The Self Build Self Help Site Build Process Outline

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Tasks Notes Some non-obvious things needed
Blockwork to joist level At some stage you will need to get the 1st lift scaffolding up - discuss with your brickies how high they will go before scaffolding - you will be able to use trestles and scaffolding boards before the 1st lift - but remember safety requirements - see the H&SE site PDF on Working at Height

Lintels for the door and window openings - concrete or steel - see Hints & Tips - Walls

DPC for the cavity tray under each cill - may need to use 15" and cut to size to cross the cavity and one course of brickwork

DPC for the cavity tray over each window and door opening - will need to use 18" to cross the cavity and one course of blockwork

Boxes for housing the electricity and gas connections/meters - get these from the service suppliers. Also need 4" x 3" lintels to go over

If incorporating a brick plinth under a rendered wall, use plastic sheeting to protect the brickwork

Expanding metal mesh, usually 110mm wide, to key in internal walls to the external inner leaf

Joists There are alternatives to standard timber joists - engineered joists, such as supplied by the following manufacturers: James Jones wood composite joists and Manderwood Engineering Ltd wetal web joists, the latter accomodates 4" pipes. 4" nails for noggins (as with many nailing jobs, a first fix nail gun is best here)

battens to keep joists in position before they are held by cut blocks
photograph available from this link

joist hangers - 2", 3" and 4" or 6" where joists are doubled up

restraint straps

Steel Joists For some designs there will be a need for steel I-beams (also known as RSJ - Rolled Steel Joists) where spans and their bearing load are too large for wooden joists. We have used these for supporting balconies, roofs over porches and gable ends.

Your architect will use a structural engineer to produce the design for these.

These are obviously heavy to handle and put in place but, a good welder will help. The welder may have to do some welding together on-site.

concrete padstones to support the bearing ends
Block work to wall plate Including cavity trays where any roof abuts a wall. When ordering you will need to give the roof pitch, coursing (brick or block (unlikely)), cavity width and order both left handed and right handed, photograph available from this link catchment trays for the bottom and a ridge tray for the apex

As part of fire safety measures to stop fire propagating through the cavity, the cavity will have to be closed at the eaves level. Traditionally this has been done using roof slates, but an easier method, more expensive on materials, is to use a cavity barrier, which is simply jammed into the cavity sealing the cavity

a few dozen brickettes, patination oil and plastic weep hole vents

DPC for the cavity trays as above

slates or cavity barrier



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