I built my two storey extension for 20% of builder's quotes

This site shows how - step by step from design to completion

Site preparation for construction of project


I now had some construction site preparation activities to undertake so that I had a 'blank canvas' ready for laying out my new building. I lifted all the large flagstones from my existing patio and stacked most of them up by the shed where I was storing all manner of useful things. As my house is lower than all my garden I had to dig out the raised lawn area to make room for the new patio. As I still couldn't get a digger in, it was all done by hand. I advertised top soil on Freecycle and was pleased that a lovely couple kept popping down and filling bags with soil to take away. They filled a lot of bags and saved me a good deal of the digging but, as they were desperate for good top soil, everyone was happy. Freecycle really is great.

With the wall down I was eventually able to get a digger in. Pete is a retired guy in the village, but he has his own digger and a very reasonable daily rate. I got both Pete's expertise and the digger cheaper than I could hire one.garden

I got Pete to scrape off the topsoil to 350mm below the finished floor level. You can just see the series of pegs I hammered into the ground. 350mm is the depth I need to build up my floor - hardcore, blinding, insulation and concrete slab.






diggerBecause the land at the rear of my house is higher than the house, it meant scraping off an awful lot of soil. Due to a lack of space I had to get the soil shifted before I could continue. Acces to the rear of my property is difficult so shifting the soil meant a lot of barrow work, up a ramp and into a trailer. I then drove the tractor around to a neighbours paddock and tipped it.

I was very lucky that the local farmer lent me his very posh New Holland tractor and 6 tonne tipper trailer. In all I think we shifted about 25 tonnnes of soil by barrow and tractor but eventually the site was cleared and ready for setting out.