The first few weeks of Builder Ben abandoning us involved lots of toing and froing to site to ensure the tradesmen all knew what they were doing, to check we were happy with the progress and to well… just show our faces and be a presence onsite.
Matt our labourer finished up working for us whilst Ben was away, not due to me and Vince being terrible stand in Project managers, he has gone back to uni now so all the best to him 🙂 I was getting used to his daily presence on site. I didn’t realise quite how much he did until he was gone; even when other trades weren’t there he would be; ensuring deliveries were signed for, materials were moved to where they needed to be and general site cleanliness…. There was a couple of days where the site was empty due to timings and weather conditions….. and I have to admit that standing on an empty building site on a grey day is not the most inspiring or motivational scene, in fact it’s verging on depressing; cold, dark and wet ….insinuating (to me) that work has ground to a halt from a lack of funds.. (something you can’t help but fear before embarking on a build project of any sort).
Anyway on a brighter note …we aren’t quite at that stage…. just yet :-)….. and I think we did pretty well holding the fort until Builder Ben got back which he thankfully now is (well actually he has been for about 3 weeks now) and it’s been full steam ahead since!
So last time we updated…..(some weeks ago she says blushing again) we had a Ground Floor & Basement, with steels having just gone in over the garage room roof……..now to date we have roof steels on the main part of the house and our first floor and second floor are down….. we can only access these via a ladder at the moment….so currently a no kiddy zone! (although I am arguably more dangerous on a ladder than my small children) Vince, and the other guys onsite, all look very nervous whenever I begin my wobbly climb up to first floor. We joke that I make my way back down again like Bridget Jones very elegantly did on the fire mans pole! (really selling myself here) Anyway fun and games aside lots has been going on this last month so excuse me for bouncing around what may seem like some random issues we have encountered;
A decision was made without me about window heights and on reflection I felt they were too high. Checking the boys measurements against my elevations only confirmed this (they were definitely too high) Vince & Ben agreed but as the supports had already gone in above the window we only really had an option to drop the sill heights, this involved removing a few bricks….which I was assured wasn’t a big deal (although the boys probably think I’m a pain in butt- there I go talking about butts again 🙈) the sill height has therefore been dropped giving us much larger windows…resulting in much more natural light so I think that actually this has benefited us- is there such a thing as too much natural light? not in my opinion, ……unless your a vampire maybe?? (sorry but it is halloween in a couple of days) oooo talking of halloween we have found some BIG spiders living in the plastic plinth covers…. I’m not usually bothered by spiders but I certainly don’t fancy contending with these when we move in…
I have met with the window guy onsite to measure up and discuss openings… so these are now being ordered.
The brickies have pretty much finished the brick skin over the entire house 😬 now the chimney detail to finish up and other brick detailing here and there!
Vince and Builder Ben spent an afternoon drawing up Roof Steels (yes the structural engineer let us down again)- the steels were to be made off the back of these drawings, so the boys were crossing their fingers.. and everything else, that they had drawn and specified these correctly ….. well I am very pleased to say that they are now all in place and bolted together with no issue, phew! well done boys! Again to get the steels up to roof level we had to hire a crane and crane driver for the day. They also lifted wood ready for the Carpenters to crack on with the rest of the roof joists.
The Chippies have been busy finishing the roof joists and dormer windows in the room over the garage and laying floor joists and chipboard there to- this floor is different to the rest of the ground floor and means we won’t be able to have polished concrete in here. I am still contemplating on what floor finish to do in here; whether to go wood or carpet. This room will be doubling up as one of our Guest bedrooms and a playroom for the boys.
I am currently leaning more towards the wood as thinking practicality wise any spillages and mess is far easier to clean… plus … there will be lots of zooming cars, trains and tractors (and anything else with wheels) which from my professional experience (:-)here comes mummy mode) I have learnt these do not travel well, or go far or fast on carpet…….. a very important factor to be considered here :-)!!
The room in the roof is causing us a bit of concern at the moment as, as silly as it sounds, we hadn’t initially allowed for a steel roof, so we have effectively lost around 40mm of walkable head height from our initial drawings and plans. Whenever we can grab a few minutes we are mulling over alternative layouts to account for the loss of space and together we are getting our heads around the eaves as its a bit trickier to visualise. This was intended to be our main guest bedroom (or Master if we liked it). Its a recently raised issue and I am sure we will manage to come up with a solution but we are not there quite yet..I am hopeful and think these spaces can be amazing if designed right.
Another worry of mine, and it has been for sometime is that our kitchen could feel narrow (or tight) leading off the double doors from the hall. The obvious thing, would of course be to change the kitchen design but I have played with lots of alternatives and I just love the streamline design I have come up with and I am set on this one! ideally I do not want to have to compromise here…. I was contemplating ditching this design 😦 but standing onsite Builder Ben and I decided, after measuring and marking out where the units would be that we could gain more kitchen space by moving the dividing stud wall back into the hall, Vince had been resistant to doing this at first, a few months back! But in context it seems we are conserving a little to gain a lot! And anyway Ben and I outnumbered Vince on this decision and I feel super happy with the extra 400mm space we have gained to the Kitchen and the design is back on!!! 🙂 granted it won’t be the grandest of entrances but nevertheless the Hall will have ample room, with two sets of double doors leading off of it we have the flexibility to close off the separate rooms or keep it feeling spacious and open plan.
Continuing on the door theme; whilst going back over some quotes I flagged up a mistake on the door quote. We had specified 4no fire rated beveled glass internal doors to tie in with all the solid doors everywhere else in the house. The quote reads flat glass! Checking again their website the door is titled fire door bevel glass. So to clarify any confusion I rang the company where they confirmed the quote to be correct and that flat glass was the fire rated version and apologised that the website was wrong. how misleading! and what a Bummer! I suppose I am glad I realised at this stage before placing the order and receiving miss mashed doors! It probably seems pretty insignificant but it has since left me in a bit of a predicament as it turns out that fire rated bevelled glass is rather elusive or when found is seriously expensive…. go figure 🙂 so currently toying with other options… one being solid doors all over. but not yet sold on the idea and not given up fully on the glass yet…watch this space…
We have also met with Wayne our stair balustrade man (actually he’s a specialist in making anything steel inspired-his work looks amazing and we have discussed lots of ideas onsite- its so much easier in person than over emails! I’m excited to see how we progress… a couple of designs have been discussed and priced (so down to us to make a decision between the two) and currently waiting on a sample to decide on the finish.
This month Ben vince me and my Pops had a meeting at Mitsubishi HQ to discuss all climate control associated with the house. Although a little over my head I found this meeting really beneficial as I got to see the units and was able to ask lots of questions which really helped to get my head around the technical and mechanical requirements, so in theory now I should understand where I can build them in to be as aesthetically pleasing as possible without compromising the usage and maintenance needed. My aim anyway!!
I am now pretty happy with the basement configuration! Ben needs all stud wall measurements off me next so I need to get on and finalise and label up all floor plans (minus my pretty furniture layouts) Yikes I feel like the baton is being passed over to me as we approach the Interior bits…and I’m not going to lie, I’m kinda excited but blooming nervous too! I’d like to feel a little further on than I do currently but family life has prioritised this month for one reason or another.
Next on the agenda; flooring in loft to be completed, chippies continuing the roof joists, then the roofers will start this month laying the slates… super super excited to see how they transform the house.. our aim is to be weather tight by christmas.
Round up of month 5 vid if you fancy checking it out
Lucy & Vince x