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

Foun­da­tions/over­site ➳ 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

Su­per­struc­ture ➳ 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

Ceil­ings/drylin­ing ➳ 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

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