After the hottest weekend of the year so far, at the very start of the project, it’s time to write up where we’re at.
It has taken 6 brown bins to clear the weeds and roots in the office area. That has taken some 4-5 hours of digging about. My long-handled shovel broke just before this job, so I’ve been hunched over a waist-high tool. Not ideal! New ‘Irish’ shovel ordered, however, so we’ll be back at full speed and comfort soon.
The garden path is uncovered again, so the concrete blocks need no pits digging there. I sketched out the footings on grid paper, requiring some 20 concrete block pillars underneath. I figured out distances from the land border to stay within regulations, and also spacing between pillars to be standard for insulation, etc.
There’s also a slope from back to front of around 15-20cm, so I’ll try to level that out before digging out the footing pits. They will have gravel/aggregate poured in and tamped down for the blocks to stand on. They should be below the frost line, removing that risk of movement.
Our garden has water-retaining wet clay soil about 30-60cm deep. I saw it most recently when digging up the remaining tree stumps in the garden. We’re at a low point, with run-off from gardens above and to the side channeling into our land. The house has had damp issues before, which I suspect are related, so I’m taking the time to dig a trench and fill with membrane, aggregate and piping to hopefully redirect flows to the side of the house and drainage.
We nearly flooded when the village drains failed last year, which would have been avoided completely if the garden was set up to re-route the flow. So a strip across the back, and down the side, will hopefully work for that.
It’s tempting to put drainage in the trench too, incase we run cold water to it. But that means a deeper trench, unless I reduce the size of the French drain perforated piping. Ideally it would go: French drain with holes facing down, waste drain pipe then conduit carrying armoured cable and fibre on top. We’ll see how close to that we can get!
There is a lot to figure out still, including flooring, roofing and insulation/moisture protection. For the last point, I’ve asked ‘the internet’, which you can read here:
For the rest, research continues as we get closer.
Finally a word on sponsorship. Seeing as this site has a dual-purpose of documenting life, while trying to eke out a small return for the effort, I’m getting in touch with a few suppliers of shed, roofing and insulation parts to see if there is interest in sponsoring the build or supplying offcut/mismeasured materials in return for a mention. Get in touch if you want to talk about this, happy to hear from you!