Friday, 3 December 2010

Upstairs and the Snow

So it has been ages since we posted properly about what has been happening on the inside of our house - partly due to being in it and not noticing as much, and partly due to weddings that have kept us busy for a few weekends in a row!
Things have moved on - even if we haven't started decorating, we have started sorting, and living in the house and finding out how it all works. The space is fantastic, works really well for us - roll on a bit more cash and the balcony and the place will be awesome.
kitchen in use
dining and kitchen
living room

The solar water heating and immersion are great - as long as Emily doesn't have a giant bath and empty the hot water - although there is a top up immersion function so not that bad really!? It will be very satisfying when we have solar electric as well to run the immersion.
Heating is slightly less great at the moment - we need the stove on, most of the time
that we are here. stove
Upstairs gets warm within a few hours, downstairs not really. Sleeping is fine, we are warm in bed, and in the morning after keeping the house warm during the day, the warmth has spread more evenly through the house overnight, warming downstairs a little bit more, so clearly the MVHR does work. Apparently according to both the architect and the MVHR man, this year will be colder than any other whilst we get the thermal mass of the place warmed up - and with it minus degrees outside that is clearly harder than at other times! It does give us an opportunity, however, of some great snow photos.
owl face
Do you like our guard-owl?
tall tower
Very glad we did go for a stove, and not have nothing at all, as was originally suggested otherwise we would have been really cold.....
window icicle

The metal work around the windows has also started now. It was originally going to be light grey, then changed to dark grey to match the window colour, but accidentally has been done the light colour. We "hummed and hahed" for a day as to whether the light colour was right (the fact that it would be another 4 weeks at least if it wasn't helped the decision), but actually the light colour looks good, and increases the light coming in to the house lots. Unfortunately the weather has stopped them finishing it, and also means the rendering won't happen for a while, as the temp needs to be 4 degrees minimum for the rendering to happen......
balcony doors
kitchen windows
bathroom window step stair window cill
We have a week off coming up soon, so hopefully will get some painting done, and be able to show some more photos, particularly of downstairs, ready for the family invasion at christmas!
Finally feeling for our builders in this weather....

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

A splash of joyous Sydney colour!

A parcel arrived yesterday, it was sitting on the doorstep after we walked home from town. We'd seen "The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest" (excellent) and when we came out - it was still snowing, and the buses were all cancelled. (No problem for us, we live pretty near town).

And this morning we looked in the parcel and experienced a flash of Australian summery colour.
sydney tea-towels 2

(I know they're Marimekko, and hence Finnish, but look at this!)

sydney tea-towels 1

A lovely house-warming gift from M-H and Sandra!

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Air tightness test

So I appreciate we haven't blogged for ages - once we moved in the excitement of being here overtook actually posting, however we want to keep a record of things so here is the latest update.
We had the air tightness test - essentially pressurising the house and measuring how many times the air changes to keep the pressure. We were aiming for <3 but it was 4.8 and some gaps have been found under the french doors both upstairs and down, and in the upstairs loo. It seems that the builders will sort these issues out within the contact, but there is also some leakage around all the beams that make up the base of the first floor - the old roof joists. This means sealing round all the front ones with some sort of silicone sealant, and then taping all the rear ones prior to getting the back of the house rendered once the balcony is done. These bits are of course not in the original contract - so more money here we come!
Just to add some entertainment the shower is leaking this morning......
Luckily the plumber has been round already and it is the sealant around the shower tray that needs to be re-done - the bad news being that the parentoids come to visit this weekend and not good having a leaking shower. Oh well!
More pictures of downstairs and an update will follow soon........

Monday, 11 October 2010

We're in! (And slow to post).

We had the stuff that had been in storage delivered on 22nd Sept, but moved in ourselves on that Friday - moments before my brother and his family arrived for the kids birthday weekend!
Here's an idea of what they found - just a little chaos.
study chaos 2study chaos
sitting/dining chaos
Clare doing the hostly thing:first guests
D'you think they had fun?first guests 1
Actually, I think they did - we took the kids to Stomp which was fantastic (though just a bit long for Ben) and then they ran about through the fountains in market square. Childhood bliss! (Alice really seemed to like her neck-warmer I'd double-knitted for her - may have a pic somewhere...).
A little detail of wool getting put away...yarn!

Anyway, things are moving on with the unpacking - here are a few pics of upstairs.
The study (Clare's desk on the left all tidy, yarn store to the right)clare's desk and wool store
and my desk on the other side (chaos of course)my deska nd shelves

And the rest of the upstairs - going in a circle from the kitchen kitchen getting there 2
more kitchen kitchen getting there

sitting area sitting area

and the dining area dining area.

