Friday, 30 September 2011


The scaffolding came down today (end of week thirty-four) and here are the first views:

.... not a traditional-looking house is it?!

There are two things to show you inside. 

The first is what the corridors now look like with these plastic panels covering the ducting. It looks a bit sterile so I've got to have a bit of a think about how to reduce the space-ship vibe.

I think we may have found the place to stick those propaganda posters!

The second thing to show you is this meter:
The solar panels were connected up two days ago and in the past thirty hours this is how many kilowatt hours they have generated. That's enough energy to power a laptop for 1,000 hours so that will probably do us.

Mind you, there has been a lot of sunshine this week, it being the warmest weather we've had in the UK since 1906!

Sunday, 25 September 2011

We could have been anything that we wanted to be


At the end of week 33 the exterior views don't look very different, apart from the wire leading from the ground to the electricity box on the north wall. Next week we hope to have the electricity connected and then, who knows what wonders will happen.

The world's smallest skirting boards are on the walls and the kitchen and utility room units are in place. Personally I'm not a massive fan of hiding white goods inside cupboards but once I  remember where they are and work out how to turn the dishwasher on I'm sure things will be fine.

Whilst we're talking cupboards: something that is engendering much hilarity is the location of the telephone points. For some inexplicable reason a phone point has been put inside the only fitted cupboard in the place.

We were a bit puzzled as to who makes telephone calls inside a cupboard until my son suggested that perhaps this isn't so much a coat cupboard more a phone booth like you used to have in hotels or Edwardian houses - or diners like this scene from Bugsy Malone....

... and, in case you were wondering, our phone box isn't any larger on the inside.

There are two more things to show you:  here's what happens when you put a 2 metre high water cylinder underneath a compact fluorescent lamp which isn't quite as compact as it needs to be!

And, finally, here's the set of pressure gauges next to the air ducts. I think we've all seen enough films to know that dials like these can cause all manner of mischief.....

Saturday, 17 September 2011

End of week thirty-two

So, here we are, two weeks after the official end of the build, and the moving date has been put back yet again. I feel like Moses destined to seeing the Promised Land and never actually getting there!

Here are this week's pictures, looking not dissimilar to the last set:

A closer look at the north wall shows the "brick-work" in greater detail. Of course, they aren't bricks at all but stick-on fake bricks; watching the builders put them on is like watching someone tiling a massive wall and I would imagine they find it about as interesting too. The end result gives this rather Constructivist effect...

... perhaps we should ask Mr Putin to cut the ribbon when the house is finally complete.

Certainly my Russian propaganda posters won't look out of keeping inside.

"Долой кухонное рабство! Даешь новый быт"

As I am fond of saying **

And whilst we're on that subject here's the first view of the kitchen going in (see what I did there?). It may be finished by now but I can't get in to photograph this weekend as there are bits of repaired stairs drying indoors.

Right on the edge of the picture you can also see part of the door. The doors are all on now and, you'll be pleased to hear, are made of FSC approved timber. It's not something I'd really though about before but it's amazing the difference doors make to the visual appearance of a room.

Now that the weather is getting colder here you get a sense of the levels of insulation in the house for the first time. The passive heating isn't really 'on' as such as the pipes are capped at both ends but when you walk in the house it is now perceptively warmer than outside. This is really weird as in our current place the temperature drops when you step inside the building, though I appreciate that that is not normal.

Next week I think the decorating continues indoors and more pipes get connected up but I hope I won't be having to grovel to our removers too as we change the moving date yet again.

**  "Down with kitchen slavery! We want a new type of life"...... Oh the irony.

Sunday, 11 September 2011


So here are the methyl methacrylate floors first mentioned back in May.

The rooms on two of the floors have this 'Monet' finish
The rooms on the remaining floor have the finish named after Picasso.

Neither of the floors has turned out quite like the samples we had, which was a surprise. Picasso is greyer and Monet lighter. In fact, if you were watching Dr Who last night, the rooms at the top of the house will look pretty familiar as they have that extra-bright look so beloved of sci fi sets.

The floors get their shininess from the fragments of recycled glass that are set into the acrylic but the texture is similar to cushion flooring. They aren't quite rink-smooth but you won't want to rush for the telephone in a hurry as we've already tested out the [lack of] friction in a successful  session of indoor sock skating...

End of week thirty-one (five weeks...)

The rendering is now on three of the four walls and if you look at the top of the first picture you can see that the fake bricks are being put on the north wall:

There's a better view of the north wall from our current garden - the new house looms over us a bit!

For the best part of the week we have been having the floors laid and I wouldn't be surprised if you can smell the sealant where you are. It's been another case of sealing the windows here!

As soon as they're dry I'll nip on site and post some pictures for you....

Saturday, 3 September 2011

End of week thirty (six weeks...)

Here you go, four walls almost all ready to be rendered:

 and here's where you've seen the design before:


Inside, the Whovian pipework is getting boxed in and some of the rooms have received their undercoat of paint. Even one coat makes the rooms look wider, as shown by these before and  after pictures of  "the crypt". 

The orange cross on the right is to remind the builders that there's glass in the window, which in turn reminds me to post this photo giving you proof (when zoomed in) of the windows' origin: