You need to be careful about the distance from your foundation to your soakaway drain. When I did my conservatory a few years ago I had to dig it 5mts away from the foundation and also 5mts away from the boundary of my garden. I dont know what the planning regulations will be in your area. You dont want to wash away your foundation in a few years.
I do remember asking the local building officer about that regulation when he stated it and the answer was something like "you need to do it to get your completion cert". I ended up with a 1 cubic meter hole and thats alot of digging. It does come in handy when Im cleaning out the filters of my fish pond though.
So I had 2 online quotes for the base and one Romanian guy that came round. The 2 quotes were around £700 but when I queried the detail suddenly they didn't want to quote any more... the third went away and came beack with a quote of £4,500 ouch... just for the base!.. I asked for a breakdown and was told materials are £1800. Hmm, well my ebay costings suggest 1/2 of that. But that means labour is £2700 for 3 people for 5 days... well I suppose if you're going to dig it all by hand... well thats way outside the budget.... so might have a rethink there... anyone got a microdigger they could lend me for a couple of days?
The tree roots aren't a problem.. as long as the tree is thinned about 40%... thats another £700 :(
Well one of the 'online' quotes came back and actually quoted for the job I asked for... £5250 since when did digging a hole get so expensive??? And how come thy're materials and plant costs are so much higher than what I found on the web... e.g. microdigger hire, 3 days, from a local firm £65+VAT a day, the quote £122/day??? WTF?
Anyway, suffice to say i dont have the budget for that... so I'm going to have to do it the hard way... dig it out myself. What i need is a way to lift/transport 1 ton bulk bags. I'm thinking of welding up something out of 4 x 2 steel box thats essentially an a-frame hoist on big wheels.... any thoughts?
By the time you take in 3 days digger hire, at least 2 guys, skip cost, setting up time, wood to set-up, it's surprising how things mount up. Personally I'd go for a mini-digger, as the extra weight makes a big difference. How wide is your access?
A power wheel barrow may also be a major benefit. If you need to haul stuff a big distance, you'll wonder how you'd ever of managed without one!
Concrete, I'd get ready mixed. It costs more, but mixing yourself, by the time you've finished, the other end will already be setting.
Have you budgeted in a power float to smooth of the concrete before it fully sets? Might seem pointless, but if you're not putting down an internal floor, they make a huge difference to smoothness.
Have you tried asking around to see if there's any local builders willing to help you for a couple days for suitable tax free payment?
Having an experienced builder/brickie can make a huge difference, and keep you right.
As for £700 to prune a tree???
What they doing, spending days manicuring it with a pair of scissors?
Given those pics, it's no more than a days work, and if you deal with the prunings, they've got pretty much no costs other than labour...
I had 3 quotes for the tree, all were about the same... 3 guys for a full day they reckoned plus carting it all away... was estimated at between 3 and 4 tons of wood...
The access is only 720mm wide...can get a microdigger in there, just about.. can just about get a 6cu ft (0.6cu m) powered barrow through there - hiring those two is nearly £600 for 2 days
The ground needs levelling and then digging out to at least 400mm deep for 150mm at the edges or so i have been advised by 2 different builders because of the tree roots, only 300mm in the centre (100mm ballast, 50mm blinding sand, DPC, 50mm insulation, 100mm concrete). Thats around 15 cubic meters, or 22tons of spoil to be shifted. Even a microdigger's 0.022cu m bucket will take 2 - 3 days digging. Then I need to barrow in 3.6 ton (2.6cu m) of ballast and 2 ton (1.3cu m) of sand and finally pour around 3.7cu m of concrete... while a digger+powered barrow will make it easier, I will need to do this over the course of a few weekends/evenings because I have no holiday left til Jan. Even if I took the time off work unpaid i couldnt keep both bits of machinery effectively utilised on my own. So its all going to have to be done by hand... the ballast and sand gets delivered in those 1 ton bags and if i take the spoil out the same way i wont need to hire 2 x 6yard skips for a week, I can get a grab truck to come and lift them away, which is only 25% of the price of skips. so its how to lift those bags... else its use a standard 85kg (0.05cu m) barrow... thats 300 trips out and 78 back lol but at least i can take one out and one back in the same journey
hmmm... bulk bags are either 85 or 90 cm cubes... they wont fit down the side passage so its still going to have to be a barrow, powered or otherwise, and a spade...
Well did a test dig this morning, marked out 1m x 1m in the furthest corner (so SWMBO doesnt get too upset lol) and got a "grub mattock" from B&Q. For those of us of a "gardens are somewhere to look at and sit in" persuasion, this tool is a revelation and great fun to use, until your arms get tired that is... makes short work of roots and anything else (well ok maybe not the 3" ones) and makes it very easy to lift the result with a spade...very quickly took off the top 5" or so apart from two 3" dia roots that were just under the surface... I'm still amazed how much spoil comes out of such a small space !
Looks like I'm going to hire a microdigger and powered barrow for delivery Friday morning, that gives me most of Friday, Saturday and Sunday to dig it out and get the spoil to the front garden, grab truck to retrieve it on Monday.... at least thats the plan...
this reminds me of the age old question...
How much earth is there in a hole measuring 1m x 1m x 1m. ?
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