Self Build Your Home

You have acquired site insurance and have stabilised your building. You want to self-build your home.  Also, you are mulling over demolishing and securing your site from trespassers.

Also, you are already working on the “permitted developmentsections as you await planning decisions. The survey report has highlighted areas of repairs, which you have already started working on.

Home renovation is a logical process that takes place step-by-step. Hence, what are the next steps after you have secured the site and stabilised your structure?

I have compiled five steps you will follow to steer you towards the right direction. Here they are!

1. Demolish and Clear Your Site

Ensure you demolish after stabilising the structure. Moreover, do not forget to gather useful materials from your site. Do not leave them to waste. Store them safely.You can reuse and resell them later.

demolishing site london: Home renovation
Above: Site demolition in London

Hence, if you are clever enough, you can take advantage of the local authority. They employ people to remove wastes free of charge. Nonetheless, you have to do a lot of convincing before you start to self-build. Alternatively, the reclamation yard can buy salvage rights from you. Thus, you would have saved yourself some valuable time and effort.

2. Get rid of Damp

Buildings that are less than a century old incorporate the use of either brick, earth, oak frames, chalks or stone. However, the walls of old buildings are solid. Unsurprisingly, old buildings exhibit a lot of damp issues.

damp building: home renovation
Above: A damp old house

Modern practices such as using cement instead of lime in render and using waterproof paints can worsen damp problems. Furthermore, using concrete instead of floors of suspended timber cannot solve damping. Also, altering the levels of external ground against the building and decreasing ventilation cannot solve damping.

Building regulations do not require you to improve damp-proofing. Furthermore, use appropriate modern materials. Do not use a course of injected silicone. It can damage earth and rubble stone walls.

If you notice that hygroscopic salts form, then damp could be worsening. It is advisable to seek different expert opinions in this case. Go for non-invasive techniques of proofing to avoid damaging the fabric of the building. Therefore, you can improve the drainage of the ground.

You can also subside the external ground level. Also, you can improve ventilation by replacing impermeable cement in render, plaster and mortar with lime. You can also use lime mortar to repoint brickwork, repair lime renders and fixes the roof. You can also fix guttering, windows, valleys and flashings and doors.

If woodworm and decay infest your building, do not spray the buildings with chemicals. Damp would have disappeared on its own after some weeks.

3. Inspect Service Connections

You should check whether the drains of your existing property function properly. Therefore, pour food dyes of different colours down through the manholes into the sinks and loos. This course of action will help you identify problems with connection.

House extensions demand you to move out the drainage. You can check the state of soakaways and septic tanks if there is no connection to the mains drainage.

service connections: self build
Above: A diagrammatic representation of service connection

4. Rearrange Your Site for Accessibility

You can free up more areas by removing big objects such as the machinery. Otherwise, you will not be able to access the site and store building materials.

5. Embark on Proper Building Works

Your building is now stable, and there are no glaring issues. Comply with the requirements of the Building Regulations. Also, when you apply for extending your property comply with a new regulation. This law came into effect in 2006. It requires you to upgrade the performance of heating systems. Also, safeguard the vulnerable sections of the building, especially for a listed property.

You can start demolition once you have secured a site and had site insurance. Moreover, you need to stabilise your structure before you begin any structural work. Solve damp issues using appropriate strategies before you start to self-build.



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