- Our New House - http://www.nickprior.com -

Progressing steadily

Partitions in the roof [1]

Partitions in the roof

It’s been quiet for a while on the website but things are still happening on site here. The main job still in hand is the internal joinery. Pete and Ali have been working away every day putting insulation in walls and ceilings, erecting partition walls, applying battens, technical membranes and even more technical aluminium tape, then screwing down plaster board.

There’s a fair bit of it so it’s taking a while. At a rough count, there’s about 150 metres of plasterboard to install on the walls alone. They said when they started it that it would look like there was nothing happening for a while, but looking back over the last 10 days the house has come on leaps and bounds. They reckon 3 more days should see the back of the partition work, then we can get onto putting things in the house.

Like floors and other fripperies.

Block work for the garage [2]

Block work for the garage

Meantime, other things have been happening. The block work for the garage has gone up, and once Pete and Ali have done inside the house, they can move seamlessly on to putting the trusses on the garage ready for slating.

Warmcel fibres getting pumped into the loft [3]

Warmcel fibres getting pumped into the loft

The insulation team have also been back, this time just pouring the Warmcel fibres loose into the loft and along the eaves. Without the scrim to hold back the dust, it was a messy and dusty business.

We’ve also had the pleasure of the company of some of the Scottish Power boys. The survey team turned up out of the blue one day saying they had come to install the big cable from the trench on the other side of the plot into the house. But because there was no trench into the house itself, they were going to go away again. Happily, I managed to intercept them and persuaded them that if they had let me know they were coming, we’d have been ready. I rang the SP Energy project manager who tried to tell me off for not getting the work done! I merely remarked that he was lucky I hadn’t ejected his team from the site as unexpected visitors and that he really should make appointments for people. (I heard later he’d apologised to my neighbour for not ringing for another job on the same day. I’m still waiting ….)

Chris installing warning tape in the electric supply trench [4]

Chris installing warning tape in the electric supply trench

Then on the phone to Stan who pulled out all the stops and got a digger down on site for the following morning. An hour later we were ready for the engineers.

Two of the dourest people it’s been my misfortune to meet turned up. Nothing we had done was right for them. But instead of telling us what they needed to complete their job, they merely said “We can’t do that” and looked miserable. All the other lads on site work in the most positive constructive way possible, recognising problems and solving them without fuss.

Not these two.

However, after some chivvying and some impromptu adjustments by the team of regulars, the job was done, Team Dour were off site and everyone breathed a sigh of relief. Hopefully the visit from Ecotricty tomorrow will be a more positive experience while they install the consumer meter.

While the electric supply trench was open, we took advantage and laid in the telephone cable from the perimeter into the house, remembering to keep it well separated from the mains cable all the way through.

So, what next? The inside of the house will be taped using AMES tape to cover up the joins in the plasterboard. This is to avoid having to plaster the walls. This is the dry lining process preferred in timber frame building up here. It means there is no need to let the building dry out before doing anything else.

We’re hopeful we’ll soon be able to start installing the first of the renewable energy features – the photovoltaic panels on the roof, and maybe the borehole in the garden for the heat pump. We’ll also be ready for laying the insulation and underfloor heating screed on the floor.

It feels like it’s going to get interesting again all of a sudden!

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