Archive for February, 2014

January 2014 (cont.)

On to a bit of plumbing. With most of the stud work now complete, we could crack on with laying the underfloor heating for the first floor. This is made up of an ‘overboard’ system supplied by  Very easy to fit, just a bit fiddly to cut the boards to make the tricky pipe runs.



A sheet of 6mm ply is then fitted over the board and the pipes. Ready for the carpet to be laid later on.

A couple of pics from the attic rooms now, the ‘man cave’ now has all the stud work in place, including the stud wall that will house the TV and all the other electrical wizardry. We also thought it’d be a good idea to put one of the extractors for the heat recovery system in there (behind the stud wall that houses the TV) as it’s bound to get quite warm with all the various pieces of equipment.  My wife has now claimed the other room as hers, so the rooms are all now spoken for!


The Mechanical Heat Recovery and Ventilation Unit is a bit of a beast, it’s going to have a large cupboard all to itself! Should be tucked nicely out the way though – looking forward to connecting that up as I’ve not done one of these units before.

Most of the first fix for the plumbing work is now done, approximately 70% of the way through it. The last bit to do is fit all of the ground floor underfloor heating. But before we can lay all the pipe work for that, we need to lay a thick damp proof membrane, followed by 150mm of insulation, then a vapour check barrier, THEN the pipe work can finally be laid! This will all happen next month – stay tuned as we’ll nearly be up to date – wooooooooooooo.


January 2014

Haaaaaaaaaaappy New Year! Where did that last year go? The same place as the one before, the past! Anyway, I hope you all had a great Christmas. Let’s build a house – crack on!

Where were we? Ah yes, insulating the roof space. After doing a day in here, I started to resemble a snow man! This stuff gets everywhere! 


This was a thankless task, especially trying to fit it in around my own work. Luckily we had a helping hand to save the day (thanks Colin!) A look out of the Velux window soon gave me that motivational kick up the arse, what a lovely view. We can’t wait to be greeted with this every day.



The site got a little bit damp during the heavy rain we had in January (side note – nothing in comparison to those currently suffering in Somerset – Feb’14). This was mainly down to not having the drainage in place yet or the guttering terminating into the storm drain. (This will be done if it ever stops raining).



Back to the inside of the house now. Tom started cracking on with the stud walls. We could now get a feel of the size of the rooms. It’s all starting to take shape.



Tom was very busy this month, him and Clint then got the roof fitted to the bay window, this took some doing, thanks guys! 



Fiiiiiiiiiiiiiinally, I get to start the plumbing, well, sort of plumbing! Myself, Andy and Ant got all the ducting in place for the mechanical heat recovery and ventilation. Here comes a techy bit! Most of the manufacturers usually supply the ducting in 150mm diameter, this posed a problem for us, as our ‘easy-joist’ system only had gaps of 110mm. Luckily, Dan@AdaptEnergy managed to source a kit with 75mm ducting, so that solved that problem – thanks Dan! That’s the end of the techy bit – phew!



A stairway to heaven (heaven being the man-cave).



I’ll split this blog into two parts – for two reasons:-

  1. I haven’t been very organised, and I’ve not uploaded the rest of the pictures from my phone to the iCloud (whatever that is!)
  2. We’ll soon be up to date and I’ll run out of things to say!! (stop cheering!)

See you all next time!

December 2013

Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells etc etc…..

Onwards and upwards! Carrying on with the doors and windows this month. Also the single storey roof was finished, after a few problems with the trusses, our super chippies managed to overcome this with a bit of forethought. A few pics of the first few days progress from this month….

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With the single storey roof completed, the last of the scaffolding could come down, and we could finally get to see what the house looks like – exciting times indeed!

Ta Da!


Both my wife and I were extremely happy with our choices (I may have mentioned this already!) Everything was really starting to come together.

We chose a ‘stable door’ style for the utility. Well, we are in the countryside now!


Nearly watertight! The next decision we had to make was choosing a sealant that would match the mortar, to seal around all the doors and windows (this still hasn’t been confirmed yet!) A few testers that we weren’t quite happy with.


I’ll keep you all updated with the final choice of sealant colour (I’m sure you’ll all be on the edge of your seats until then!) As a side note, if anybody can recommend a colour, feel free to leave a comment below or email me at:

Next was the front door to go in, again, Tom did a great job fitting this, and made sure to put extra fixings in, making it as secure as possible and to minimise any ‘wobble’.

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The bay window next. We weren’t looking forward to fitting this, as we had a couple of issues with the block work. It all went in ok though, we just need to source some infill panels for the sides.



That took us up to Christmas.  It wouldn’t be Christmas in the countryside, without Santa on a tractor. So here you go!


See you next time! If you’ve got any questions, feel free to leave me a comment and I’ll reply ASAP.

If you’ve enjoyed my blog, please feel free to share it.

