First Footings

Day four and the guys have worked really hard. A little bit of hand digging to finish off the footings trench then it was on to preparing the steel reinforcements.

Conservatory - Steel re-inforcement for the footings
Conservatory – Steel reinforcement for the footings

The picture above also shows the first barrow load of concrete poured into the trench.

Conservatory - Concrete delivery
Conservatory – Concrete delivery

The guys had to barrow all the concrete round from the front of the house to the back.

Conservatory - Barrowing concrete
Conservatory – Barrowing concrete

Two deliveries later and the footings were complete…

Conservatory - We have footings
Conservatory – We have footings

In between concrete deliveries the grab truck returned to remove the last of the spoil and the mini digger was collected and taken away. We have also had a delivery of bricks.

The guys now have a the weekend off. Back on Monday morning to start laying the brick base.

“Where’s yer stop-cock Bob?”

The ground preparation for the conservatory build carries on apace. The digger arrived early yesterday morning and, along with a pneumatic drill, was soon put to work digging out the old footings.

Conservatory - The mini digger
Conservatory – The mini digger

However, proceedings came to an abrupt halt when the kitchen drain was discovered and the pipe cracked.

Conservatory - One cracked and repaired drain pipe.
Conservatory – One cracked and repaired drain pipe.

This was duly repaired and the work continued.

Continued, that is, until lunch-time when I was asked … “where’s yer stop-cock Bob ?” Apparently the guy with the pneumatic drill had managed to crack both of the water pipes which supplied the old utility room.

Work once again stopped while parts were obtained from the local hardware store and repairs made. With the water supply made secure and cold water feed once more live my wife and I headed off out to lunch.

The Pavillion, Stansted House
The Pavillion, Stansted House

After a very pleasant, leisurely, lunch with my granddaughter and great-granddaughter at The Pavillion Tearoom, Stansted House we returned home.

What a difference a couple of hours can make. The guys were pretty much finished for the day, just tidying up. The digger had been put to good use and apart from some hand digging the footings were dug.

Conservatory - Digging of footings almost complete
Conservatory – Digging of footings almost complete

The picture doesn’t really show the actual depth but the trench is around four feet deep.

During the afternoon, while we were out, a grab truck had arrived and taken away a load of the spoil from the trench. A second visit is scheduled for later today.

What the picture also doesn’t show is that the guys managed to break up another drain pipe during the excavations. This one being the drain for the washing machine and sink in the old utility room. This one will be made good once the new build and plumbing begins.

Apparently, this last drain was not the only casualty of the day as while using the digger the step under the garage door was caught and the brickwork knocked back. A piece of brick was dislodged and landed on the head of one of the guys. He is fine but does have a mark on his head.

The great British workman is a tough breed. I would have had to go lie down in a darkened room.

And so work continues. The steel reinforcing mesh was delivered yesterday and the guys are going get that in place ready for concrete to be poured. Let’s see how they get on.

Further Adventures In Conservatory Land

Huh !! These footings were supposed to be at lease a meter deep. They are barely the depth of the spade. The tip of the spade is just under the concrete footings.

The longer we delve into the construction of our old conservatory, the more we find out just how crap a job was carried out by the previous contractor all those years ago.

I guess we are lucky that it stood for twenty-five years.

Conservatory - The final wall is down.
Conservatory – The final wall is down.

Based on this mornings investigations it has been decided that the old footings will have to be dug out completely. I’m guessing that is probably the best course of action.

So, to keep up the momentum a mechanical digger is being brought in to dig out the new footings. Also a “grab truck” has been booked to take away the spoils.

To get the mechanical digger round to our back garden we have had to remove my neighbours fence. Thankfully we have good neighbours.

Conservatory - Neighbours fence removed. Large holes in garage wall.
Conservatory – Neighbours fence removed. Large holes in garage wall.

The holes in the garage wall are as a result of the original builders keying the conservatory wall into the existing garage wall. When the conservatory shifted over the last twenty-five years it snapped quite a few bricks. They will have to be replaced as part of the new build.

Tomorrow will be another fun day in Conservatory Land.

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