They don't know what they're up against!

  • Snowball's Avatar
    It has been drawn to my attention that my previous home is subject to a planning application. This involves residential development that will require demolition of a double garage which I built myself. The reinforced concrete base includes a full-sized service pit and has an area of 20 feet x 18 feet. This base alone, with the rubble back-filling, weighs something like 70 tons. The walls themselves are of 18"x9"x9" high density concrete blocks, and were finished by the hollow sections being filled with a mixture of concrete and rubble.
    Oh, how I would like to see this demolition in action.
    I used to say, "If anyone ever decides to demolish it.............." Tee, Hee!
  • 14 Replies

  • wagolynn's Avatar
    Guest
    I hope there were no bodies under it all....
  • Snowball's Avatar
    I hope there were no bodies under it all....
    No, but one body (me) fell into the hole during construction!!!
  • 23dft's Avatar
    We had some workmen in last year to knock down a couple of partition walls in one of our buildings. They were most unhappy that the partitions were built with breeze blocks, being used to plasterboard type affairs!
  • 98selitb's Avatar
    Fascinating how you can now consult - online, instantly and for free - any planning application in the UK, through the website of the relevant district council/unitary authority/London borough/etc. The objection letters are the most interesting.
  • Motman's Avatar
    Nearly 25 years ago I built a small patio area in the corner of our garden. I must have dug down a foot or more and I backfilled with about 6" of broken tiles from our bathroom refurb. I then poured about 4" of cement down, reinforced it with some twisty steel bar that I nicked from a site near where I worked and set my crazy paving directly onto the wet cement, making sure with a spirit level to get a nice fall. Wasn't till about two weeks later when it rained did I realise I must have had a brain fart moment and run the slope towards my garage! Bottom of garage now floods in extremely wet weather. I'd need a JCB to dig it up!
  • Snowball's Avatar
    When we bought our second home, there was a substantial apple tree where I wanted to build my garage. Telling a colleague that I intended to get rid of it, he suggested not to cut it down, but that I dig a hole around the roots and use the weight of the tree to drag them out of the ground. Yes, I did this, and the tree fell with me pinned underneath the branches.

    Building my previous garage (the one subject to demolition), when I was putting concrete in for the pit footings a local builder gave me a plank to rest on blocks for a slope to run the wheelbarrow down. Going down this plank with a barrow load of concrete, the plank suddenly broke and down went barrow and me. Unfortunately, I didn't let go of the barrow handles and, reaching terra firma, the weight of the concrete jerked the handles downwards and I thought my arms had been pulled out of their sockets. Ah, the joys of DIY!
  • Snowball's Avatar
    Motman - could you not have put another layer of crazy paving over the top, with the fall going in the right direction for the rainwater to run away from your garage?
  • 98selitb's Avatar
    My best DIY fail was when trying to bleed a radiator in a new flat after a long time of not being used. It was about 9pm on a Friday. It was an extremely large radiator, 15 ft long and waist high, running the whole length of the bedroom wall. While taking the stopper out to let the air escape, I somehow lost it, so there was nothing to stop the water coming out. To this day, I've no idea where it got to (have since moved and never found it at the back of the shelf or hidden behind furniture or anything). Cue powerful, horizontal jets of water into the perpendicular wall, which went on for at least an hour. Eventually it became a gentler trickle, but still lasted all night. We put a washing-up bowl underneath the opening, and every few hours through the night we were woken up by dripping and overflowing, and had to empty the bowl.
  • Motman's Avatar
    Motman - could you not have put another layer of crazy paving over the top, with the fall going in the right direction for the rainwater to run away from your garage?

    I suppose I could have done but bordering that is a line of red patio bricks that flow around the whole perimeter of the garden which is level with the lawn and an extra level of stones might look a bit odd. I just put up with the occasional flood in the garage. I only park my pushbikes and patio heater/BBQ at that end of the garage anyway and I stand them on pieces of 4X2 timber to keep them out of any floodwater. When it floods, the water only stays around for about an hour after it has stopped raining heavy. Not a problem with 'normal' showers.
  • Santa's Avatar
    Drainage can be tricky. The garden at the back of my house slopes up fairly steeply and is now on three levels. There was a small concrete area by the patio doors but it was only about 1½ metres wide. I wanted to double that, which meant building a retaining wall about a metre high to hold the lawn back and laying a foundation for this and for the extra area of slabs (totaling about 50 sq metres) which I wanted to lay on top of the concrete. Getting even a mini-digger into the back of the house is impossible.

    I asked around and recruited a couple of labourers on day rates to do the heavy digging using picks and shovels. We built the wall from some very heavy, but attractive stone bricks and laid a proper foundation. I found a very helpful website that gave me all the detail I needed to do a proper job, including the patter on the tiles. Drainage was my big problem as the paving on top of the concrete (which I had no intention of digging up) was as high as the damp proof course on the house wall - a big no-no as far as building regs are concerned.

    I read a lot about DPC's and found that many 'experts' think that they are a waste of time and in the end, I settled for running a drain at the bottom of the wall so that there would never be standing water there. Hopefully, when my hers sell the house, it will pass.

    For anyone interested this is the best website in the world for hard landscaping projects. Focused on paving but covering many other aspects of landscaping: http://www.pavingexpert.com/
  • wagolynn's Avatar
    Guest
    There is no need to remove the bleed screw when bleeding radiators 98selitlb, just a half turn is usually enough.
  • Snowball's Avatar
    Quite a useful site, Santa, and I've saved it to my 'favourites'. I need to build a retaining wall about 12-to-15 inches high to accommodate the split level of our garden. I had considered gabions filled with rocks, which would also allow drainage, but the cost is a bit daunting. So I intend to put in a low all on a concrete foundation with small lengths of 40mm kitchen waste pipe let in for drainage.
    SWMBO is against me doing it because of age, but I still have my concrete mixer and can keep the manhandling quantities reasonably small. Got a few pounds (or should I say kilograms to avoid showing my age? ha, ha!) that I need to loose, anyhow.
  • Santa's Avatar
    40cms is not a serious wall. It depends on what look you want really - sleepers would be fine, or concrete blocks.
  • yourresindriveway's Avatar
    Your post caught my attention, and I must say, the description of your self-built double garage is quite impressive! It's clear that you put a lot of effort into creating a solid structure with unique features like the full-sized service pit and the substantial concrete base.
    The prospect of seeing a demolition of such a well-crafted garage, considering its formidable construction, must be quite an interesting experience. It's always fascinating to witness the transformation of structures, especially those built with such dedication.
    I can imagine the mix of emotions you must be feeling, reminiscing about the time and effort you invested in constructing it. If it does come to a demolition, it would be quite a sight, and I hope you get the chance to observe it, even if just for the sake of seeing your creation undergo a new phase.