With the arrival of some fixed scaffolding and more help from two Wikihouse architects, their wives and some of our friends, we have moved forward a lot this week.
The insides of the external walls and ceiling are now all covered in a green vapour barrier. Downstairs makes us feel as if we are under the sea, while the shape of upstairs makes us feel as if we are camping in a big green tent!
We have fitted the downstairs ceiling panels and put sound insulation above them. This involved temporarily lifting the upstairs floor panels, but they are now all re-laid and screwed into place.
Outside, the roof is nearly ready to be fitted to the crosswise battens which have been screwed on. First, we just need to finalise exactly how the two roof-lights will fit.
We have also unwrapped the smallest window and tried it for size in the window opening in the bathroom wall. It’s all looking quite hopeful. However, we have fewer hours of daylight to work in since the clocks have changed and the evenings are drawing in, but as a result we have seen some spectacular moon rises.
Two major milestones to report: (1) We have a pipe to take the gas from our outside lpg supply to the location of the hob in the kitchen and (2) we have finished cutting polystyrene at last. So, the floor panels are all down, external wall and ceiling panels are in and the wet room floor has arrived.
Earlier dilemmas have been resolved: We are exchanging the round ducting for oval, we shall have a gas central heating system and we have ordered a square window, which should arrive in the last week of November. Replacement doors have been promised for the week before, although the damaged ones are beginning to appeal as a new take on the ‘distressed look’! We have also ordered some scaffolding to make roofing easier, but there is no sign of it being installed as yet.
This week we are hoping to fit the internal vapour barrier – huge polythene sheets which we shall stick together with double-sided tape to totally line the inside walls and ceiling, preventing condensation from entering the timber. At a later date we shall do the same with the floor.
Ceiling, wall and floor panels complete the upstairs shell.
Fitting ceiling panels above the stairwell.
Pushing in the final piece of polystyrene insulation.
I’ve been silent for 2 weeks because the building has progressed slowly. We have spent a lot of time deliberating, phoning and e-mailing.
We also managed a lovely relaxing day out at the Autumn Malvern Show. This was our first purely recreational day since March and was a much needed break from house-building, plants and school.
But still the debates continue:
We’ve had endless discussions on the best way to install the round pipework for the heat recovery system. Should we replace it with the new oval ducting which the architect intended or shall we continue to try to fit a round pipe into a square hole?
Is a conventional central heating system going to be far more than we need for such a well insulated house? Should we install programmable electric heaters just in the living rooms and have very cheap, manually operated panel heaters elsewhere? If so, how do we heat enough hot water to run a bath?
Should the extra lounge window be square or rectangular? Or should we just swap a window with the one in the back bedroom?
And then the actual doors and windows finally arrived. I’m pleased to say that the windows look fine, but the doors have clearly fallen off the back of a lorry at some point in their journey! More photos to take, phone calls to make and e-mails to send.
Damage to back door
Broken door frame
Damage to the front door
An unexpected design on the door frame!
But we’re still smiling and can’t wait to get the build to a stage where the weather is locked outside each night and the early morning sun streams through the windows.
And friends from the village are still giving up their time to help us, which is fantastic. They deserve a huge ‘thank you’.