More photos to come from downstairs and outside - Clare's been sorting out her bike and tool store. Hope to get those up soon!

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Two weeks no post, so sorry

A combo of busy-ness and stress got in the way of posting - we even uploaded pics last week!

The guys have been working very hard, specially Darren, managing the whole endeavour on the ground).

the stairs are in, and look fabulous! The blue you see in these pics is paper carefully wrapped around the handrail to avoid staining and damage, and the treads are covered in hardboard for similar reasons.
hallwayhallway 2
In the first you can see the front door, the beam and the curved wall of the bathroom; in the second the corridor through to the door to the spare room.

Every window is in now, even the door to the courtyard, though unfortunately there seems to be a very slight bend in this, and despite the guys best efforts it may cock up the airtightness test and need replacing. Ho hum.
door to courtyard

Last weekend we slaved to get the kitchen part of the floor finished so the purple English Rose double sink unit would be ready for the plumber's work (it's still waiting, though in position).
The floor is done with a coat of 50:50 Treatex matt clear and spruce stain first, then another of the matt clear; the wall is Earthborn clay emulsion in fresh Air (brilliant coverage).
As well as the ceiling over the kitchen we (=Clare) did a roll over all the holes where the light fittings were due to go, so we don't have to cut in round them when finishing painting the ceiling.
weekend's accomplishments

english rose in situ
(The colour isn't quite right - less burgundy, more aubergine, though not quite that either).

This weekend we've done most of the rest of the floor upstairs (there are a few areas we couldn't get to due to the ever-present piles of insulation). We did it much better this time after our trial run last week!

Everywhere is plaster-boarded and almost everywhere plastered; all the light-fittings are in upstairs, and several sockets have been corrected (meant to be brushed metal upstairs not white plastic). So between Monday morning and Tuesday night they only have to plumb in all the loos, the kitchen sinks;
fit a fuse-board and complete the electrics (including ANY lights in the shower-room);
finish the plastering;
finish the railing round the stairs;railing
finish fitting the hot water tank and the MVHR (for which parts awaited AGAIN). mvhr, tank
On Monday our ecokitchen arrives and the hob and oven need to be fitted in that (should be v easy for an electrician though). The hood needs to get up on the wall.

And the yard needs clearing.


No worries about guests on Friday, then.... At least it's family!

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Our week off

We've both had most of the week off (I worked Friday, but that's all) as we had previously hoped to be moving in this week. Instead, it's been a productive week in other ways (including seeing Toy Story, The Girl Who Played with Fire and Scott Pilgrim and the Evil Exs and chilling together).

Our oven has arrived, we are waiting for the extraction hood, and the other kitchen unit is confirmed for mid-September (we need to order the hob to go in it).

We've painted the stairs (really this is more workshop p*rn for you, Tony!)
painting stairsstairs painted

The rooflet has fallen off the door to the road, happily missing Darren who just moments before walked under it!
rooflet off

Most of the ducting is in (and the MVHR due to arrive this week...).
ductingbedroom ceiling
We've got kitchen windows kitchen windows
A sliding door onto the (imaginary) balcony
balcony window
and a lovely over-stair opening window we will never be able to reach!
overstairs window

The two little windows in the south wall upstairs are rather darker than we expected, but we like them.
coloured windows

And the floating engineered oak floor is partly down upstairs. Looks lovely!

We've done some sample paint squares upstairs too, deciding between white and fresh air (a bit cooler). We've ordered the Treatex Hard Wax oil for the floor (spruce ie white half/half with plain).

And we've handed in our notice for the end of September and arranged for our stuff to arrive from storage on 22nd Sept. We should be in for Alice and Ben's birthday visit! (Though chaos will certainly still reign).

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

There are more

So yesterday we got back from a weekend away for me to do the triathlon, and saw the outside of the house with 6 windows in BUT THERE ARE MORE! Our architect Gil sent us some photos he took on Friday, from the inside of the house, and they have done loads.
Here is a collection of window photos.....
bedroom windowsfront door
spare room windows
spare room windows 2old window
shower room windowshower room window 2

My favourite bit being that the windows onto the pavement (spare room) are in, with the UPVC still in situ outside complete with net curtains still!?

Finally an example of the architrave and a close up of the pale grey inside colour; architrave

So we have been brave and are handing in our notice today - we are getting a little bit excited about the reality of moving in at the end of this month