Much More Blockwork

Muddy trench

Returning to site to check on our corner blocks we found once again that the Great British weather had conspired against us and we had to brush the fresh rain water off our concrete base before we could continue.

We soon realised that this was to be a regular event as heavy showers set in.

This repeated soaking of the ground caused the edges of our trenches to collapse on top of the concrete foundations covering the base with a thick layer of sludge. We seemed to waste hours each day just sweeping away the debris before we could get on with the blocks.

Blocks set out


One job we could get on with in the rain was to place blocks all around the site so they would be at hand when we wanted them. For the first time we got a glimpse of what our walls might look like.


Checking the levels


We started by laying a third block at each corner and checking that these were all at the same level.

These blocks fulfilled an important role by enabling us to build the connecting blocks in a straight line and at a consistent height.





Laying blocks

A string was wound around these blocks and pulled taught then this line was used as a guide for the other blocks.

We also frequently checked the height of our walls to ensure that where the string sagged (in the middle of a long run) our walls did not sag too!


This phase of the build proved very slow. None of us are bricklayers and so we probably spent too much time checking and double checking each block to make sure they were in line, at the right height and completely level. However it was very satisfying when Building Control came to check on our progress and wanted to know which 'Brickies' we were using as they thought they were doing an excellent job!




Another important task we had to complete at this stage was to put in the pipe work for our water supply. This has to come underground deep enough to be protected from frosts, so has to be done as part of the foundations. The last thing we want is to have a water leak under the building


Eventually several weeks later we completed the two rows of foundation blocks and then put a final layer of high density concrete blocks on top. It was great to get to the end of this brickwork (or so we thought) as our hands were starting to feel like sandpaper from too much contact with the mortar.


Blockwork finished


It was also great to get out of the ground, hopefully now the rain would not be able to stop our progress.


The next job would be to lay the block and beam floor, the base for our house.