After a year of planning we dug the 1st turf this week!

My plan was to build the garage first. This would give me the opportunity to:

Plant & Loo
Monday 0830 - 3 ton digger and loo (£20/week) in position!
The existing bungalow (which will must be demolished on completion) and my beloved Saab convertible which will shortly be replaced by a pick-up for the duration of building.
The 1st shovel-full removed and ..............
dumped in the ditch along the boarder of the site which we have taken the opportunity to pipe
Things rapidly get messy!
This trench had to be dug to 1.5m (against 1.0m) due to a fir tree several meters away in the neighbors garden. Be very wary of trees - they can add considerably to the cost of the groundworks!
Yours truly preparing for a very early start on the 1st day of laying footings!
and the digger!
The 1st half of the 19sq/ms of concrete is laid. Much of it had to be raked to the back corner due to a lack of access for the dumper. Make sure you order enough and get the right strength of concrete. Part-loads are more expensive but if you don't order enough - a little bit extra can be extremely costly. Also check with the specification, the building regulations and your warranty/insurance for the strength required. There are many combinations and you must obviously satisfy the most stringent requirement. I have an NHBC policy and they required GEN 3.
The second load arrives!
All footings in - time for a breather!
1st muck-away. Soil removed increases in volume by about a third. Shop around for the best rates but if you don't have a really big (and therefore quick) method of loading the lorry (we didn't) you will either get charged waiting time or more likely the companies will only provide smaller (and more expensive) self-loading lorries. When possible try to get something delivered (e.g. sand, limestone) inbound and muck-away outbound. This won't always help as the tip and the quarry are often (usually) in different places.
16t of Limestone. Sounds a lot but we needed 32t for the garage for the garage slab. As ever, the bigger the load the cheaper the cost per/ton but you must plan ahead. You may get the amount you want the following day but it is unlikely. Try to plan your deliveries at least a week in advance - difficult when you are new to this business! After a few COD deliveries you may be able to set-up a credit account. I now have one.