“Once the roof was done and it was all watertight.”

were also key to the design process. “They do all the engineering calculations,” he explains. “They tell you if something’s possible or not, calculate the truss requirements etc.”


The first major job to be tackled on site was the services. The biggest part of this was removing a transformer pole that was on the site. “We had to liaise with Western Power to get that removed and put all the supplies underground,” Mark explains.

Although engaging suppliers to run services to an empty site can often prove to be something of a headache, Mark says in his case, “they were all great.” All the underground work and the installation of a new transformer pole was taken care of. “I can’t speak highly enough of them,” Mark remarks. “Moving a transformer is a significant task.”

Mark and Sharon benefitted from a bit of serendipity, as the existing transformer pole was in need of replacement anyway. Along with their build, two other houses were going up nearby, and the pole wasn’t “up to standard.” It was therefore logical for it to be relocated and replaced at the same time.

Their site was home to some stables which had to be dismantled and reconstructed elsewhere. Groundworks – including the relocation of the pole – started onsite in June


This speed of construction is one of the reasons Mark had a preference for timber frame

2016, and by August they were ready for the construction of the timber frame.

The frame only took two weeks to erect. This speed of construction is one of the reasons they had a preference for timber frame, along with its insulation values. “Within two weeks the roof can be felted and you can start work internally,” he says.

Mark project managed the build himself – no mean feat given that he also runs his own business, but admits it is challenging: “It’s hard, because you’re totally reliant on people turning up, but it’s manageable!” He says working from home is a huge advantage however: “I’m onsite virtually the whole time. It makes a huge difference, I’m lucky.” However, should circumstances change, Mark is adamant he would still project manage. “The cost saving is significant,” he says, “but you have to be prepared that the project will probably

november/december 2018

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