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

Monday, 30 August 2010


We dropped in to have look round on our way back from Bristol/Exeter/Monmouth shenanigans,and we couldn't get in! 

You might think that this would be met with fear and loathing in las vegas, but NO! For the reason was - this:
front door

Why yes, that is a beautiful new front door, to which we currently have no key. And here's an upstairs window:
The balcony doors:
balcony windows
bathroom windows (if you squint a bit):
bathroom windows
And maHOOSive bedroom windows, too:

bedroom windows

Totally craptastic photos, of course, but such is life.

I must add that Clare has finally done a triathlon - she did the 'Little Woody' (I know! I'm calling it the Little Ted) half ironman.
transition faffbiking in
She did well, timing good etc. Details on facebook, I understand!

Congrats my love....

Sunday, 22 August 2010

site meeting update.....

So another site meeting on Friday - some progress but also some frustration.

We now have an installer and plan for the flue, which will be a fan assisted flue so it is shorter and doesn't need planning, but he is on holiday and no-one has chased it up or worked out when he will fit it......
Our main builder and joiner Darren and Chris are going to put in the pipework for the MVHR as they cannot find another installer, and then hopefully the green building store will attach it to the machine. Unfortunately no-one seems to have chased up why we still don't have the main machine, when we are going to get it and when it will be installed....
The windows HAVEN'T arrived - hopefully the end of next week, although no-one had phoned after Monday to check if they had arrived in the country yet.....
No plans at all about who will do the air tightness test, and when it will be done....

Seems all a little bit frustrating as other than more insulation downstairs and in the roof space we haven't really got any further forward than when I got cross 2 weeks ago, the same issues that were stalling progress then, are still stalling progress now. However, I did let them know that we have to be in for the end of September, as we are handing in our notice on September 1st, and have family coming the last weekend of September and they need somewhere to stay - this has given us another provisional completion date of September 17th - not holding my breath though!

Stairs making progress

I got to go to the workshop at William Woodsend's (our builder) to see our staircase in progress. Clare was at work (she got to the site meeting the next day when I was at work! We're both doing lots of extra shifts at the moment...). The workshop is LOVELY - the building was built (for and presumably by WW) in the late 19th century, backing onto the canal. There's the smallish office area at the roadside, then a vast workshop, with glass pitched roof high above. I only had my phone with me this time, but when we go back I'll get C to take some proper pics.

Arthur, the stair-builder extraordinaire, told me they used to have 25 people working there - now it's only 3. There are massive old benches, full of drilled holes and dents. The floor is dented and has drops of many different paints. It smells great - very woody!

Anyway, the stair is well on the way. The main flight is largely built, with some treads and risers still to be added. Arthur explained that the string (stringer?) - that is, the bit up the side of the stair tying the different steps together - is made of one straight part and the triangles to go out to each tread are cut separately and allowed to sit for a few days, so once in they won't dry and distort. Then they are jointed into the main straight.

You can see the newel post (which will be cut shorter) slotted onto the stair here, and the next tread/riser combo in front of the stair.
lying down stairs

And here it's like looking down our new stairs....
looking down the stairs

Arthur feels we should paint the stringer and risers in the workshop before the stair goes to site (so we don't make a mess, and so we can reach! Also, we can do it before the oak spindles are attached to the stringer). So that's our week off booked up, should be fun.

On the way out I saw all the cutting shapes for different mouldings - going back years, scattered over a bench. They sharp and shaped, and apparently it would be illegal to make ones like this now (they don't have a safety thingy) but theya re things of beauty and work well!

Sunday, 15 August 2010

toys out the pram

That was Clare at the meeting a week ago. We think we got the point across re getting ON WITH IT... we'll see. I got back today from Knitcamp to a Clare who said that nothing new had been done this week - in fact, she was Wrong diddly wrong re that.

Update from last week, by Clare
So having had a date for completion a month after the original, the most recent site meeting gave us a further few weeks on top of that, at which point I got a bit fed up and grumpy. I explained (slightly toys out pram style) that the MVHR and flue had been on the original plans, and the fact that they still hadn't sorted contractors to put them in was not OK, we were originally held up for the windows with expectation that everything would be finished by the time they arrived but now they are due next week, and we are a long way away from finishing. That we weren't going to pay for the things we had taken off the original electric plans, that were being put in anyway due to the electrician not circulating the correct plans, that it was also not OK that the electrician has pierced both airtightness membranes in 5 places!? We think the builder felt bad about the air tightness breaches, and will fix that, and there seems to have been some movement towards getting contractors for the flue and MVHR - we shall see.....

The good bit about the site meeting was a long chat with the joiner doing the stairs, and seeing plans, getting an idea about how they will work etc. Really exciting and hopefully we will get to see them being made this coming week.
Here is Emily chatting with Charles before I threw the toys!

And evidence of progress that week. They have started to insulate in the roof space, hot and unpleasant work.

The curved wall for the bathroom has been started

And now this week... by Emily

A window has been formed externally, cutting back the stone.
external window
Most of the insulation layer is done downstairs.
more insulation

Plumbing is done in the bathrooms - well, pipes are in positions.
plumbing 1plumbing 2

And the spitfire (aka English rose) kitchen has arrived! It's all wrapped up in the garage but we peered in and we LIKE the colours in the flesh, hurray! The dresser isn't too big (we had no measurements, foolish us) and should fit where we want it, we think.
kitchen wrapped

We are still waiting on the MVHR getting sorted, so in turn the solar installation (basically the tank etc) can be completed; for the flue to be sorted for the stove (now seems it'll be a powered one, then doesn't need to be so tall and no planning permission or weird strapping required. And Gil says the power use so low as not to matter much).