The Foundations

Wrong bucket

Our trenches needed to be 600mm wide and 900mm deep (or so we were told by Building Control, who came out and assessed our site and looked at the soil structure). Typically although we had a wide selection of JCB buckets we didn't have one 600mm wide, though a good friend of ours (Les) said we could borrow his.

Les kindly came over and dropped his bucket off, but it was not until several days later when we had fitted it to our JCB and were poised ready to start that we realised it was the wrong size!

Les was highly apologetic; apparently he had never actually measured the bucket and just thought when looking at it that it was the right size. We are lucky to have another friend (George) with a selection of JCB buckets. He swiftly came to the rescue and we were able to start.




Digging in a straight line is harder than it sounds especially with an old JCB with masses of play in it. We definitely became more skilful as time went on!


The other problem was making sure we worked our way round the site in such a way as not to cut off our escape route. We did not want the digger or trailer to end up marooned.




In the end we were pretty pleased with our results, so gave Building Control and Self Build Zone (our structural warranty provider) a call to come out and check everything before we poured the concrete.

Concrete pump


We were given the green light so in came the lorries of ready mix. Les had advised us to hire a pump which enabled us to pour the concrete quite accurately into the trenches rather than having to 'wheel barrow' it into the right place. At £470 for half a day we thought it was definitely worth the money. We managed the whole job (four lorry loads) in just a couple of hours and were able to take the rest of the day off while the concrete set. Well that was the theory, in actual fact we rushed off to set up our stand at a show where we were flat out for the next two days serving our Free-Range, Rare Breed sausages, bacon and pork burgers.


Emma's Pigs stand


Pouring concrete