Today is THE day, the day that we dig out the footings. I was hopeful that we would get 2 of the 4 sides dug out today and finish the last 2 tomorrow ready for concrete.
Matt turned up bright and early and raring to go and luckily I’d just about got the site ready in time. Matt has a lot of experience digging out footings so I was happy to sit on the dumper today.
Once we got started it was immediately apparent that we had a major issue with the soil, it is rock hard. We had barely dug 400 mm down before the digger was groaning under the strain. Matt cleared a couple of meters along as deep as he could while I deliberated. I called Dad for his advice, he said to call the building inspector which actually is a great idea.
It’s not even 9 am yet and I’m on the phone to the Building Inspector who was very helpful and said he would pop out between 10 and 12. In the meantime we carry on digging, well scratching. Dad popped in and had a look and said that the bucket was too big and that we should try the smaller bucket. Matt tried the 200 mm bucket and it was far more productive, but not very accurate. We ended up with a v-shaped pit so had to constantly switch between the 200 mm and 600 mm bucket. I called the hire company and they were happy to swap the 200 for a 300 bucket.
While speaking with the hire company I asked if they could get a more powerful digger out to us. They obliged happily and within 2 hours we had a much more powerful digger. I really can’t speak highly enough of Aylesbury Plant Hire they have been amazing.
Whilst I was doing some phoning around I decided to call the grab company and get a load collected. Again a few hours later and the lorry is there picking up the piles of earth.
Meanwhile, Matt and I plodded on scratching and scraping, scratching and scraping until the Building Inspector arrived.
At around 11 am the Building Inspector strolled up the garden and barely looked down as he remarked that the footings would need to be at least 2 metres deep here and 2.5 meters deep at the low corner all because of the Sycamore and Llandi trees he was looking at. He did say to call the Structural Surveyor for other ideas and that if it was less than 30 square meters I could build it how I liked! “But I need the space” I said, “build 2 then” he said! Wait, say what!?
So now what? Dig 2 metres deep for 1 building or dig 1 metre footings and build 2 buildings? Ahh, dilema. OK, let’s call my good friend and structural surveyor, Martin, at Glasspool and Thaiss. He said that although it was true, we could build 2 buildings under 30 square metres each, it might limit our options in the future if we decided to change the use. He also made a very valid point that 2 buildings may cost more overall. Working that out is a job for this evening I think as we need to make the most of the light and good weather.
By the end of the day Matt and I had managed to clear about 8 meters, 1 meter deep. Nowhere near as much as I’d hoped to have achieved today, not that it’s anyone’s fault but just the way it is.