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
1st fix electrics, 1st floor The electrics for the 1st floor will come down from the ceiling joists. The electrician will run the cables to the sides of the ceiling joists in the roof space. Now that the studs are up, the cables can come down through these. It is best if plasterboard has been applied to one side of the studs so that the switch and power point back boxes can be installed.
Loft Insulation Although the loft can be insulated at any time after the 1st floor ceiling has been plasterboarded, we have put it before plastering the ceiling so that any heavy footwork will not 'pop' the plaster off the screws. And so that it is easier to rectify should a foot go through the plasterboard!

If you wish to board the loft out then refer to the Hints and Tips section on insulating the loft. And do this after the electrician has first fixed at least the first floor - its much easier for him not to be moving insulation to fix cables to the truss joists.

Dry line 1st floor Plasterboarding the stud partitiions is completed both sides. The external block walls will be be dry lined or rendered according to your preference.
Plastering 1st floor If you are going to put coving in, let the plasterer know so that they don't have to spend too much time getting a perfect finish between the wall and ceiling. Corner beading - for all external angles and window reveals
Self adhesive jointing tape (scrim tape)
2nd fix carpentry 1st floor This is where the skirting board, architrave, internal doors, window boards (sills), stair sides etc are fixed. Before this is done, it is best to have painted the walls, at least behind where the wood is to go. If you can, also prepare the wood as much as possible - the undercoat or first couple of coats of varnish. Lost head nails for skirting board and architrave and builders adhesive.
Painting and decorating 1st floor At this stage, once the plaster is dry, you should be in a position to paint/varnish the woodwork and then paint the walls and ceilings (see Hints & Tips - Painting & Decorating.
Insulate and plasterboard ceiling ground floor Unlike the first floor, each room will have to be plasterboarded separately, involving a lot more cutting of plasterboard to meet the room dimensions.
Before the plasterboard, sound insulation will have to be installed between the joists. This material is usually in the form of semi-rigid slabs of a mineral wool compound photograph available from this link . Buy 400mm to fit between the joists. If you are lucky it will fit snugly and hold itself up - if not then you will have to cut thin lengths of wood to support the material. Wear a mask as the stuff comes apart easily and the air is filled with fine fibres. If you have sensitive skin then also wear thin disposable gloves and cover up. Goggles are a good idea but tend to steam up with a breathing mask - at least have a bottle of eye wash to hand.
Screw gun and 40mm screws

Plasterer's trestles and scaffolding planks are usefully employed here

1st fix carpentry - ground floor Door linings and Window Boards
Prepare walls for plastering - ground floor The external and internal walls will be block for a traditional block house and, to prepare them for plastering (skimming) will require either a cement render or dry lining with plasterboard (the choice is yours but see Wall design). In the case of timber frame houses, all walls will be plasterboarded.
Plastering ground floor Corner beading - for all external angles and window reveals.
Put in floor - ground floor (see Hints & Tips - Floor Structure for the the options of :-
  • screeded floor
  • particle board floor
  • 2nd fix carpentry ground floor skirting board, architrave, internal doors
    2nd fix plumbing Radiators, kitchen, utility room, cloakroom sanitary ware etc. Once completed the boiler should be commissioned and tested and both systems - central heating and domestic supply - working properly.

    Fitting the sanitary ware will go hand in hand with the tiling. For tiled shower enclosures, the tiling will start first and the enclosure fixed onto the tiles. For hand basins and toilet cisterns, you can either tile first or the plumber can install with spacers that will be replaced with tiles, and then the hand basins, toilet cisterns final fixed once grouted. Discuss with your plumber and tiler to ensure your requirements are met - often it is a matter or who is available.
    Kitchen and utility room Best left to the carpenter or kitchen fitter but, if you do want to do it yourself, its best to get a carpenter to fit the worktops if joints are involved - he should have the required template and router to ensure a good fittiing join in the worktop.
    Painting and decorating

    calculator, tile spacers, tile adhesive (waterproof for wall tiles in, at least, showers and by baths and sinks), grout, corner beading, bath/shower trim, silicon sealant
    Snagging Snagging is a task that is done within the building industry as a final check that all work has been completed properly. Doors hung properly, paintwork without imperfections, no leaks from radiators, taps etc etc. Usually, with a self build, the owner or main contractor will be checking such things and rectifying as work proceeds.
    Garden Landscaping Paths, drives, patio (flagstones), lawns, fences etc.
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