The access road goes in well, the hole gets deeper and deeper until we finally hit “Terra firma” some 2 meters down. The plateau I’m building on is only there because when the new road was built, they dumped the spoil over on my land. This spoil is unuse-able for supporting the cabin. So a hole in excess of 10 x 8 x 2m deep had to be dug for the cabin and another 7 x 5 + for the garage.

FILL (2)Next came lorry after lorry of stone from the quarry in Fort William, 1224 ton to be precise to fill those holes back up ! At least with over 50 deliveries the road was well compacted ready for the test. The test results exceeded the requirements considerably. The building control officer popped out with his big iron bar to test it but we also had to get a specialist guy out with his testing rig to accurately record the level of compaction to satisfy the structural engineer.

As we are preparing for the foundations, it became apparent that every one had overlooked the foundations for the decking, not to  mention the bit round the side where the 3 ton hot tub will sit! Call the structural engineer RFN! His solution was to support the decking with a cantilever system, beams and joists to be help up on block piers sitting on little concrete pads and trench foundation for the hot tub a few meters out to the side. I think this will be a fabulous design feature as the deck will have a great feeling of elevation as the ground around it just drops sharply away. I will never overlook decking again, it was quite a worrying few days as I wasn’t sure the funds would stretch far enough for potential solutions. My fears were quashed I’m pleased to say.

TRENCHESSo we then had a great firm base in which to dig trenches to make the concrete foundations. The pour went well and the rain stayed away that day. The bricky came by to mark up the site and layout where the block work would be ready for his boys on the following Monday. Alas the weather had been pretty dire that week and they were delayed, but the guys arrived mid week and made great progress. It all  looks quite small right now, but they say it will get bigger when the logs arrive!BLOCKS

The composting loo is truly brilliant, thoroughly recommend them – so simple and eco friendly ta boot!