Saturday, 31 August 2013

This and that

The past week has seen progress on several fronts, none of which are particularly photogenic.

We started on 2nd fix electrics, including junction boxes for the numerous LED lights and laying the underfloor heating for the en-suite. The latter comes with a natty controller which seems to be able to do everything except make the early morning tea.

A lot more plastering has been completed. Soon we will have finished the wet trades work and most of the mess will be gone. That will be nice. We're getting ready for 2nd fix carpentry, with the internal doors, skirting boards, architraves and internal window cills all to hand now. A start has been made on emulsion painting the walls and ceilings.

I've had initial skirmishes with carpet suppliers and have designed the walk in cupboard layout. The wood stove and fireplace have also been ordered.

The coming week should see the en-suite tiled and even, perhaps, the 2nd fit plumbing completed. Plastering should be finished too.

Three months into project. I think we're still more or less on schedule to finish (at least sufficiently to take up occupancy) by the end of September. No doubt there will be a long "tail" of minor work beyond that.

Monday, 26 August 2013

Windows fitted and glazed

The new windows for the master bedroom and bedroom 2 have been fitted and glazed (with the correct glass). This finally makes these two rooms fully weatherproof and plastering can now be completed. French windows and the front door should be along soon and then the whole building will be secure.

Plastering is completed in the lounge apart from the fireplace area, which is now becoming an urgent item to be sorted out next week. Progress on the stove and fireplace has been frustrated by the supplier going on holiday for two weeks.

I am starting to think about mundane things like door and window furniture. The choice is bewildering!

Thursday, 22 August 2013


With the door frames fitted, the new lounge is now almost completely plastered, as is the entrance hall and the master bedroom storage cupboard. In bedroom 2 the wall where the old chimney used to be has been boarded and the ceiling is now boarded and plastered. In the en-suite, the wet room area has been concreted, ready for tiling and the furniture has all been checked out for position and fit.

Meanwhile, the glass for the new windows arrived but the wrong double glazing spacers have been fitted. The windows man was furious! He's fitted the picture window panes temporarily to make the lounge watertight but will have to replace them when the correct glass arrives next week.

I've ordered the LED lights (44 of them!) as we are getting close to 2nd fit on the electrics. In the next few days the other window frames should be fitted ready for glazing next week. Custom skirting boards and architraves to match the rest of the cottage are in production.

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Fireplace, hole in a wall & cinema

Progress has been made on various fronts in the past week. The new window for what will be the master bedroom was knocked through and the silly small window to the side was blocked up. This created a large pile of rubble that will be useful as hardcore for the path around the new extension.


The chimney breast  was built in the new lounge. This needed a surprisingly large number of blocks to complete. It certainly won't be going anywhere!

The ceiling mounting hole for the home cinema projector lift was carefully measured out and cut. A frame was then built to mount the lift onto. This called for accurate measurement, as the alignment with respect to the corner screen must be precise. The lift, which hides the projector in the roof when not in use, is a magnificent piece of (expensive!) engineering.

I did a bit of metal bashing to make a mat well surround for the front hall and this has now been cemented in place, ready for the custom door mat (on order). This area can now be tiled.

All the furniture and tiles for the en-suite have arrived so that'll be a major area of work over the next week or so. We are also ready to start plastering the walls and ceiling in the extension. 2nd fix electrics and plumbing are on the horizon.

Monday, 12 August 2013

More floors 'n' stuff

The top layer of concrete has been laid in all rooms except the en-suite, where there is still some outstanding plumbing work to finish first and the entrance hall. The mat well in the entrance hall will be fitted soon and then concreting can be completed there too.

The finished floor level is now apparent and, in combination with the recently installed wall and ceiling boarding makes the rooms look noticeably bigger.

Tiles and furniture have been ordered for the en-suite and should be with us later this week, so that will be the focus of a major onslaught in the next week or two. More window frames are arriving today and the next few days should see those fitted. I've decided on the stove and fireplace for the new lounge. Tomorrow I shall place the order and preparatory work should start on the chimney breast soon.

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Floors, walls & ceilings

We're getting ready to lay the top concrete layer for the floors. Underneath that is a 100mm layer of foam insulation, which these days is a building regs requirement even if underfloor heating is not being fitted. The ceilings and some of the walls have been boarded as well, so it's becoming easier to visualise what the rooms will look like when finished.

Outside, most of the extension has been scratch-coated, ready for the render to be applied. This has thrown up a problem that I hadn't anticipated: there will be a step up in the render line on the east wall. We're not sure how to fix this yet but that can wait until we are landscaping later in the year.

Tomorrow should see the 1st fix plumbing completed and some of the floor concrete laid. We are about half way through the project!