After months and months and MONTHS of trying to come up with a name we have bitten the bullet, made a decisions and filled in the form. We considered a nice Gaelic name or even something French (I’m quite the francophone if you are wondering!) but we were wary of constantly having to spell the name out over the phone!

In the end we combined that fact that there’s a well in the garden and our memories of a solitary rowan tree in the front garden of our first house and came up with the name Rowanwell House. We consulted with friends and family and no one hated it so it stuck!

Forms are in to the council so hopefully, fingers crossed and all being well, we will start appearing in Royal Mail address lists before too long.

And yes we will be planting a rowan tree in our new garden. Obviously.

We have been building our house for nearly a month now – 4 weeks as of tomorrow. It’s been brilliant. Tom and I have definitely had increased stress levels but that’s been more to do with getting things done on time and starting to think about the major decisions. But it’s good stress. And we are building a house so what did I expect!

The builders have finished the foundation walls and have begun to fill them in in preparation for the ground slab. 

From the back: garage, spare room & en suite, living room (with fireplace)

From the back: kitchen, family room

Two decorative additions 

The big space where the kids are standing is where the steel frame is going to go which supports the double height window in the kitchen. That’s what needs to go in next closely followed by the timber frame. The scaffolding is on site too so it’s not far off. Definitely won’t be letting the kids climb on that!

Did you know that Aberdeenshire Council has a “Street Naming & Numbering” department??? Apparently these are the people I need to speak to in order to get our official new address. I need it to apply for a renewables loan apparently. I’m not convinced but thought I would put the wheels in motion. Of course they had all gone home at 4.30. And they say teachers are part timers!!!

The brickies are in have started building the foundation walls (I have no idea if that’s what they’re called but that’s what they are!) which, when completed, will be in-filled with then earth and some stones. 

We took our best friends to the building site for the first time – I think they’re nearly as excited and relieved as we are! Mostly relieved really. 

It’s funny how the perceived size of the house varies depending on the stage we’re at. The plot looked small to me until it was cleared then it looked massive! The house footprint looked big until the walls went up then it looked smaller. I remember from episodes of Grand Designs (which we don’t watch anymore because it was scaring us too much) that it looks quite small until the timber frame and walls go up and then it looks huge again! So, watch this space!

I have to add that visiting the site gets no less exciting as we progress! Can’t believe it has only been 3 weeks since we started because so much has been done in my eyes. Thanks for reading and joining in our adventure!

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! 

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!!

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