Our House in Norfolk




May 2015 update

Another six months have passed. Three bathrooms have been installed (one more to go), the beautiful bespoke kitchen has been installed by Jem Lake Kitchens Ltd, the stairs are in complete with bannister and the glass balustrade has been added to the balcony.



Kitchen 1

Kitchen 2


Work starts

20th May


Work starts in earnest and the footings are expertly dug by Coastal Groundworks.

The result is more like an archeological dig than the start of a new home but that will all change when the concrete arrives.









23rd May

Six lorries, the help of a pump and the concrete is poured into the footings without a hitch.











30th May and we’re out of the ground!




















24th June.  Next stage the super insulated beam and block floor is put in place.







The lorry load of insulation arrives looking like giant lego.



The concrete beams having been manhandled into place act as a frame for the insulation blocks.




The beam and block floor is complete








Rainwater Harvester

16th May

The 4800 litre rainwater harvester was gently lowered into the carefully prepared hole at the back of the site.  Once the connections are all made, it will provide the water for flushing the toilets, washing machine etc.

For more information about rainwater harvesters and their advantages follow the link below :-


The first delivery

“Clearing the site and the first delivery”

3rd May

The chainsaw went silent as the chain broke cutting down the sixth of eleven leylandii but there was no peace as the sound of a 44 ton articulated lorry attempting to get round the tight bend in the lane assailed our ears.  The delivery driver bringing our 10,000 bricks was about to give up but with a little encouragement the lorry was coaxed into position alongside the plot.

Once the bricks were unloaded, we followed the lorry down the lane to make sure it got away safely and then took a trip to Heacham to get the chainsaw mended.

By 4pm the remainder of the leylandii had been felled and burnt, and the neighbourhood was left to the peace of the Bank Holiday weekend, birdsong replacing the racket we had produced.


Demolition and Setting out

The 28th February was also the first day of the demolition.

At 9.30am Stuart received a call he had been half expecting but really didn’t want. The contractor to say that the main construction of the bungalow included an asbestos skin.
Negotiations and an agreement for a further £3000 to clear the asbestos and demolition got underway straight away. Within a week there was no sign that a bungalow had ever been there.





25th April –  Setting out

Setting out – the process of transferring the image on the plans to the ground that the bungalow is to be built on. The only reference point we had was the manhole adjacent to the right hand border but the position of the manhole on the plans did not match it’s position in reality. That meant that we had the opportunity to have a discussion with the neighbour before hammering the first marker into the ground, to make sure that the position of the building met with his approval too. There followed the laborious process of marking each edge with wooden stakes and joining them together with string until the ground looked like it was covered with a giant “cats cradle”. Every measurement had to be scaled up from the drawings, every angle checked with a huge set square to make sure it was a right angle. When the layout met with approval, the line of the centre of the brickwork was marked on each of the stakes and the strings removed one by one and wound back up, to be re attached when the contractor comes to dig the footings.



Planning permission

The planning process was relatively straightforward.  The property was purchased with full planning permission and we were supplied with the drawings by the estate agent.  We liked the look of the proposed project but wanted to make some changes.

The first stumbling block was when we applied for revised planning permission we received a letter from the council saying that the original planning permission was void because the person applying for it had never actually owned the property. We had to reapply for planning permission but fortunately in reality all this means is paying again in full rather than the lower fee due for revised planning permission.

The changes that we wanted to make were all fairly minor.  We wanted aluminium windows instead of wood, the proposed utility room seemed unnecessarily large and by halving the size we could add an en suite the third study/bedroom on the ground floor. We wanted a balcony on the first floor to make the most of the view across open fields towards the sea.

The architect listened to our needs then went one step further.  He gave us a balcony but put it over a wide porch over the front door and to fit this in the whole building had to move back a metre on the plot.  This resulted in objections from the neighbours on submitting the revised planning permission. Until we read the objections on the council website we hadn’t appreciated how much the building had moved on the plans, a quick word with the architect, leave the balcony but remove the porch and the building  can move back to it’s original position.  Planning permission was granted without a murmur on 28th February 2013.

Norfolk New Build

In October 2012 Stuart and his wife Jacqui purchased a bungalow in Docking,  North Norfolk.

The property came with full planning permission to demolish and replace with a  3/4 bedroom house.

December 2012 the original plans were resubmitted  with minor alterations.

18th January 2013 the electricity meter was disconnected but the removal of the overhead electricity lines couldn’t be booked with the electricity company until 11th February, finally  leaving the way clear to demolish the bungalow.