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Observatory Build Underway


malc-c
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Well I've finally taken the plunge and made a start on my observatory (see my previous ramblings on this thread http://stargazerslounge.com/diy-observatories/137615-observatory-planning-permission-granted.html )

Sun 24/4/11

The first thing I needed to do was to move the 7 x 5 shed that was in the top corner of the plot.

start.jpg

My 17 year old son did his usual vanishing act so I took on the task single handed. The contents were duly emptied onto the lawn and the the shed levered up on to the patio. Using the tried and tested method of using rollers (old broom handles) I rolled the shed to it's new position.

moveshed.jpg

Yes my back is aching today and I've found muscles that I've not used in years... but I had little choice. Anyway, after an hour or so of leveling and bracing the shed was nice and stable in it's new position. Everything was then placed back in the shed, and the security light re-positioned as the shed now blocked it ! The last thing to do was to reinstall the weather station sensors, which also had it's batteries replaced whilst I was at it

Mon 25/4/11

I struck lucky in a couple of ways today. The first is that my next door neighbor (John) works in the civil engineering department for a council and has loads of experience in building, paving and the like, so I've tapped his expertise in what I need to do for the base and footings etc. No sooner had I shown him the plot he asked if I needed the large flag stones that formed the base for the old shed. As he offered to help me with the build if I get stuck I offered them to him.

So the slabs were lifted and some of the lawn edging dug up to allow a clear path for the footings to be dug.

slabs.jpg

The second bit of luck was that he let slip that one of my other neighbors (Steve) is landscaping his garden this week and is having a mini digger delivered in the morning, and as John will be helping Steve, said that they would use that to dig the foundation footings for the base as the ground would be like rock ! - RESULT :)

Once the slabs had been removed from the plot John vanished muttering something about being "back in a mo" and promptly returned with some stakes, string and a spray can. Next thing I knew was that I was told to "hold this" and he began measuring out the plot, making the grass with white paint.

markup.jpg

He made it look so easy.. so now the 16' x 7' plot has been marked up ready for the digging to commence. All that was left for me to do was to move the compost heap, and tidy up the rest of the plot. I'm hoping to pain the fences tomorrow / Wednesday and get some prices on readymix... just happens that my wife minds a child (she's a professional child minder) who's father sells concrete for a living... Guess who I'll be phoning soon then :eek:

Looking back I think I've done OK in the past two days... Hopefully I'll update this thread later this week with more pictures of the build, but for now thanks for looking

Edited by malc-c
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Looking really good Malcolm :)

Got your pier sorted yet?

Cheers

Not yet.. I'll either buy one of the SW piers and use that, or sort out having one made by a fabricator which will be much more sturdier - I've yet got to measure up the heights of the walls (having a raised floor) and what height I thus need to make the centre plinth.

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Looks good.

Does anyone ever get planning permission for their shed? Most of the builds on here have the shed up against the property boundary, and permission seems to be required to have a shed within 1m of the boundary.

I suppose worse case scenario is that you have to move it, which shouldn't be too big a deal (compared to moving something with foundations).

It had crossed my mind, especially as I am laying shallow foundations, and I intend to pour concrete to make the base rather than slab or block it... However, I'm not sure on the 1M boundary as there has been a shed in that location for years, and when we replaced the previous shed the company never mentioned that when we stated that it was going to be that close to a fence. The only rule I am familiar with is the 3m height restriction.

Like you said, worse case could be I get asked to take it down, but in most cases, provided it's not something like an illegal 2 story extension, that they issue retrospective planning permission should it contravene some classification (ie it's deemed as a living space or office rather than a storage shed)

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Guys,

Sourcing material suppliers etc... can anyone identify what these are

40909d1282246876t-wetherview-diy-obsy-build-begins-p6080003.jpg

Wayne stated he got them from screwfix, but I've been entering things into the search box and not getting anything like these !

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They look handy !

Mark 1 obsy had a roof that regularly blew off :D

Bookmarked :)

Guys,

Sourcing material suppliers etc... can anyone identify what these are

40909d1282246876t-wetherview-diy-obsy-build-begins-p6080003.jpg

Wayne stated he got them from screwfix, but I've been entering things into the search box and not getting anything like these !

