Self-build Project Plan­ner

How­ever you’re get­ting it built, you’ll need to know how a house is con­structed. Here is our de­fin­i­tive guide to each stage of the process

Homebuilding & Renovating - - CONTENTS -

A step-by-step guide to build­ing your own home

Pre­pare Site

➳ Ground­work­ers cre­ate site ac­cess

➳ Clear site and strip veg­etable soil; stack­ing ma­te­rial to be re­tained out of the way

➳ Set up site hut and equip with draw­ings and safety equip­ment

➳ Set up toi­let

➳ Se­cure lock-up/lorry con­tainer (hired in or pur­chased) to be po­si­tioned

➳ Wa­ter board to bring sup­ply to stop­cock on bound­ary

➳ Plumber to con­nect wa­ter stand­pipe

➳ Sur­veyor marks out build­ing on cleared site and trans­fers the lines to pro­files well clear of any con­struc­tion work

➳ Bring in bricks and blocks and stack clear of fu­ture con­struc­tion

➳ Set up mixer sta­tion close to ce­ment store and sand heap


➳ Ground­work­ers ex­ca­vate foun­da­tions

➳ Wait for ap­proval of build­ing con­trol and war­ranty in­spec­tors

➳ Po­si­tion any re­in­force­ment bars, mesh or cages in the trenches

➳ Po­si­tion any com­press­ible ma­te­rial or slip mem­branes re­quired within the trenches

➳ Lay ducts for ser­vices to en­ter through the foun­da­tions

➳ Ar­range foot scaf­fold if nec­es­sary and shut­ter for any steps in the foun­da­tions

➳ Pour con­crete foot­ings and tamp to level

➳ Ob­tain ap­proval from build­ing/war­ranty in­spec­tors to pro­ceed

➳ Brick­lay­ers build up foun­da­tion block­work to damp-proof course

➳ In­stall cranked air vents

➳ In­stall drainage exit lin­tels

➳ Fill cav­i­ties with lean-mix con­crete to level with ex­ter­nal ground level

➳ Bed and lay damp-proof cour­ses, link­ing th­ese with any radon mem­branes or bar­ri­ers

Start the Su­per­struc­ture

➳ Ground­work­ers to dig ser­vice trenches and lay pipes and ducts to pro­posed stop­cock/me­ter po­si­tions

➳ Load out con­crete floor beams to each bay and po­si­tion

➳ In­stall drainage and vent pipes proud of the over­site

➳ In­fill floor beams with blocks

➳ Lay cours­ing blocks and po­si­tion ven­ti­la­tor grilles

➳ Brush grout

➳ Ar­range for build­ing con­trol/war­ranty in­spec­tion

➳ Com­mence build­ing su­per­struc­ture

➳ In­stall tem­plates for fu­ture win­dows and doors, etc.

➳ First lift of scaf­fold­ing re­quired


➳ Brick­lay­ers con­tinue su­per­struc­ture brick­work and block­work, in­clud­ing work on any chim­neys

➳ In­stall and bed lin­tels, in­clud­ing fire­place lin­tels

➳ In­stall flue lin­ers as work pro­ceeds

➳ Build in me­ter boxes for gas and elec­tric­ity

➳ Elec­tri­cian to in­stall tem­po­rary con­sumer unit within elec­tric­ity me­ter box

➳ Ser­vice sup­pli­ers to carry out their work to the bound­ary

➳ Plumber to reroute wa­ter sup­ply to stop­cock po­si­tion

➳ Elec­tric­ity providers to in­stall me­ter and con­nect

➳ Sec­ond scaf­fold­ing lift re­quired

➳ Ar­range crane to lift first floor beams onto each bay and po­si­tion (if re­quired)

➳ Po­si­tion the plas­ter­board bat­ten clips

➳ Lay in­fill blocks ➳ Brush grout

Su­per­struc­ture con­tin­ued

➳ Con­tinue build­ing su­per­struc­ture to wallplate

➳ Third and then fourth lift of scaf­fold­ing re­quired

➳ Wallplate to be scarfed, bed­ded and tied down with pro­pri­etary wallplate straps

➳ War­ranty in­spec­tion some­times re­quired

➳ Car­pen­ters to build end trusses as tem­plates

➳ Con­tinue build­ing up gable ends and chim­ney

➳ Ad­di­tional lifts of scaf­fold­ing re­quired at the gable ends

➳ Plumber to fit lead flash­ings, trays and skirts to chim­ney

➳ Plumber to in­stall vent pipes and flash­ing skirts as they come through the roof

➳ Brick­lay­ers to top out and fit chim­ney pot

➳ Brick­lay­ers to point chim­ney flash­ings

Con­struct Roof

➳ Car­pen­ters to sling roof trusses, and trusses to be fixed down to wallplate ➳ All binders and brac­ing to be fixed at node points

