The final bills are rolling in, the site is gradually becoming clearer and clearer of rubbish each day, and we can just about make out the horizon. It’s still a long way off, but we passed another milestone this week and I actually got in touch with Andy again about sorting out dates for the final moving-in. It will be our fourth move, not counting the move into and out of storage
The drive groundsmen left site on Friday having cut blocks into slivers all week to fill gaps and fiddled with man-hole covers to set the patterns without interruption. They look great, but the neighbours weren’t enormously impressed with the noise and dust of the table saw.
The car-charging post is A Big Deal, mainly because it’s a bit esoteric and involves Neil to make the thing, the chippies, the grounds guys and the electricians none of whom had done this sort of thing before. We wanted to site it at the corner of the parking bay by the fence, so, in theory, if we ever had two electric cars, the chargers could share the single post. But although Pat had dug a lovely trench for it all along the line of setts, the conduit wasn’t long enough, so we ended up choosing a spot right in the centre for it.
The three-phase conduit is running inside a large ribbed duct which houses the wires wrapped in armoured shielding. It needs two bends to get to the charing unit: one from underground to start running up the groove in the back of the post, and another to run through a hole from the back of the post to the charging unit in the front. The armoured sheath causes bends to happen at a really wide diameter which makes it sit proud of the groove. Not cool. So Steve had a brainwave to terminate the sheath inside a recessed box and run the wires through the post freely where’d they be safe anyway. The photo shows the conduit without the box, and you can see the box being chipped into the post in the time lapse.
Another piece of electrical good news was overcoming wiring up the lamppost. Steve was sure that the thing was set in concrete and that we’d have to dig up the whole thing to get a wire through. Luckily, a little scrabbling on hands and knees revealed a hole at the base of the lamp undergorund to run the cable through and up to the top. The sparkies quickly ran some rods up the post to check it was clear, and they wired it all up in half an hour.
And just to ensure that a good test was given to the ditch before the guys finished, it hammered down.
Deeks is getting a clear run at snagging this week, as I’m getting preoccupied with fireplace, steel cladding and landscape gardening. Alyson recommended I stay out of their hair for a bit in any case. The cleaners come on Wednesday as do the electricians and the Rako commissioning guy. Thursday must be for tidying up and doing outside work. Friday is Practical Completion which is amazing. Next Monday I walk round with Alyson, and next Tuesday is a day for settling final accounts with Tim.
I feel quite emotional about finishing. Gregory will be going off to uni before we move in, and the moving in itself, the budget and all the work it’s going to take to get the house sorted is daunting. We won’t have curtains despite Rachel’s excellent help in getting us there. No money. No wardrobe in our bedroom either. No money. No hanging lights, no furniture, no garage storage. It’s a little depressing because we had budgeted for all this at the outset. It wasn’t an enormous budget–nothing grand or gold-plated–but enough to sort these last few bits out. Instead, we’ve spent it on rent and management for 10 excruciating months. I know that I’ve bought a T-shirt and a book of tickets to my very own pity party, and that doesn’t feel right either. I think it’s more of setting myself a goal that isn’t turning out right. It’s the OCD part of me that is upset, not the Surrey-housewife part (that part is pretty small anyway). I’m not very good at changing gears. The most emotional part is that I’ve let the family down. But they’ve been awesome during this whole thing, and afterwards, I’ll be stronger and they’ll just keep on being awesome. Clinton is already planning the next build. (omg)
The loss adjuster is proving painstaking about invoices and their wording too. I know it’s his job to be responsible for extracting cash out of the insurers, but he’s rejected my invoices from architects and contract management because they don’t refer directly to Water Damage. I would have thought that everything happening after the original PC of 20 June was a result of Water Damage otherwise we wouldn’t have had to do it. But no, I’ve got to get the extra info onto the paperwork, and it will be difficult to get it from Ben whom we haven’t heard from in a fortnight.
So, we’re almost there. Fingers crossed for no big issues at the end. Again.