the interior is stripped of as much timber (doors, kitchen etc) as possible before the heavy machinery kicks in. Organised demo is not just about bowling the house over; it’s about taking it down with method, separating the waste from the rubble, to be taken away by different methods.
The separating can be tedious but cost effective, with the timber, plastic, plasterboard, insulation etc being taken away as general waste in large skips, but the rubble in muck-away lorries to be crushed and re-cycled.
Demo co left the site completely clear, and the whole exercise was completed in two weeks.
Groundworks consist of foundations, floor slab, drainage (both foul and surface water) and any incoming utility services requirements. In other words, anything and everything below DPC.
Earth to the build footprint has to firstly be reduced to accommodate the building and the necessary clearance beneath the floor beams. The actual building then has to be accurately set out.
Some contractors employ a setting out engineer who in most cases would use a super duper GPS level that sets it out millimetre perfect. In this case the contractor set it out between himself and the Bricky who would be building the foundation. Trenches were dug, Building Control inspected and concrete was poured to include all necessary internal ‘spine’ walls.
Bricky then built the foundation up to floor beam level, but before beams can be placed, internal drainage and services ducts need to be installed. Now, both internal and external walls have to be more precise when constructing with Timber Frame. The last thing you want is for TF co to pitch up with their kit and it not fit. With masonry construction, certain ‘adjustment tweaks’ can be made to the footprint but not with TF. Same goes for levels of the block foundation. Once again Building Control inspect before the floor beams are laid.
Floor beams that have previously been designed (Building Control will need the design calculations) were then laid, and all of a sudden we have a house footprint. Another peculiarity of TF is that we have to build all internal and external wall ‘kerbs’ up to DPC which is usually 150mm above the floor beam level. We do not want any timber walls below DPC.
In this case, since we are in a ‘Radon’ area, the membrane has to be fitted over the kerbs before the T Frame is fitted. All external foul and surface water drainage systems were then laid, inspected by BC and then back filled.
It’s then a case of laying the scaffold mat – a hard-core strip all around the building for the scaffold to sit on, and grade all levels to make ready for scaffold and Timber Frame.