Sunday, 29 November 2009


Yesterday we spent all day sorting out what sockets, lights and light switches, phone points, and TV points we wanted in what room and where. This took a surprisingly long time as although all this was marked on a drawing from the architect, we still wanted to walk though what they had done and we added and changed a few things along the way.

We can now talk to an electrician and get a quote for the labour only work. We're still in two minds about whether to do the work ourselves or have an electrician in to do it. The problem with doing it ourselves, or so we thought, was certification of the installation work and final connection. Now the electrical regulations have changed an electrician won't sign off work he hasn't done himself. However, Building Control will, so this does still give us the option to do it if we want to.

It was really nice to talk about actually living in the house rather than the construction aspect. A bit disappointed that we couldn't finish staining but it was too damp.

Update on the cat repellant crystals - Wem Urban cats are obviously a hard ring to crack as they are not in the least bit repelled, hence cat mess on top of the cat crystals yesterday morning. Ever get the feeling you're being laughed at?

Saturday, 21 November 2009

Brick By Brick

Our Eurobrick system was delivered yesterday and what fun and games that was! We joked in the morning that Darran should wear his high-vis coat in case he needed to direct traffic and we weren't wrong!

The lorry arrived at about ten to eight with half the load on, and another lorry would be arriving about two hours later with the rest. When we say 'load' we mean (in total) :-
  • 18,421 brick slips in various forms
  • 86 8ftx4ft backer panels
  • 7 rolls of jointing tape
  • 4000 black washers (part of the fixings that secure the panel to the house)
  • 4000 screws
  • 300 600ml sachets of adhesive
  • 80 bags of lime based mortar
  • 6 pointing bags
  • 6 pointing bag tips
  • 3 adhesive guns
  • 10 adhesive gun nozzles

The first lorry had a folk lift to move the pallets from the lorry out on the road to the plot. This worked fine, but would have been much better had there not been a dim-wit on the controls who was scared to do anything other than leave them outside the garage. This didn't please us as we wanted all the brick pallets in the garage, and now we were going to have to unpack and move the bricks. He was also unloading his lorry traffic side so was blocking one lane with the lorry and one lane with the forklift when he was getting off the next pallet, hence traffic duties for Darran! I don't think you could say where we are really has a 'rush hour' but traffic was stacking up!

The second consignment arrived and this driver was much better and lifted 4 of the larger pallets into the garage left by the other delivery which meant we only had the smaller ones to move.

The backer panels went into the house as these need to be kept away from the elements as do the mortar and glue.

So now all that is left is to fix 86 backer panels and stick 18,421 bricks. If anyone out there didn't gain their Brownie/Scout badge for brick-sticking now could be your time to shine! Register your interest here!

Talking of badges, I have nearly got my Wood Staining Badge! I'm about half way round the windows and doors. They are coming up really well and the stain is adding a nice depth to them.

Today is calmer. We have been to the plot and measured for the plinth around the house which we need to erect before we can brick. We have also measured for the garage doors and have discovered the utility room wall may need to move if we want 8ft doors. Now we're thinking about the plumbing so we can either brick if it's nice weather and if not get on with the plumbing inside.

Off to the garden centre this afternoon to get some cat deterrent crystals - I know they go against the grain with me being a cat lover, but the amount of cat mess isn't funny anymore!

Monday, 16 November 2009

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Last week I looked at what vegetable seeds I'm going to order to plant next year. It's nice to be thinking about things to do with the house and moving in that don't involve a screw gun, nail, or expanding foam!

We're going to have two raised vegetable beds in the left hand side of the garden where we can grow veggies and herbs, and some soft fruit like raspberries. I'm going to start this next year as seeds need to be planted from February for next year's crops. I've wanted to grow vegetables for years but never had the space so I'm really excited about it.

We just hope the neighbourhood cats don't use the beds as their litter tray - we do seem to have a bit of a cat-mess-problem at the moment. As I keep hinting to Darran LOUDLY we really need our own to sort them out!

Saturday, 14 November 2009

Close That Window And Shut That Door!

The windows and doors arrived yesterday and are all installed and sealed. They are absolutely perfect, we are so pleased with them. I am especially pleased with the front door. I love heavy, chunky front doors and ours is definitely that.

They have one coat of stain on them already as protection, but will need about another 3 coats to make them properly weather proof.

The house now looks like a proper house and has given our enthusiasm and motivation another boost. It actually now looks like something you can live in!

An update on other things; the electricity was connected on Wednesday so we now have live power on site, and we also now have guttering up which looks really nice and blends in well to the roof (hence why you can't really see it in the pictures).

The Eurobrick System is being delivered on Friday and hopefully by then we will have cleared a space to put it in!

Sunday, 8 November 2009

Screeding. Done.

The screeding is finished! Hooray!

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Underfloor Heating And Screed

Right. We're back. It's been a bit quiet recently and that's because we have been sorting out the underfloor heating and putting down the floor screed.

The underfloor heating went pretty much without a hitch. We didn't have quite enough pipe for the ensuite, thought we could join in the wall, but then decided to rip the pipe up and put some more down that would make one continuous loop (each room needs to be on it's own loop or 'zone' to those of you who are underfloor heating geeks!).

I found putting the pipe down had really good comedy value, but as it was pointed out I wasn't the one holding the reel and trying to twist is around the corners. We nearly had the slinky effect once when Darran let go trying to lean the reel against the wall, but we rescued it at the last minute. It went down a lot quicker than we thought and we're pleased with the result.

We put the screed down last week. Darran did really well as he hadn't done screed before, and a huge thank you to Dad for driving the truck back and forth to the readymix plant to get the screed, I think we now owe him a chiropractor appointment!

We only have the front bedroom and some of the hall left to do and are hoping to take a day off over the next couple of weeks to finish it. The aim is to get all the screed down before the 13th November which is when the windows and doors are delivered so we're not shovelling screed over new frames.

We have also confirmed and placed the order for the Eurobrick system which should be ready for delivery the week of the 16th November so that will give us something to do over Christmas - temperature permitting.

We're now on to finalising plumbing and electrics, ready for the next stage as if it's not the weather for sticking bricks we can be doing something inside.