The Self Build Self Help Site The Build Process

A one-stop shop of information for people interested in self build - whether self building a complete home or undertaking an extension, renovation or modification.

The Build Process
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Tasks Notes Some non-obvious things needed
Roof Trusses Your truss supplier may quote for all the materials required - wall plate, valley boards, lead, bracing wood, backing board for the fascia (OK if you are using uPVC, but not needed for wooden fascia).

You will need to tell them if you want gable ladders.

Occasionally the whole roof will be of cut timber but, often, just part of the roof will be of cut timber.

3" and 4" nails for fixing the trusses to the wallplate and 30mm or 40mm clouts for fixing truss clips
Felt and batten 20mm, or smaller, galvanised felt nails
Valleys Code 5 lead.
Soffit and fascia It is often easier to fit windows to the upper story before the soffits are put in - check with the window suppliers on this. Depending on whether the fascia/soffit is to be uPVC or wood, and if wood, whether the soffit is to be plywood recessed into the fascia, the windows may have to be installed before the fascia and then slating/tiling will follow window installation.
Slates/tiles 30mm copper slate nails (38mm may be too long and penetrate the membrane) and rivets (for synthetic slates). Builders adhesive for ridge tiles.
Windows and doors Windows and doors will complete the process of getting the house watertight so that following work will not be jeopordised by rain.

The brickies will have had to put in the external cills and cavity closers (walls are not returned these days).

Window cills, cavity closers
External render In order to minimise the time in which the scaffolding is up, you will need to contact the plasterer and let him know the kind of time period when you will be ready for rendering the outside. The doors and windows signal the time when the rendering can be completed. Even before the windows are installed, the plasterer may be able to do the scratch coat and final coat. The window reveals can then be done once the windows are in.

Stainless steel beading is best but very expensive. An alternative is plastic beading, failing that, galvanised beading. Some plasterers do not favour plastic beading as it projects farther than steel, hence more render is needed (and more cost). If you are within 3 miles of the sea, stainless is preferred to galvanised.

As well as cement and sand, hydrated lime is often used to make a more workable mix - check with your plasterer beforehand. Waterproofer for the final render coat.

Bell bead and corner bead. Battens and masony nails to support the bell bead. 20mm clout nails to fix the corner and bell bead.
Staircase You will need to decide when to put in the staircase. The earlier the better as far as gaining access to the first floor - think of the plasterers carrying buckets of plaster up a temporary ladder. Unless you can get plasterboard, floorboarding etc in through an upstairs window, you will need to get this stuff up the stairwell - much easier done before the stairs are in place. Then again, the earlier the stairs are put in, the more battered they may get. Our own preference is for as soon as possible and protect the woodwork with thin card, or clingfilm (caterers pack) etc.

If you are having a screeded floor, you will have to take account of this if putting in the stairs first.

The staircase goes in better if the wall has been prepared beforehand - either dry lined or rendered and then skimmed after the stairs are in, along with all the other skimming.

Rawbolts, or frame fixings, to fix the stair string to the wall.
First fix plumbing, 1st floor You'll need to get the plumber in before you have put the floorboarding down on the first floor. Although plastic pipe, if used instead of copper, can be inserted through holes in the joists from below, it is still easier before the floorboards go down. The pipes here will service the central heating and hot/cold facilities for the 1st floor.

You will need to decide whether to use copper or plastic pipe and fittings - see our page on the advantages of Push-fit plastic fittings

Make sure the plumber pressure tests the pipes before he finishes this fix.

The plumber will determine all needs
First fix plumbing, ground floor There is no reason why the plumber can't do the 1st fix for the ground floor at the same time as the 1st floor.

Make sure the plumber pressure tests the pipes before he finishes this fix.

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