How to Build Confidently Using Appropriate Size Projects

What do I mean by appropriate size projects?

Well take these two houses. I consider them large projects. And are featured first to give you some idea of what you can aim for and expect to carry out one day.

As part of learning how to build or restore something. We like to know the size of the project. Is it a small project, a large project like the above or somewhere in between?

Knowing this will tell us how long the project will take. How much we have to spend on materials. And how much to pay friends or colleagues working with us.

Maybe at the beginning it will be just you by yourself. With a volunteer perhaps..

So it makes sense to sort projects by size:

How to build:

  • Small Projects - - -  New/Repairs
  • Medium Projects - Building/Renovation Stages 
  • Large Projects - - -  Completion/Reflection

Small Projects

Repairing anything around the house can be enormously satisfying. Small steps first and choosing anything you feel you can do - inside or outside.

Small projects will normally include repair work and should only take up to a day or as little as one hour.

It doesn't have to be perfect first time.

"Don't let perfectionism get in the way of mediocrity" - my wife and partner gently reminds me from time to time. Just enjoy the practical activity of repairing:

Any tiny repair can bring you huge satisfaction out of all proportion to the size of the task.

Small Projects can be part of medium and large size projects.

Medium Projects.

Medium size projects can apply to new projects, restoration projects and garden projects.

For me medium size jobs can take from a day to several weeks. You may have your own definition.

The main thing is not to over reach yourself. Select your own medium project and see how many steps it takes.

Is it 1, 2, 3 or probably more? It will amaze you how many steps you may need.  From beginning to end.

Many medium size projects from this list below were carried out here during an explosion of building activity.They are fairly new.

Restoration projects  will come later.

These medium size  projects can be part of a large size project.



  • Workbench, 
  • foundation,
  • bookshelf, 
  • steps,
  • ramp,
  • bench,
  • wardrobe,
  • pergola,
  • bookcase...

The bales have just arrived at the site.

We waited for a dry weekend. And keen volunteers.

We got the straw bale garden shed completed in three weekends.

Message for Carpenter

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We shall include the pergola.

It's fair to call it a medium project.

With the curved pergola rafter tails.

Many enjoy it's wonderful shape. See if you agree.

How to build foundations?  You will see the piles on the engineers plans. As well as the more technical calculations.

You won't get involved with pile foundations. But it is a Victorian

dump we are talking about. There's no other way to support the house at the moment.

While the piling is proceeding we must not forget the piles for the fireplace.

The piles have to take the weight of the fireplace and the chimney.
We got them in position.

How to build a wall using timber frames.

 Followed by the roof.

We have already looked at small projects you can restore or repair? In and around the house or apartment?

Here we are looking at medium size restoring projects.

You might like to restore. Or carry out any of the following:

  • Walls
  • Windows
  • Doors
  • Painting
  • Chimney
  • Furniture

Large Projects

Large scale projects bring together many small and medium size projects.

Two examples are:

            An old neglected house needing attention.   

          I looked at the building plot and was not impressed. A year 

          later I came back. Something was different. The grass was 

          cut the shrubs were pruned and the pond was tidy. 

And here are more examples of our own renovations.

From the other side.  A beautiful house with a spacious walled garden in the centre of Norwich.

Ashdell House became a family home.

House Restoration on a Grade II Listed 
17th Century Farmhouse

Builder cartoons by Hamilton Wilson

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