Posts from January 2008

In amongst the quagmire, building rubble, scaffolding and general building site detritus we have signs promising the return of life to the land. There is very little planting to speak of here (so far) but the rhubarb last year was gigantic and gorgeous so its exciting to see new growth. If I get my act together I'll get some buckets over a couple of plants to force some early crop. However as its driving rain and howling wind just now and there's a huge dump of snow forecast it'll certainly not be happening this weekend.

Inside the building the heat pump is being installed. It is a heavy piece of kit and took everyone here today to move it into the utility room. We've agreed its final position and from there Steve and I can order the utility room cabinetry. In a few days time the heating will all be connected and set to work. It'll take quite few days to come through as the pipework is deep in the slab but this will help dry the concrete before we look to putting flooring down. It'll also help to warm the rest of the house. Before the electrician left earlier he switched the heat recovery system on as it is now in place. We're pleased to report it is silent in its operation.

Still raining in Scotland

Where to begin? Like many 'phone conversations and chats if you speak to someone often enough you catch up on lots of news but if you haven't spoken to them for a while you can't think of a thing that you've done. As we've been in our friend's house for a week and have now moved to a holiday house nearby we're not on the internet so blogging has been sporadic in the past 10 days. Activity at the farm has been considerable so we'll let photos explain where we're at.
One of the past day's issues is the internal wallhead height in the upper rooms. As the house is 1.5 storeys the trick is to achieve a well-balanced room which is usable without looking like a triangle and providing lots of awkward corners. The architect has proposed 1.55m wall head in the master bedroom but we personally have huge difficulties 'wasting' all that floorspace behind the joinery/plasterboard. The elevation shown looks west; here we've agreed with the joiner not to put any internal joinery on that side, other than boxing out the flue which can be seen, but to reduce the wallhead on the east elevation to 1.35m. This still entails the 'loss' of floorspace but provides proper walls for placing a bedhead against. The second photo shows the framework in place for that. On one of the landings we're creating an eaves storage cupboard. We're hoping to achieve optimal usable floor space and create a desirable room.


The second photo looks east and shows the framework now at 1.35m, this will be plasterboarded imminently.


Downstairs and the hallway looks a little less finished.



Tomorrow the heating guys return to start work on the heat pump installation in the utility room. Jim, the electrician is connecting the last elements of the heat recovery ventilation system upstairs and will then move downstairs. The wood burning stove arrives tomorrow and the final long lost window arrives. The slates were finished last week and look grand.


We've spent the last three nights in our friend's house and it has been really lovely! Terrific to have warmth, spacious bathrooms, properly hot water, a real fire and plenty of space. I cooked a gorgeous roast dinner yesterday, the first for 7 months at least and it was much appreciated.

Various people have been working on site this weekend as we had pretty good weather. Most of the leadwork to the windows is complete, with just the remainder of the dormer to finish off when it has stopped raining....today is very wet and very cold. The groundworks crew are back and have been building the external brickwork up on the east elevation. Today, inside the house, installation of the ventilation system continues and the joiners have commenced work on the plasterboard ceilings on the upper floor. The slaters haven't progressed too much today because of the weather and unfortunately the rest of the week doesn't look too kind either.

Grand Designs

Good to see Grand Designs back on TV this evening as it was always inspiring before we even thought of building. My overwhelming reaction isn't about the house though - just that the programme doesn't convey the zillions of decisions self-builders make. Obviously from an entertainment point of view it never will as it would make very dull viewing indeed but every day involves so many decisions, not a stressful thing as such but amazingly time absorbing. Thank goodness for t'internet.

Photos

One happy hen, good to see the sunshine again. Although freezing at night time. One house with vapour membrane complete. Imagine the condensation and damp here without a ventilation system in place. No draughts though.
One gorgeous view from our bedroom window.
One selection of electrical tagliatelle feeding into the utility room.One snapshot of infrastructure to the master bedroom en-suite. Heat recovery ventilation, hot and cold water feeds and returns, underfloor heating and soil pipe.

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