Spring is springing on the way to site.
While the weather improves and we’re thinking about trenches, services and meters, here are some pix of the outside of the house.
The problem with glazing bar alignment across the two planes of windows in the front bay that we had back in Week 42 has been resolved. Thank you to the Bronze company that agreed that this couldn’t be left as it was. It’s funny: now that the bars align, you kind of don’t see them any more. Good design kind of disappears.
Doors are on.
This isn’t a standard box house, it’s very complicated. It’s also been through three sets of architects, two contractors, and lots of TLC and tweaks along the way. Like Terry designing the kick to the garage roof off the cuff with no plans. Some of the details only make themselves known when things are being fitted, so it’s helpful (not sure Tim and James think so..?) to be able to take time out and be onsite more and more as we race towards the finish line.
Case in point is the downpipes. There is one in the front labelled clearly on the drawing, and it goes right up in the corner between the vertical tiles and the huge two-storey beam. Well, having a drainpipe alongside the oak is a dippy idea as it’s front and centre and visible to god and everybody. But it wan’t not obvious until it was right there. A puzzle and much discussion: we can’t ditch the pipe because a LOT of rain will be flowing down that little section of gully. Water from the valley section and three faces of roof will be chucked down here right next to wood. But it dangling there alongside the wood and block its view was equally lacking. The solution that Spencer suggested as to add a few strategically placed special plastic vertical tiles that you can fix downpipes to on the opposite side of the gutter section, about three feet out from the gable and down the pillar to the east. That way you get your flow, and it’s away from the wood. A super plan on the first floor, but still not great on ground floor, because each downpipe is cut into the plinth at the bottom which is a gorgeous detail, and there isn’t one built in the new spot. I’m sure James will work something out……
Architrave and mist coats are making the ground floor look more finished every day.
And ironmongery….? Luckily we’ve found the mecca of hinges and handles, and it’s in Fleet. We have dithered for weeks about finding a match for the bronze windows, much to the annoyance of Tim who simply wants to get the doors ON ferchrissake, but nothing was doing the job. Actually, there is a company in the States that does the job if you want to spend about £1k per doorset. Have not yet won the lottery so clearly not an option. So we’re going for black to match the balusters and to be a little non-controversial. Graham is helping us, and he’s immensely patient with our wavering and our questions.
With all the flooring being laid shortly, James helped us in choosing the exact locations for the ground lights in the hallway and master bedroom. These are meant to light up the oak in a subtle way, but as we’ve not chosen the fittings yet, James left a suitable gap where they’ll go and concreted in around them. He didn’t waste any time: we were there with sections of pipework in the afternoon, and before they’d packed up, the lights were were packed out.
With deadlines about colours, hinges, ironmongery, garden slabs, light fittings, driveway colours, and fireplace design passing us by, tempers are getting short. We are all working towards the same goal, even though it’s challenging to stay positive and keep all our pointy fingers from taking aim. When things like the long-awaited gas meter are put back as the installer drives away because the job was labelled for the gas board’s subcontractor as a Swap instead of an Installation (it WAS a swap, just a swap for a missing meter, remember?), it gets a little frustrating.
But then you’ll get one of those awesome spring days where everything is fresh and blue, and we’re reminded that everyone on this job is on message about quality, the finished result is gorgeous, and it doesn’t seem so bad. Good weather and more cake… that’ll fix it.