Sunday, 30 October 2011

End of week thirty-eight

We move into the eco house two weeks from tomorrow and this is what it's looking like at the moment.


The stick-on bricks are finished and, as the mountain of concrete shows, work has begun on landscaping the front. Ironic isn't it that the house and hard landscaping are made of recycled aggregates when all these aggregates are being carted off site but there are limits to what one can achieve.

In the garden the mounds of earth (left) have now been flattened so it's not long before I can start reclaiming my garden. I can't tell you how frustrating it's been not to be able to get outside this season.

The next stage inside is to finish the bathrooms, hopefully before we move in and seal the wooden flooring on the corridors. 

The floors were uncovered for the first time this week and it's been a bit of relief to see how they soften the space vibe.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

We are not alone

Got to show you this. Here's the kitchen last night in all its LED wonder:

And this is what it reminded me of:

 ..... I'll be off to buy some spuds then.

Monday, 24 October 2011

End of week thirty-seven

This week the terrace has been laid. Like the blocks that formed the house walls the pavers are made of recycled aggregates and they sparkle in the autumn sunlight, which is rather fun.

As the last two photos show, the glass for the feature window on the western wall is still not available so the window has been boarded up for the time being. 

My daughter remarked that it looks like we're building in a priest hole and I know what she means: this is what it looks like from inside the room.


Looking  into other rooms and the corridors you zoom forward four and a half centuries as seen in the bathroom here. 

We're not sure which of the following two images is the inspiration for the shower cubicle but, either way, it's making us laugh.

Our other source of amusement is the electronic blinds which have finally been fitted. I've had two school parties visit last week and they have also enjoyed seeing them in action. I will take a photo of the blinds for next weekend but they really are great entertainment.

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Space oddity

So as the René Magritte exhibition comes to an end at the Tate in Liverpool surrealism comes to our own neck of the woods - take a look at this:

Yep, your eyes do not deceive you, we have a radiator stuck on the outside of the north wall of the house. I am told that this is basically a heat dump for the solar thermal tubes. The tubes will generate hot water during daylight so if we are away and not using enough hot water this radiator will radiate the excess heat into the atmosphere, rather than blowing up the house.... 
.... I have a sneaky feeling that they're having me on about this.

Apart from our bizarre radiator the rest of the house continues as before and here are this week's views, in rather pretty autumn light.

The JCB at the front has been digging in the drains and you can see the base of the terracing around the house. 

Just opposite the front door the builders have put in the foundations for our bike shed (stop laughing, you). Take a look, it's even got electricity in case we can one day afford an electric car - ha! As if!

Friday, 7 October 2011

End of week thirty-five

After the grand unveiling of last week the external views of the house don't look so different. We're still waiting for the stick-on bricks to finish the north-east corner and the glass for the bay window at the top of the western wall. The builders have been finishing off the bottom of the walls with insulation boards and an external finish of slate. Originally the plan was to do that bit in lead but sense has prevailed, otherwise we'd be having to replace it endlessly when it got pinched.

In the back garden the pipework has gone in to connect the rainwater harvester. 

At one point in the week we had a network of 2m deep trenches running from the house to the harvester. Seeing men in hard hats making their way slowly through these alongside the great mounds of soil really emphasised the 1914-18 feel of the back garden, especially as I'm off to see Journey's End this weekend. But now they have both gone and the garden has been levelled out. In fact, it's  a lot more level than it was before which is rather curious.

So here's the evolution of the back garden to date:

As you'll see from this third picture I'm actually in a position where I can start thinking about laying out flower beds - FINALLY!!

At the front of the house the final bit of the build is starting. We aren't having a garage on the site but we will have a a garden store and a bike shed [insert joke here] and here's where they're going.

Take a look at this photo of the generation meter. Seven days ago it read 56.6 kWh and today the reading is 195.5 kWh. That means the house has generated enough electricity in a week to run a dishwasher for over three months (well, I think so, time will tell).