November 2013

With the roof waiting for the tiles to go on, after the felt and battening, we could turn our attention inside of the house and think about getting the first floor chipboard down. Our chippie/window fitter/all round lovely guy Tom first got a ladder set up to the top floor – it’s a long way up there!


Still waiting for the new tiles to arrive!!


They’ve arrived!! Hooray! They look a lot better than the first dodgy batch of tiles. Next job, get them on top of the scaffolding. The electric hoist was a bit on the heavy side, we managed to convince the delivery driver of the tiles to lift it up on to the scaffold with his crane – thanks Mr Delivery Driver!

Don’t look down!


The hoist in action! Jake loading, me unloading – sorted!


It took us all weekend to load out the tiles for the main roof, I think it was about 2000 in total, from memory.

Tony, the roofer, came back to get the garage roof done, the tiles looked amazing once fitted, we were all extremely happy with the finished result.


Once the garage was completed, they got stuck in to the main roof on the house, with the extra pitch on the rear of the house, it was really looking quite smart, if I do say so myself!


It didn’t take the roofers long at all to get the house finished, we even had a sunny day for me to take a pic of the front.


With the roof now complete, we could now start insulating the trusses from inside. What a messy job this turned out to be!



Next exciting stage of the build for us – the windows and doors arrived! After much discussion and mind changing on the colour of the frames, we finally settled on a colour, ‘Stone White’ from Farrow & Ball. It’s a lovely ‘Cotswoldy’ Green. We really like the colour alongside our choice of stone and mortar.



That takes us to the end of November – a very productive month, and nearly water tight! Next month, the single storey ‘lean to’ kitchen roof goes on (with a  minor hiccup).

Thanks for reading. Feel free to ‘like’ or comment 🙂

October 2013 (cont.)

Roof tiles! This was the next hurdle to overcome. We’d decided on a Chinese Natural Slate as we managed to get a good deal on them. However, after they were delivered and we’d started loading them out on to the scaffolding, it was becoming more and more apparent that there were a few issues. The first issue was the lack of uniformity in thickness of the slates, and the other issue was the quality – a large proportion of them were broken. I think how they were packed was one of the main reasons for the high amount of breakages, the pallets were awful.

After spending the best part of a day loading these out (sore arms from winching them up in a bucket by hand!) We then had to get them all back down, as the roofer said it’d be pointless fitting such poor quality tiles. This obviously delayed us as we had to get these tiles returned, (hadn’t paid for them at this stage anyway) and then source a better quality tile. These were so much better in comparison. We decided to hire an electric hoist for the weekend to get the tiles up to the roof ready to be fitted. This bit of kit was an absolute god send!

Bad quality Chinese slate below:



The wait on the delivery of the better quality tiles, took us into November, a bit of panic started to set in as we really wanted to get the house watertight by now, for obvious reasons. See you next time.

October 2013

All the trusses are on site and ready to go – let’s raise the roof! (see what I did there?!) This is the second attempt at putting the roof on, after the hassle we had the first time round with the crane, this time every thing went as planned – phew! Three chippies + lots of trusses =



The next few pictures are where things start to get a bit more exciting for me. The main reason being – THE MAN CAVE! My lovely wifey has let me have one of the attic rooms as a home cinema/games room/escape from the wife room. So, seeing this take shape really perked me up, as all the stress and long days was starting to take it’s toll a bit, whinge, whinge, whinge. LOOK AT THE MAN CAVE!



The half of the attic closest to the camera will eventually be mine! We’ve not decided what to do with the other half of the attic yet – watch this space!

We originally purchased the plot with detailed planning permission already in place, however we tweaked the plans to suit our needs. One of the changes we made was to make the attic space liveable rather than just a loft for storage. This meant changing the original trusses to attic trusses and increasing the pitch of the roof from the original 35 degrees to 50 degrees. Our (inherited) architect failed to notice the knock on effect this would cause with the corbels on the corners of the house. After increasing the roof pitch angle, it meant the lower part of the roof would clash with the end of the corbels. We had to ask the builder to cut 110mm off the ends of each of the corbels so the roof would fit. This then exposed the two supporting steel rods running down the centre of the corbel, so we then had to pay for a company to come and reface the cut ends to cover the exposed steel. Phew! “You’re so lucky, I’d love to build my own house!” I do smile to myself every time I hear this now :-).



These were to be refaced at a later date. 

Next, more staining of the ends of the trusses, just a bigger version of the garage – no need to stick a pic in here.

The site needed a really good tidy up, so my wife and I got cracking, on a day that gave us a bit of everything, weather wise.





With the trusses complete, it was back in the builders hands to finish the gable ends. The rain delayed play a bit with this, but they managed to get them done as soon as the rain stopped. With the gable ends done, the house was really starting to look quite special.

Look at that chimney! Swit Swoo!





A fair amount of work took place during this month, so I’ll split it into two blog entries. To be continued…..