The long road….

Its FINALLY happening! We’re about to start building our house! Well, I say we but actually its a very lovely man called Alan Lorimer, our builder. I have waited a very long time to say that.

We started our self build adventure nearly 3 years ago in April 2014 when we decided to sell our house. We had outgrown our home and needed to find a house that suited what we wanted for our family.  We loved living rurally so we looked around south Aberdeenshire but there was very little for sale. The downturn in the oil industry was resulting in fewer people selling up while they waited to see what would happen.

Tom had always dreamed of building his own home some day.  We had even gone so far as to look into kit houses several years previously.  So, given our failure to find anything suitable, we changed our search criteria in the ASPC (Aberdeen Solicitors Property Centre) and started looking for suitable plots.  This would be the defining factor as affordable plots were also very difficult to come by.  We soon came upon a plot of land being sold by a farmer near Kinneff, 7 miles south of Stonehaven.

Tom is a civil and structural and at the time was an associate in Arch Henderson LLP (he’s still there, he’s just now a partner) and this was very useful for designing our house.  We used one of the in-house architects at Tom’s company, a lovely gentleman called Scott Ewen, to design our house and he did a great job. Tom sorted out all of the structural work and we felt confident that we would be building summer 2015. However, after a year of searching for a builder that fit in with the finances we had in place, it was clear that in Aberdeenshire the cost of such a build was going to be far greater. Unfortunately our building society was not able to help us with this (we couldn’t get them to agree to a reasonable final valuation) so we remortgaged with Ecology Building Society.  We found our builder (Alan Lorimer from Inverbervie) through word of mouth recommendation and once we had our new mortgage in place everything started to move quickly.

Which brings us to the beginning of April 2017 and the real start of our big self build adventure!

Featured post

My happy place

Couldn't wait to get down this weekend even though nothing has really changed!

Back of the house from the bottom of the garden

Thought I'd share with you something very thoughtful and clever that one of our best friends made for us.

Take a bow Ali Robertson! This is the CAD drawings for the timber kit. He's a pretty awesome friend and designer!

That's all for now…….just venting my excitement!

Yes friends, we have some very wonderful walls!

Alan and Michael, our magicians builders, have worked magic and the downstairs walls are up! I was able to take my mum and dad on a FaceTime walk through the downstairs and as I left the last few walls were going up. It looks fantastic.

It was very cool seeing where the front door will be and being able to see the proper views that we will have.

Front Door

View from the Guest Bedroom

Those are sarking boards through the window BTW, they're for the roof. I learned a lot on site today! At one point I was there with the structural engineer (Tom!), the architect (Scott Ewan) and the builder so I asked a lot of questions. I now know what a cripple stud is, that builders do in fact have a favourite hammer and that architects design gardens as part of the design process.

This time next week we SHOULD have a roof.

The entrance hallway

Today was a happy house day 🏠🙂

Ssshhhhh…….don't tell anyone but we have a spy at Deeside Timber Frame! Look what was happening yesterday!

This is our house! Those lovely gentlemen are making the panels that will be the walls.

A pile of walls!! I have to admit to nearly crying when I saw these yesterday. Such an exciting moment.

It has taken longer than we hoped but Derek Watson at Deeside has been hugely helpful and it's coming the day after tomorrow. Yippee!!

We have been very busy over the school holidays with family stuff hence the lack of blogging! However I know many of you are dying to know what has been going on so I'm going to get back on it!

We have had a bit of delay with the timber frame but the good news is that it is being delivered on Thursday. Hoorah! This means Alan can start putting up the walls this week and I cannot wait!

The big news is that the windows have arrived.

They are timber windows clad in aluminium and we love them. They are Rationel windows provided by Architectural Doors & Windows in Sauchen. They are also huge. I guess you never usually see windows when they're not in a wall but they are certainly going to be a major feature in the house.

These sliding doors are going to be in the main lounge (Finlay is there for size!)…….

And this is the Arch window which will be in the hallway………

Next time, we should have the beginnings of some walls!

Tom and I had a morning in Glasgow today while we were down in Ayr. We headed to Cumbernauld to see a man about some stairs and then back to Hillington to Rocca Granite about…….yes you’ve guessed it…….granite.

We are going for oak with glass and the people Stockwell were very friendly indeed. Gorgeous stairs, exactly what we wanted.

As for the granite, Rocca are by far the cheapest we have been quoted and Jenni has been extremely patient and friendly. We are going for Black Pearl most due to keeping the price but we are delighted with it.

So successful day all round!

Evening all, I haven’t been to site for a couple of weeks hence the lack of posts. However Tom has been so I’ve nicked his photos to share with you instead.

This is the steel frame that we had been waiting on from Deeside Timberframe. Turns out there’s something wrong with it. We need to get it sorted so that the windows will fit. Would have been a Grand Designs moment if Tom and Alan hadn’t noticed!

More scaffolding has gone up and you’ll notice that the foundation walls are now completed. Since these photos were taken the floor slab has also been completed.

And here is the view from the gable window in the kitchen. Pretty great. This is why it will all be worth it!

I think there drainage to go in and Alan has to lay pipes across a field for water connections too. The timber kit is being manufactured so it’s looking like July for some actual real walls!! Woohoo!

The last post was written earlier today but this evening I decided to go over to the building site as I was in the area. Glad I did as now I have more to share.


And a septic tank! In the background.

Well technically it’s a mini treatment plant. But it does the same job.

In the meantime, we have nearly finalised our kitchen choice and we continue to negotiate with Home Energy Scotland to get a loan for the Air Source Heat Pump and solar panel.

I am still waiting to hear from the Street Numbering and Naming department (I still think it’s 1 man who only works in this particular department the third Monday of the month) regarding our new house name so I shall be chasing that up.

Next, bathrooms!

So apparently people have started to complain about the lack of blogging 😬. Sorry about that – here’s the update you’ve all been waiting for!

The foundations are (nearly) done! Since last I wrote the foundation walls were finished, filled in with stones and packed down.

We’re still waiting for the steel frame for the double height gable in the kitchen (where the kids are standing!) but it should arrive this week.

In the meantime the floor slab is also down and looking fab!

(Kept the children well away from this bit!)

The timber frame has been ordered as well as the windows (they’re coming from Rationnel and I can’t wait to see them) and they’ll be here the beginning/end of July respectively. Yippee!

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