February 2016

Painting started

We have been applying matt paint to the first floor for a week or so but still have to finish having been slowed a little by the need for the plasterers to finish the skim coat around the stair well. On an optimistic note the plasterers (Dave and Rob) expect to have finished in a couple of days. This will probably be too late for us to paint around the light switches and power sockets (the plaster needs to dry) - I suppose we will have now have to mask them up - an extra job.

plastering gable

We decided to build the IKEA wardrobe frames over last weekend and they went up relatively quickly (just pay close attention to the instructions). We have also installed the mirror sliding doors on the wardrobe in the guest bedroom. Adding around 2 square metres of mirror door greatly enhances the light levels and enables the garden to be seen when in bed.

Rob and Matt, the electricians, are scheduled to return in a few days for the second fix - hopefully we have everything apart from one light fitting. This was ordered last November and now as an expected date of June! Unfortunately it is the one in the most inaccessible place to fix. It will be great to have some power sockets in action.

The excavation required for the external insulation covering the basement sides and below ground around the rear of the house didn't take as long as we thought but did require more skips!


Pegasus have returned and they plan to complete this task this week (weather permitting). The render below ground is EPS (closed cell) rather than the graphite XPS used 'above ground'. The EPS is also covered with bitumen rather than the coloured render.

The gable is now complete apart from the final colour render coat. It already looks very smart from the Nature Reserve.


Nearing the end?

At the monthly site meeting this week it was hoped that the house could be handed back to us in five weeks time (early March). Of course all that really means is that Glenys and I will have to then move the house to the finished product. We certainly don't plan moving in until fully finished!

We started cleaning the first floor and bought some emulsion paint two weeks ago. But painting can't commence until the cleaning has taken place and that really requires the plasterers to have finished the skim coats. Well most of the skim has now been applied to the first floor and skim has now been applied to the Lounge/Dining Room on the Ground Floor.
(Photo below shows Dave and Rob finishing the skim in the Dining Room.) The skim needs some time to dry but next weekend we will be painting.


Electricity North West have installed Voltage monitoring equipment and it will be on-site for one week. Hopefully the evidence will convince them to make adjustments at the sub-station. It is rather frustrating to have the PV inverter to trip out when it is sunny outside. I noticed 2500 watt generation on one of the occasions the inverter hadn't tripped out - the highest since the December install.

voltage monitoring

The plumbing is now almost complete but the extended bath waste I bought last November proved to be about 25mm too short when we tried to fit it today. Hopefully Cabuchon can identify a make that works - clearly all extended bath wastes are not the same.

Today marked the last day on-site of Gideon (the joiner) - his work has been exemplary and he has coped very well with the strange angles the house provides. We have asked him to make the doors for the plant room and to also hang the glass internal doors. When he returns we hope he's impressed with our progress.

Now the scaffolding is down (we are unclear why the scaffolders left a few poles in situ) the house looks more finished. There is certainly more light into the house especially after the windows have been cleaned. Most of the remaining work Liam and Chris need to do is 'outside' - digging outside the walls for the insulation to be applied , providing French Drains front and rear, relaying the drains and, finally, rebuilding the garden walls. In between all this Pegasus need to return and apply the insulation/render - let's hope for dry weather.