Week 36

Hip Hip Hooray it’s week 36!Screen Shot 2016-12-15 at 16.59.08.png


Tim said early on not to worry and that the Christmas lights would be on. And they are! We’ve got a tree with lights–what’s the problem?! The roofing guys even built us a present out of battening to go under the tree.

Tim’s present

Despite the amended programme, this has been a big chunky cracking-on kind of week. First of all, the saga about the levels not quite matching up in the first floor between the front oak structural frame and the rest of the house came to a close. The fix was debated (for five weeks) around our architect and structural engineer, the warranty company (mostly the warranty company) and the oak structural engineer, and finally, they reached an agreement on how it was to be built. James and the guys have built and sealed shuttering around what will be a slab of concrete set in situ. The metal mesh that gives it structure arrived today, James has bound all the intersections with little bits of wire, and now all that’s left is to pour and set over the Christmas break.


Masses of celotex is being laid to insulate the ground floor. On Monday (Tuesday?) next week this will have a web of underfloor heating rods wound round and round, and before we break for Christmas, the screed will be poured.

each piece is cut to shape with a teensy power saw
kitchen space
wipe your feet first

They’ve removed the scaffolding in the hallway and you can see from the floor right up to the rafters. Terry’s done a marvellous job making it safe with a designer hand rail.

Josh and celotex
Terry’s fancy banister
Ben and Keith chatting about the concrete slab

The electricians have wired up most of the upstairs, and now there is a web of grey cable run round the rafters. There has been some discussion about where the shaver sockets will go in the bathrooms, and I’m sure this is just the first of many decisions that will be made on the hoof. (We decided in cabinets in the kids’ bathrooms and on the wall above the tile in ours in case you’re wondering.) They’ve even got a sweepstakes on how many times I’ll change my mind on socket locations in the house. Five was the first guess, three was another, and even a very optimistic zero was mentioned. We’ll see. Just don’t want the whole place looking like Swiss cheese so I’m trying my best not to dither. One of the jobs on the weekend is to run round with a can of spray-paint and set the locations of sockets and switches.

Sparkys’ debate


The leadwork is starting to be installed around the window frames. The large frames in the kitchen and family room won’t be in until the new year because the floor screed needs to dry out and we don’t want to damage them.

leadwork before it’s scalloped

I usually get time to visit site in the afternoon, and since sunset starts around 2:30 in what’s now mid-December, the light is usually really good for a while. It’s obvious that the oak frame and the widows are pretty special and make this build unique, and that the quality of the workmanship is excellent. This quality issue partly accounts for why it’s gone over schedule.  But sometimes I’m amazed at just how gorgeous the whole thing is, and it’s quite humbling to just sit and have a look. I’m sure the builders think I’m nuts just standing there and staring.

a glimpse of future awesomeness

James has finished the panels, and they’ll be sealed in with compriband and fixed to the frame. But they’re right in line with the sunset, so it makes the whole thing reflected a lovely pink.

back frame

The valley is all set for tiles.


The front is starting to look like a House.

I even had time for a few artsy shots.


building on a December afternoon



3 thoughts on “Week 36

  1. You can never have too many outlets. Feel free to change your mind (upwards) multiple times — five is a pretty chintzy limit.

    Awesomeness is right! What workmanship!


    1. Yeah, the place is coming together furiously this week. They won’t have liked me saying anything about timing here, and it was a real moonshot of a timeline anyway, and they have been held up by loads of things out of their control.

      But you cannot fault the quality which is the single most important thing to come away with. In 10 years time we won’t be sitting there thinking “I wish they were three months quicker…” we’ll be thinking “This is really special and I’m a very lucky gal.”

      Maybe the budget is a very close second though….!


  2. Yup, definitely looking like a house of future awesomeness. With lights inside it’s starting to hint at future coziness too. Nice to see problems being solved and bets on you changing your mind. Ha! Love the tree and present. From how far around the neighborhood can one see your elevated tree?


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