27th Sept 2023: How I built a house, by hand, solo, with no building experience by ‘Micro House’

Come along to The Outhouse (12A Broughton Street Lane, Edinburgh) at 6.30 pm for a talk on ‘How I built a house, by hand, solo, with no building experience’ by ‘Micro House’.  Everyone is welcome to the free event; people are warmly invited to bring an item of food to put on the table and help take away everything at the end so there is no waste.


Title of talk:

How I built a house, by hand, solo, with no building experience.


Bullet points of what you would like to talk about:

  • Planning permission and building standards – what was needed?
  • Groundworks – drains and supplies
  • Foundation – screw piles
  • Timber Frame – the structure
  • Roof – reclaimed scotch slate
  • Cladding – burnt timber / shou sugi ban
  • Insulation and U-values – aiming for near-zero energy


A few paragraphs on your subject:

I built a house in my garden, with no experience in building, no trade, no training. I’d never built so much as a shed before this. And it’s been built to Scottish building standards, which means it’s a habitable house. I also made it complicated…

I used screw piles for a foundation, with no guidance, and nobody to copy. I used reclaimed Scotch slates for the roof, learning from an essay I found online. And I’m trying to achieve a level of insulation which will need little to no energy to heat. All of this from a base knowledge of zero.

So I’ll try my best to go through the processes I went through to go from no knowledge, to building something which, I hope, will last for centuries.


A few paragraphs about you:

I’m a scientist and engineer. I work in a very strange, exceptionally specific job, designing chemicals around the world. Some day I might also present on my very weird job.

I’m from the North-East originally, but came to university here in Edinburgh and have lived here for my second stint for the last 4 years.



What free internet knowledge resources would you recommend ?

There’s some resources on my website ((www.gre.scot). But aside from that, the following book was the source of large chunk of my knowledge:

Building Construction Handbook by Chudley and Greeno

Read this book cover to cover and you’ll understand a lot more about the buildings you’re surrounded by!


What are your weblinks?


Blog – tiktok microhouseedinburgh

Any others….Instagram, youtube – microhouseedinburgh – best place for people to contact me