Foundations finished and scaffolding started

This is a long overdue post. We were away for a week in the middle of June and intended to return to the site soon after. But delays in securing our stonemason means that we’re still in Edinburgh. Not to worry, we will be back down on Sunday, and full steam ahead on Monday when the building of the plinth wall starts.

In the meantime, I thought I’d post some photos from when we were last down at the beginning of June. We (well, Scott and his team) finished off the foundations and construction of the scaffolding started. It will be tented scaffold so that we can work even if it’s raining. The roof wasn’t finished before we left, so no photo of that, but it is apparently all up now and waiting for us!

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Modern conveniences

BT OpenReach engineer hooking up our phone line.

BT OpenReach engineer hooking up our phone line.

When we moved onto site to start the foundations, we had no electricity, internet, or running water. We did have mains water to the site, but it required two people to fill up a 5 litre bottle – one to wrestle the 32mm supply pipe into the bottle, and the other to turn on the toby1, which is the main valve controlling the supply of water to our property. All cooking (and heating of water) had to be done over a fire. This was fun at times, but challenging at others (especially when it starts snowing early in the morning and we had not sorted dry tinder the night before). Charging mobile phones and computers or accessing the internet required a 300m walk to Wiston Lodge (who have kindly allowed us to use theirs). This might not sound like a big deal, but when you need to check something quickly or send an email in the middle of building works, it can be quite problematic. Continue reading


  1. Called a mains stopcock outside of Scotland – don’t ask me where ‘toby’ came from. 

Are you still building a house?

When we’ve run into people from Wiston Lodge, this (or some variant) is a question we’ve been asked several times over the months since we purchased our plot of land. And it has been months. When walking around the area, they’d see our bit of land and it was unchanged (until quite recently) since before we bought it in March 2010.

Our plot on 9 May 2010

Looking south over our land on 9 May 2010.

Naturally people we knew in the area were curious why we seemed to be doing nothing. We knew there was a lot to do before the actual building process started (a rough estimate I’d heard is ⅓ preparation/logistics planning, ⅓ building, ⅓ fitting out/finishing). But what has been the biggest lesson so far is how much has to be done before we even have initial design sketches. We thought it would be as simple as, “choose an architect, tell them what we want, get some designs.”

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