The free diy home improvement guide with answers to your questions on a wide range of do it yourself projects.

Boxing in the Steel Work

With the main roof of the new extension now covered, the work is moving on at great pace. Inside, the electricians have started the first fix for the new room, running lighting and power cables, and fixing mounting boxes for the sockets and switches.

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Breaking up the Concrete and Garden Wall

With most of the brick walls of the old extension demolished, work begins on breaking up the old concrete slab forming the floor. Because demolition of the flank wall will have an effect on the neighbours, the builders – G L Smith and Sons from Hertfordshire - explain that this will be left in place until it absolutely needs to come down. It’s obviously good to see such consideration on a building site but, it also helps build and maintain their reputation. A little thought goes a long way.

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Brickwork up to Damp Proof Course

With the long Bank Holiday the concrete foundations have had plenty of time to cure enough for the brick work to be started. Materials for this are already on site – bricks, blocks, the sand and cement and, of course, a mixer. The external corners of the new extension are marked out and a chalk line struck to show the outer edge of the brick work.

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Cavity Walls to First Floor Level

We’ve all heard that saying about how a good professional makes the job look easy. Well that certainly applies here. If you’ve ever tried laying bricks or blocks, you’ll know how time consuming it can be to get your levels right and keep the whole thing level, vertical and straight. These guys make it look like a breeze. Of course it’s not - it just looks that way.

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Completion of Work

Review of the completed two storey extension project looking at how extras are dealt with as well as valuations and payments and, how the final snagging list is drawn up and the job signed off by the Client

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Concreting the Foundations

With the strip foundation trenches completed, they have been inspected by the District Surveyor. Fortunately for the Client, there are no nearby trees and the ground is pretty good so the District Surveyor was happy with everything. Normally, with the volume of concrete required for these sorts of foundations, it would be a straightforward decision to use ready mix concrete.

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Cutting Out New Window and Door

A couple of new openings need to be cut out. The first is for a new window in the side wall of the original back room. The second is for a new doorway to the under stairs cupboard. The window opening is in a 9” solid brick wall. One of the team marks out the overall size of the opening on the brickwork outside, having consulted the drawings to get the exact position and dimensions.

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Cutting out the Chimney Breast

The original back room of the house will be opened up to the new extension so that it forms one large room. To take full advantage of all the potential space, the chimney breast is being taken out. The rest of the chimney above will be staying so a large steel spanning between the front and back walls of the room needs to be installed to take the weight of all the brickwork above.

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Dry Lining and Plastering Walls and Ceilings

The plasterers prepare the walls and ceilings with pva and use bonding to make up the low areas before dry lining some of the walls. Plasterboard is fixed to the new ceiling and the bare brickwork has two coats of sand and cement. The walls and ceilings are then all finished with two coats of finish plaster which is polished up to leave a smooth flat surface.

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Excavating the Foundations

Now that the old concrete slab and paved areas as well as the remaining side wall have been removed, the site is clear and ready for work to start on the foundations for the new extension. As you can see in the picture, the new extension is to extend a fair way out and span right across the back of the existing house.

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First Floor Roof Sections

With the main roof complete, the smaller first floor roof sections are constructed. This is a fairly complicated detail but adds significantly to the appeal of the external elevations of the new extension. If you’ve been following progress, you will know from previous articles that the second floor room above sits on some fairly hefty steels and is smaller than the ground floor extension. Along two sides there is therefore a small section of roof spanning between the two.

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Floor Screed

Laying a sand and cement screed over the existing concrete base in the new extension brings the floor up to the required level and matches that of the original part of the room. The semi dry mix is barrowed from the delivery lorry, shovelled out across the floor, levelled with a steel straight edge and smoothed with a plastic float.

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G L Smith and Sons