building my villa +++

Started in May 2003 and built the structure at the end of my back garden in Cambridge through a beautiful hot summer a day a week with my friend and builder Steve and weekends on my own; bathroom finished in summer 04: the sauna was eventually fitted out in spring 2006.

May/June 2003

First jobs...

were digging a 2 ft deep trench for mains drainage and water and elecricity supplies, then six 2 feet deep holes for the 4X4 inch treated posts from which the whole structure is hung - Steve's idea which he had seen another builder use.

floor joists

roof rafters

We got all the roof beams up in one day after spending hours with a text book and calculator working out the angles they should be cut. After the first master, cutting the others was speedy work for two of us. It was a beautiful day with dappled sunlight coming through the leaves.

The floor is treated chipboard.

back and velux

Covering the explicit structure of the framework seemed a bit sad. Shiplap on the walls and roofing felt on the top, hard to work with on a hot afternoon.


Working out the pattern of how to lay the slates (not real ones) down was taxing. The uPVC windows were given to me by my sister-in-law. On a Victorian house they would look dreadful but in this context they are fine.

drooping felt

the door was from the dump (sorry, the recycling centre) and cost £10 or £15.

Now there's an inside and and outside. I remember the smell of sawn wood.

for pictures from July and August click here

for pictures from September and November click here

for pictures from dark December click here

for pictures from February 04 click here

for pictures from March and April 04 click here

for pictures from may 04 click here

to see the end of phase 1 June 2004 click here