Self-Build 1 - getting out of the ground

Self-Build 1 - getting out of the ground

So, having decided to take the leap of doing a self-build, I thought creating a wee blog about the process might help those considering it for themselves.  This is a new perspective for me, as architect and client along with the main contractor being my husband who is a joiner.

We are taking the route of project managing the process ourselves and employing separate trades where we can't complete the work ourselves.

The first stage was getting out of the ground - we hit our first stumbling block by the ground conditions which were too soft / unstable for traditional strip foundations, so we went down the route of a raft foundation.  This did add an additional cost upfront, but we had to weigh up the unknown depth which we would have had to dig down to for a traditional strip foundation and then back-filling with concrete and building-up with blockwork compared to a known amount of concrete in the raft plus a single course of blockwork.  

The pro's of a raft foundation is that you get a clean working perimeter around the building and your main concrete slab is installed as part of the foundation package. 

The con's are increased cost per m2 due to depth of concrete, additional reinforcement required and increased sub-base.  We also had to ensure the rain water downpipes were set-out and cast in at the beginning of the project due to the slab extending 600mm outwith the house footprint.