Week 48

Goodbye scaffolding! It took three days to get all the gear down, and now we can see the whole building.

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scaffold neatly stacked and ready to depart

No scaffolding in the way means that Terry and Josh can get on with building the roof for the garage. This is a wiggly little beast that has had Terry brushing off his thinking cap to calculate the pitch of the flare. The flare determines the soffit width, and the soffit width determines the supporting post position, and all this is constrained by the location of the neighbour’s fence. And don’t forget the guttering…. Much hemming and hawing occurring this week, and even Dave was onsite to have a look and a ponder. In the end, we all reckoned the best way to build it was just to get on with it and see how it fell. So we all left Terry and Josh to it, and by the end of the week, they had a plan that matched the flare the same pitch as the rest of the house and he reckons the guttering will just kiss the border just like the old house used to.

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the first truss on the garage
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building the garage
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more trusses from the back of the house
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and even more from the front

Lee, Sean and the groundworks team have been back with their digger to make the rainwater drains meet up to the soak-away in the garden. There are six downpipes at the back of the house that all run to the inspection port. It was a little odd to see the this thing poking its head up above lawn-level, but the plan is to cut it down to as low as it can go, and if we ever need to rod the downpipes we’ll have to find it and dig it out to get access. This is ok with me. I regularly used Douglas’ old set of rods to sort the drains in the old house, so a bit of potential digging on the off-chance that these need sorting isn’t going kill anyone.

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inspection port
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groundworks return
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nimble digger
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garden massacre but the camellia is undeterred

Now that we’ve sorted the design on the fireplace and have signed off on the plans, it’s down to the guys to build it. But there are still a number of trades to coordinate: stone, joinery, fireplace, general building, electrics. There is a lot to this piece. I had my first foray into sourcing stone this week having gone to the stone yard to have a look at some off-cuts. I hope the inside does justice to the outside.

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lots of stone
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chimney symmetry

It’s always a challenge to walk around site and to visualise what it will look like when finished. It’s hard to resist taking photos of general stuff going on, but equally hard to figure out where the best vantage will be for the “before” or “during” snap to compare to the finished “after” one.

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Nicola’s design is being finalised, but here is a quick working-drawing teaser.

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The plasterers work hard when they’re onsite–we just need a final push to get it done and then the architrave and skirting can go up. In preparation for that day, Clive is staying out of their way and has got a great system set up in the master bedroom for the task of painting miles and miles of wood.

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family room ceiling — tick
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kitchen with plasterers’ platform
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living room with tray ceiling and bags of plaster
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ground floor ceiling protrudes until the landing apron is installed
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Osmo-ed architrave
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relief grooves in the backs of the tall oak skirting
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Clive loves his Osmo

We’ve come up against a stumbling block with shower trays. The current ones we’ve chosen are expensive, and two don’t fit. One of the wells made for them to drop into is slightly too small and we’d like to see if we can grow it. This shouldn’t be too much of an issue, until you take into account the underfloor heating. Risking making a hole in the pipes set in concrete to chip out the necessary extra 100 mm would be catastrophic at this point. So we’re trying to figure out other alternatives, one of which might be a wet room type of thing. Tim can’t start tiling until the trays are down so we’ve got to get our skates on to sort this out or the whole programme will suffer and we’ll push everything back weeks. The jury is still out while we research other options, so in the mean time, here is a photo of the shower in the girls’ bathroom.

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where’s the waste, Wally?

You would think that choosing colours would be the fun but, and it is. But agreeing on colours is another matter. And nudging the kids to make decisions about their rooms is proving a challenge too. Tim says to paint the whole thing white and wait with colour until the rectification period is over and the inevitable cracks are plastered over. This makes a LOT of sense, but it is so tempting to just paint it its final colours and get it done. With our usual speed of making decisions on this project, it may be after the warranty period before we finally decide, so Tim just might get his way after all. And by then, Tim will be sailing off into the sunset, drink in hand, remembering fondly the lovely job he did at St Anne’s and it being ancient history!

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tableau of indecision
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Josh needs a new pair of boots

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