Tuesday, 12 January 2010


I've choosen a rather enigmatic title for this posting. It is not often you read about "Imbies" but I wanted to find a title that both fitted the posting whilst not attracting loads of Google hits.

Now don't get me wrong, I love getting new readers but I want interested readers who will stick around not people who just stumble onto this blog in error, show up on the analytics as 3 second stayers before retreating in search of what they were really looking for in the first place. For that reason I always try and find a posting title that won't attract people in error. If you look back over some of my earlier postings you'll see what I mean.

Anyway, today I'm posting about my Self Build IMBY (hence the title). For several years I've fancied the idea of self-building my own home. Finding a suitable plot of land in a lovely location and then building the house of my dreams. All the aspects of a perfect house whilst incorporating all the latest environmental features. I've imagined spending months living on site in a caravan whilst we worked (or supervised) the project to reality.

Turning the idea from concept to reality would also make an interesting blog. At least I hope so although I would hate to build up your expectations too highly at this stage.

Finding the plot is the hardest part of self-build. Securing it in a competitive situation is difficult. There is nothing more frustrating than losing the plot. Now where was I? Oh, right, I remember! Recently I read in the newspapers about how many new houses have been built in the gardens of existing houses. This gave me the inspiration for my plot. You may recall seeing the following picture on a blog posting I did about fourteen months ago about our garden makeover:-

I'm showing you this photo again (a) to show you the plot for my new house and (b) because I think it is important at this stage to establish my recycling credentials.

It's important to me to use materials that are local, natural and cause minimal pollution both during occupation and when the property ultimately end its useful life. Many aspiring self-builders could start with such noble purpose but ultimately compromise in its execution. I was determined not to fall into that trap.

I was also determined to go for a minimalist approach to the design and to incorporate an open-plan layout. I showed my initial plans to Mrs Troy and Troy Junior and both felt I had achieved these objectives. All three of us decided that we wanted to be thoroughly involved in the construction stage and even Troy Junior volunteered to help with the brick laying. I felt this would be a great education for him as he quickly grasps concepts such as load-bearing walls. Construction-wise, the biggest problem is the roof but even here I wanted my green credentials to be clearly on display.

You are probably now anticipating lots of blog postings over a period of several months but the simple truth is that when Troy gets a bee in his bonnet he just gets on and quickly completes the job. So the fact is this "Self Build In My Back Yard" is already finished. Here's a photo with Troy Junior already in occupation.

The building has a negligible carbon footprint. It is minimalist, open-plan and at home in its environment. The roof is plastic, due to load bearing issues, yet manages to be the most green feature of the house! For those of you that worry about recycling, the house has natural drainage and in fact my most recent photo of the house clearly shows this in action.

Oh well! Back to the drawing board. At least now I can't be accused of being a "Nimby".


Ladybird World Mother said...

Now that is what I call environmentally sound and extremely green. I mean, white. And would you believe the word verification on this one... coldsl!!
Nice one Troy Junior... we wish we had made one here but stuck with snowmen instead.
Which a friend's dog peed on.

Troy said...

I guess your experience shows one significant difference between us and snowmen. When a friend's dog pees in our garden we are peed off and snowmen are peed on.

And you'll never guess the word verification for this response....faterot. I never saw that coming!

HelenMWalters said...


Troy said...

Thanks Helen,your comment brought a big grin to my face as I'm never sure if people will share my humour.

Unknown said...

OMG ROFLMAO, now that's not what I expected, but I should have known better!

Elaine Denning said...

Thanks for the smile this morning!

Catharine Withenay said...

I love it! Lots of smiles on face!

Your self-build dreams are similar to mine (or perhaps I should say 'ours'). Fortunately we have bought a house that requires significant updating, so some of your green credentials are being implemented, to a greater or lesser extent. I'm anticipating boring everyone senseless over the next 6 months or so with stories about the renovations.

Of course I'm hoping it will last us a little longer than yours has...

Troy said...

Sarah - always expect the unexpected here!

Elaine - your welcome!

Catharine - I look forward to being bored senseless between now and June.

DJ Kirkby said...

Lol. Just....lol.

Anonymous said...

My word, you excelled yourself. I should think our government could indeed take a leaf out of your book.

CJ xx

Hadriana's Treasures said...

Like the self build idea too. If we get the little house sold (fingers crossed) we could be doing some "boring" self build stuff as well.

The idea is to build an extension (with green credentials) onto the side of the B&B and we move into the former B&B and turn it back into a family home. Here's to 2010 being a good year to carrying out our plan!

Troy said...

DJ - glad you liked it.

CJ - I agree with your sentiments. Did you also notice how I avoided the temptation to build a multi-million pound Dome in my back garden.

Hadriana - I wish you luck with your projects for 2010 and look forward to reading about them in due course. If I may offer a little advice from experience - snow isn't the most durable of building materials.

Grumpy Old Ken said...

I was getting quite worried at the beginning that you were getting totally serious in your old age! Nice little blog.
What happened to the Tractor boy blog and you doing so well!

Troy said...

Cheers Ken! I do try and keep my readers on their toes.
I went down to Southampton to see the Cup game (Soton v ITFC) and am not a happy bunny. Two steps forward, one step backwards. Sometime soon this week I'll do a posting on the Tractor Boy Troy blog (back by popular demand!).

Potty days! said...

Is the sudden collapse of your new home due to the forces of Global Warming, and will there be any affect on the sea levels after its complete melt down?

Joe Stein said...

Now Troy, why is the phrase NIMBY, not NIMBG. (G for garden of course.) Is it just phonetic? Because NIMBY is easier to say than NIMBG?
Although as my garden’s only 36 inches wide, it’s more of a yard really anyway...