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TBH, Having it half a meter between the fence and observatory will allow for the odd spot of maintenance such as re-painting both the fence and building, but it's nice to know that I could of gone in tighter if I wanted to - thanks for the clarification

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Another great read. Im definitely gonna start designing my obsy now :D

With regards to planning permission being required, this can vary depending on your given situation. If in doubt I would strongly advise that you contact your local planning authority who will let you know if planning permission is required.

Having said that, a little advice below:

If you are on whats called designated land (Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), a Conservation area or World Heritage Site, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) to name a few) then you will need planning permission for what would otherwise be allowed under permitted development rights given to land owners under the General Permitted Development Order.

Have a read of this:

Planning Portal - Permitted Development Rights

And this:

The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Amendment) (No. 2) (England) Order 2008

Generally we are looking at Class E - something which is incidental to the enjoyment of the occupants of the dwelling house.

Providing the following rules are met then you should be ok - however, if in doubt seek professional advice.

1. The new building or enclosure, together with all existing buildings (including the dwelling house) must not be greater than 50% of the land.

2. It cannot be built foward of any principle elevation formed by the dwellinghouse

3. Must be single story.

4. There are limits on height - 4m for a dual pitched roof; 2.5m if it is within 2m of the boundary; 3m in any other case.

5. Any eaves must be no higher than 2.5m

There are other rules that apply so please read the full section, but the ones listed above are the main points to consider.

HTH

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I'm waiting for my neighbor to acquire the small digger so not a lot of physical work has been done. I've spent best part of this long weekend bookmarking various websites and costing out materials. Hopefully by the end of the week I'll have some additional funding in place and I'll have some idea of when we can start purchasing materials and hiring equipment

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Everything seems to take such a long time, doesn't it? But having a small digger available will make light work of digging out the plot and particularly the hole for the pier foundations. It's taken me about a week and a lot of hard work to dig my pier hole! But it's done now and I'm sorting out reinforcement. Trouble is, there's other jobs that have to take priority.

I see you have a tree right behind your plot - I hope that doesn't hinder your view too much. My first thought was that you already had a good base in that patio but I presume other factors came into it.

Edited by Gina
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Hi,

The tree is effectively NNE and trust me it will be pruned before building commences (I did ask a chap who cut down the hedge at the back to trim it but he didn't have a chain saw powerful enough). Trust me I was lucky enough to get permission to take up half the top patio to re-locate the shed from the other half... and as you can see there is the froggy sandpit to contend with (wife's a childminder ).

It's so frustrating having to wait on others, but the ground is so hard, and I have to watch what I do due to a previous back injury I have little choice but to wait for the digger. I did look at hiring one, but wouldn't know how to drive one and would probably end up destroying the garden !!

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I thought you'd worked it all out :D Yes, it's certainly frustrating - I agree!! And yes, you need to be careful with your back. So easy to forget and overdo things. Good luck :)

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It's so frustrating having to wait on others, but the ground is so hard, and I have to watch what I do due to a previous back injury I have little choice but to wait for the digger. I did look at hiring one, but wouldn't know how to drive one and would probably end up destroying the garden !!

Controlling a mini-digger isn't that hard at all, but it does take longer than it would to dig your foundations to get the hang of things and during that time you do tend to wave the bucket about and knock things over, so unless you have a clear space to work in it's often easier to let someone with a bit of practice do it.

James

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8/5/11 - Update

Well there is no going back now !

The guy next door turned up with his digger and I'm pleased to say it managed to get through the side gate JUST !

Next job will be hiring a mixer, and laying the footings down for the wall !

It's finally happening... :D

post-23388-133877600865_thumb.jpg

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8/5/11 - Update

Well there is no going back now !

The guy next door turned up with his digger and I'm pleased to say it managed to get through the side gate JUST !

Next job will be hiring a mixer, and laying the footings down for the wall !

It's finally happening... :D

You know when you're too deep in astronomy when you see a picture like this and think 'I could remove that digger arm and mount a big dobsonian on that!"

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