We have just been to visit the site and the foundations are down! We thought it was happening on Monday so was a little bit of a surprise. My mum and dad were visiting this weekend so it was ace for them to see the shape of the house. The kids loved running around the “maze” that the foundations formed and it gave a good impression of the size of the house and of the individual rooms.


Next thing that happens is the block work.


The blocks are laid on the foundations to floor level and then this is filled in with the soil and some stones which forms the basis for the ground slab which is essentially the floor. It’s coming on so fast! 

Here are a few more photos of the different parts of the house……..


Left is the garage and the right of the photo is a bedroom and the hallway


L-R: guest bedroom, lounge, kitchen and family room


Bottom is the entrance hall and top is kitchen on the left and family room on the right

I’ll post a picture of the plans soon so you can look at both to make sense of it all!!

Not long now until the timber frame starts being constructed. Might have to try some kind of time lapse thing for that! 

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The guys have been preparing for the foundations this week. They’ve been digging out the trenches and Tom has been back and forth talking about foundations depths. Awesome!


Alan also put down a hard standing for all the lorries that will coming and going. Makes life much easier for getting turned when we come to visit too!

On Monday Kev from Arch Henderson came down to site and pegged out the footprint of the house which meant we could see the rough shape of the downstairs. Pretty cool! Unfortunately it is not very easy to get a good photo of this outline so you’ll just have to take my word for it!!


Kev used a Total Station, a staff and magic. He puts numbers in the machine and it follows the staff until he’s in the right place at which point it beeps. I’m afraid that’s as far as my understanding goes but it was pretty cool. 


So, foundations are on the horizon and everything is still going smoothly.

Thanks for reading!

We are having a dilemma over windows.

We have been given an excellent price for windows from ADW in Aberdeenshire and we are getting timber frame windows with aluminium cladding. The price is for double glazed windows with an excellent U-value (that’s to do with their energy efficiency). 

The dilemma is that we can have them triple glazed for less than 15% more which, according to our research, is very good indeed. Usually triple glazing would cost 40-50% more. We have read up about the different types of glazing and basically we can’t see any major reasons for getting triple glazing given that we will be living in a very quiet area and the U-value of the double glazing is already better than average (1.2 rather than 1.6…….triple would be 0.7).

So, we can get a very good deal on triple glazing but is the money better spent somewhere else (like flooring!)? Will we regret not getting the triple in years to come?

Let me know if you have any thoughts!

Yesterday Alan broke ground.


It’s a very happy day! He’s currently clearing the site which involves knocking down the little run down byre and croft with a big orange digger. I could see it from afar as we were driving there (me and the kids coz Tom was away with work) and started screaming (poor kids)! The kids were not nearly as excited until we actually got to the site and they saw the digger up close.


So far so good! The next step is for Alan to create an area where vehicles can turn so as to minimise disruption to our neighbours and once Kevin from Arch Henderson pops by and lays out the footprint of the house on the plot the guys can get going with the foundations. Yippeeeee!!

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!

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