Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
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.
Monday, January 21, 2008
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.
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
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.
Sunday, January 13, 2008
We've taken deliveries of towel radiators (Molly had requested a purple one for their bathroom but thankfully B&Q haven't realised there's a market need out there yet); three Grohe showers purchased online from Bathrooms365; we've also purchased two bathroom units from B&Q, with slightly adventurous acid lime coloured fronts; and there is a shower tray on the way which should complete all purchasing for the bathrooms except for flooring and tiling;
The kitchen design is being tweaked hither and thither but we are hoping to be making a decision by the end of next week, essentially the decision is between Magnet and John Lewis; both have been good on customer attention so far and both have well manufactured products, the latter have a slightly better selection of unit sizes which is a plus point but we haven't had the final quotes yet!
The search for slate floor tiles and hardwood flooring is next (Steve's job) and also for sliding wardrobes for the bedroom and hall (my job); when we finish this house build we should have so much spare time...I wonder?
On site the work on installing the Heat Recovery Ventilation system ducting has commenced. Steve spent a bit of time with the electrician as the system was new to him, I don't pretend I can explain the detail so will let the engineer expand on that soon. The principle is that the house is so well insulated and airtight that ventilation is an important requirement, and the system we are installing continuously extracts stale, warm, moisture laden air from the house and replaces it with fresh air from outside, transferring the latent heat from the former to the latter in the process . Other electrical work is largely complete for this stage with the positions for electrical sockets and other outlets for lighting, telephone, DAB, SAT/TV, RJ45 (computer network - CAT5e cabling) all firmed up. Thankfully we'll be having some of those neat multimedia sockets so the house doesn't look like an electrical showroom.
I have been striving to get quotes from landscaping firms to undertake some tree planting around the perimeter before the current planting season is over. I am submitting an application for a grant scheme which the National Park operate and although the rules are numerous I hope to get some help towards improving the local landscape. In addition I have been perusing the website of Butterworths which is an Ayrshire based organic apple nursery. Last year I missed the planting season but want to get 12 apple trees planted shortly with a mix of eating and culinary varieties. The hens currently occupy the orchard plot in its bare and bleak state so I'm sure they'd welcome the trees. Butterworths is a really specialist and very well regarded small nursery and they have many old Scottish species which I hope we can have here. I shall include a cider variety too so that we can dust off Steve's Vigo apple press in future Autumns.
And finally..we did watch some TV this week and were pleased to see the Hugh FW and Jamie Oliver programmes on chickens. Obviously we are pleased to have our own former battery hens which have flourished and are still laying eggs through the winter. We don't have chicken very often because organic is expensive (but delicious) but we are wondering whether to get some chickens for the table as well as for their eggs.
5 more nights in the caravan ('til mid March anyway).......
Wednesday, January 9, 2008
As daylight arrived there was debris all over the place but no obvious significant damage. The house has little building paper remaining and the roof sheets were off which means water penetration yet again but these are remediable. A friend phoned to see if we needed rescuing which was very thoughtful. The notable shock was that the hen house was on its side about 4metres from its previous position. I opened the door with trepidation expecting some unpleasant scene and can thankfully report no casualties. Poor devils must have got a bit of a shock. We've put the house back on its feet and replaced the bits and bobs.
This afternoon the storm has abated but there are some very active clouds with an awful lot of wind still blasting around. If it gets worse then we're staying at a friend's house tonight!
Monday, January 7, 2008
At Christmas we loved hearing from those of you we know who look regularly at the blog, it was exciting to get a bit of feedback so we just want to say please feel free to write your comments online. Its nice knowing you're out there!
Site is back to full strength today. Its quite chilly but the heavy snowfall is on the hills rather than here at 70m asl. The builder's current estimate for completion is end March/mid April which gives us a guide for the next few months. So we will be back in the caravan mid-March. We'll also be available for housesitting!!!!!!!!!
Sunday, January 6, 2008
So far we've bought the sanitaryware for the three bathrooms, external insulaton system, chosen the wood stove and heat pump, and ordered and fitted all windows and doors - all of which we separated from the main build contract to retain maximum freedom of choice. Today our fridge freezer was delivered (Liebherr A+ rated) marking the first delivery of kitchen items.
The focus now is on the overall kitchen as Debs mentioned in her last blog, with Magnet and John Lewis very much in the running and we should have costed designs from both by the end of this week.
With regard to the overall build program, the joiners we're back last Friday fitting the internal airtightness/vapour membrane and tomorrow we should have a full crew including the slaters who probably have around two weeks of work to do in order to complete the roof. That said, we have snow and gales forecast tonight which might make roofing work a little tricky in the morning!
Friday, January 4, 2008
This morning we went to check out kitchens at John Lewis. There are quite a few elements of the build package we are responsible for supplying, kitchens and bathrooms being two of the more visually obvious but other things such as the ground source heat pump, pavatherm and internal flooring rest with us. This gives us more control over the final result although the whole design and build process is all consuming and full of decisions to be made. Being on site every day is cause and effect of that.
Thursday, January 3, 2008
Photo taken at 4pm this afternoon as the light was starting to fail. Steve had returned from a meeting in Kinross-shire a couple of hours previously and was concerned about the road conditions as I was travelling from Perthshire. In this age of instant communications the fact that I didn't have a mobile phone today (cos he was using mine!) heightened the concern......if we weren't constantly available we'd never think twice about it.
Being in the caravan is fine with the snow because at least it means the air temperature is around zero whereas in the week before Christmas it was quite quite miserable with several days of frozen pipes making life unpleasant. In a strange kind of way, it also adds an extra layer of insulation to the caravan roof, igloo-style! We were pleased to be away for Christmas even if only for a few days.
Hogmanay and the first couple of days of 2008 were the usual round of house parties/invitations so we've spent many hours in real houses with good friends, lovely heating and comfortable living. Thankfully Scotland is blessed with two public holidays at New Year as well as a huge level of hospitality (which came first?).