➳ Lay­boards to be fixed to val­leys

➳ Dorm­ers to be con­structed at this point

➳ Fas­cia and sof­fit to be fixed to­gether with any nec­es­sary ven­ti­la­tion grilles or strips

➳ War­ranty in­spec­tion some­times re­quired

➳ Any roof tanks must be in­stalled at this point

Roof Cov­er­ing

➳ Roofers be­gin to cut and lay un­der­cloak­ing to the verges

➳ Roofers to felt and bat­ten

➳ Tiles/slates to be laid

➳ Ridge/hip tiles to be laid and bed­ded

➳ Val­ley tiles to be laid, or fi­bre­glass or lead val­leys to be laid

➳ Plumber to dress down flash­ings and skirt­ings

➳ Dec­o­ra­tors to paint/stain fas­cias, sof­fits and barges

Ex­te­rior & In­te­rior Fit­tings

➳ Plum­bers to fix gut­ter­ing

➳ Win­dow sup­pli­ers to fit ex­ter­nal joinery

➳ Plaster­ers to carry out any ex­ter­nal ren­der­ing

➳ Scaf­fold­ing to come down

➳ Plum­bers to fit down­pipes and con­nect to drainage up­stands/gul­lies

➳ Ex­ter­nal dec­o­ra­tion

➳ Car­pen­ters to com­mence first fix by fit­ting door lin­ings, build­ing any studwork par­ti­tion­ing and fix­ing win­dow boards

➳ Car­pen­ters to fix plas­ter­board nog­gins and box in vent pipes

➳ Plumber and car­pen­ter to li­aise with build­ing of any nec­es­sary stands in roof

➳ Car­pen­ter to fix loft trap

First Fix

➳ Plum­bers to lay floor­ing mem­brane and in­su­la­tion, tap­ing all joints and seal­ing up to the damp-proof course

➳ Un­der­floor heat­ing (UFH) loops to be laid and fixed

➳ All first fix plumb­ing for hot and cold and waste within floor zones to be laid

➳ In­ter­nal gas pipework in­stalled

➳ UFH pipework to be brought to man­i­folds and out­let po­si­tions

➳ Sup­ply and fix com­pany to pump in and lay level floor screed and leave for three days

➳ Pro­tec­tive hard­board/ card­board to be laid on screed

➳ Elec­tri­cian to fix car­cass wiring for light­ing and power cir­cuits to­gether with all back­plates

➳ Con­sumer unit/units to be po­si­tioned

➳ Wiring taken to ex­ter­nal light­ing points

➳ TV aerial/satel­lite ca­bles to be in­stalled to re­quired po­si­tions

➳ In­ter­nal tele­phone wiring to be in­stalled to re­quired po­si­tions

➳ Home en­ter­tain­ment/ smart sys­tems/alarms to be car­cassed

Drainage & Ex­ter­nal

➳ Ground­work­ers to be­gin dig­ging the trenches for drainage runs

➳ Trenches back­filled to 150mm with pea shin­gle ➳ Drains laid to re­quired falls

➳ Brick/con­crete sec­tion man­holes con­structed, or pur­pose-made man­holes, rod­ding eyes and gul­lies set in runs

➳ Build­ing in­spec­tor to ap­prove laid drains

➳ Drains haunched over with pea shin­gle

➳ Drainage trenches back­filled

➳ Work to con­nect to main sewer in road to be car­ried out by ap­proved con­trac­tors ➳ Car­pen­ter to fin­ish box­ings and nog­gings ready for plas­terer

➳ Ground­work­ers to com­mence drive­ways and path­ways

➳ Brick­layer to build any fire­places and hearths

➳ Gas me­ter to be in­stalled and con­nected

➳ Plum­bers and elec­tri­cians to li­aise on all cross bond­ing and earth­ing


➳ Main stair­case to be fit­ted by the car­pen­ter and pro­tec­tively cov­ered

➳ Dry­lin­ers/plaster­ers tack ceil­ings

➳ All ex­ter­nal and block­work walls lined with plas­ter­board on dots and dabs

➳ All studwork walls and pipe box­ings tacked with plas­ter­board

➳ All joints and an­gles filled and scrim taped

➳ All abut­ments of dif­fer­en­tial ma­te­ri­als jointed with mesh

➳ All joinery to be sealed in­ter­nally and ex­ter­nally with mas­tic

➳ Dry­lin­ers/plaster­ers to skim coat all walls and ceil­ings

➳ Dec­o­ra­tor to paint/ treat backs of all skirt­ing and ar­chi­traves

➳ All roof­ing in­su­la­tion to be in­stalled

Sec­ond Fix car­pen­try

➳ Car­pen­ters hang in­ter­nal doors

➳ Skirt­ing and ar­chi­trave to be fit­ted by car­pen­ters

➳ Bot­tom tread of stair­case to be fit­ted, balustrad­ing and handrails to be fit­ted, as well as linen cup­board shelv­ing

➳ Fit of loft door and lad­der

➳ Tim­ber floors to be laid by car­pen­ters or spe­cial­ists and pro­tected

➳ Ceramic floor tiles to be laid by spe­cial­ist tilers and pro­tected

➳ Car­pen­ters/spe­cial­ist sup­pli­ers to fit/build built-in bed­room and bath­room fur­ni­ture

➳ Kitchen units to be fit­ted

Sec­ond Fix

➳ All wiring con­nected to con­sumer unit

➳ Boiler to be po­si­tioned, plumbed and then wired in

➳ Sink units to be plumbed in, earthed and cross bonded

➳ All san­i­tary­ware to be fit­ted and plumbed in

➳ Ra­di­a­tors and towel rails to be fit­ted and plumbed in

➳ Un­der­floor heat­ing loops to be con­nected to man­i­folds

➳ Elec­tri­cian to check cross bond­ing and earth­ing to all san­i­tary­ware, sinks, ra­di­a­tors, etc.

➳ Boiler to be wired in; con­trol sys­tems and room ther­mostats to be wired in

➳ Plumber and elec­tri­cian to at­tend fir­ing up and com­mis­sion­ing of boiler

➳ All pipework and con­nec­tions to be flushed through and pres­sure tested

➳ Cen­tral heat­ing to be left on ‘test’


➳ Work­tops, made from the pre­vi­ously taken tem­plates, to be fit­ted

➳ House to be thor­oughly cleaned with all de­bris and dust re­moved to out­side

➳ Dec­o­ra­tors to snag any holes, blem­ishes or rough patches on walls, mak­ing good

➳ In­ter­nal tim­ber to be sanded smooth or rubbed down with wire wool

➳ Dec­o­ra­tors to paint all walls and ceil­ings, mist plus two coats of emul­sion

➳ In­ter­nal tim­ber to be knot­ted, painted, primed, un­der­coated and top coat glazed, or in­ter­nal tim­ber to be two-coat stained

➳ Spe­cial­ist tilers to fix ceramic wall tiles to kitchen and util­ity ➳ Baths to be filled, in or­der to set­tle, be­fore tilers fix any wall/ splash­back tiles ➳ Wa­ter me­ter to be in­stalled


➳ Ground­work­ers or land­scape gar­den­ers to level the ground and pre­pare ➳ Top­soil from stor­age to be placed where re­quired, with ex­tra shipped if nec­es­sary ➳ Site hut to be re­moved or re-sited if in­tended for use as a gar­den shed ➳ Se­cure site stor­age to be sold off or re­turned to hir­ers ➳ Ground­work­ers to com­plete drive­way sur­face ➳ Pa­tio slabs to be laid ➳ Brick­lay­ers to build any re­quired dwarf/ dec­o­ra­tive walling ➳ Lawned ar­eas to be lev­elled ready for seed­ing or turfed ➳ Ap­proved con­trac­tors to com­plete any bell­mouth and kerb­ing to road


➳ Whole house to be thor­oughly cleaned out

➳ All win­dows pol­ished and all la­bels re­moved from glass and ap­pli­ances

➳ All poly­styrene pack­ing to be re­moved from cook­ers

➳ All sta­bil­is­ing bolts to be re­moved from wash­ing ma­chines/dri­ers

➳ Site toi­let and any re­main­ing plant on hire to be off-hired

➳ Read­ings to be taken on all me­ters

➳ Cen­tral heat­ing switched to ‘run’

➳ Tele­phone com­pany to con­nect

➳ Con­trac­tors to in­stall TV aeri­als and/or satel­lite dishes

➳ All trades re­turn to work through items on the snag­ging list

➳Car­pets to be laid

➳ Lo­cal au­thor­ity to be ad­vised of com­ple­tion to ar­range for coun­cil tax val­u­a­tion

➳ En­ergy Per­for­mance Cer­tifi­cate to be pre­pared and sent to build­ing con­trol

➳ Build­ing con­trol fi­nal in­spec­tion and is­su­ing of Com­ple­tion Cer­tifi­cate

➳ War­ranty in­spec­tor’s fi­nal in­spec­tion and is­su­ing of war­ranty

➳ Ar­range pro­tec­tive cov­er­ing for floor sur­faces prior to de­liv­ery of fur­ni­ture

➳ Switch self-build site in­sur­ance pol­icy to home­own­ers’ pol­icy H

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