Monthly Archives: July 2013
The large oak trusses in the existing property have been sandblasted and were treated at the weekend for woodworm and associated problems.
The question now is Do we leave the beams as they are? Or treat them in some way?
We don’t really want to change the colour of them, but it would be good to seal the wood a bit to make it less prone to picking up dust and dirt. Something that would accentuate the grain with a matt finish would be ideal.
Peak Oak recommended Blanchon Maintenance Oil (http://www.peakoak.co.uk/blanchon-maintenance-oil.html). I have ordered a tin so that we can try out a small test patch first.
The new windows arrived today. All hardwood and already painted the finished colour – Sandolin Superdec Jungle Green.
We only managed to get two windows in today, but there will be more carpenters onsite tomorrow, so hopefully progress should be a bit quicker.
To be fair, we have had some big thunderstorms today and this has hampered progress. The weather forecast is improving for the rest of the week.
With the sandblaster back on site at the weekend to clean the newly rebuilt extension, we have taken the opportunity to get the outbuildings (aka shed) sandblasted too. This will help it fit in with the main house. The photos below show the before and after pictures.
Now the stonework on newly rebuilt extension is complete, we need to get it sandblasted. This needs to be done before the new windows are installed on Monday – as part of the sandblasting process we are cleaning the stone window frames removing any signs of the previous windows.
As well as sandblasting the new extension, we have also taken the opportunity to remove any marks where the scaffolding had been. Due to the scaffolding poles being so close to the building, there were patches where we couldn’t clean the building until the scaffolding had been removed. We also sandblasted the old outbuilding. This had some of the darkest stone on site and no longer looked as if it were part of the same set of buildings anymore.
This was a long day – from lunchtime through to 8:30pm. I was glad when it was all over. But the end result looks great.
We are using stone surrounds for all of the window openings. Just as it would have been in the original cottage. We have removed some of the newer “Artstone” window surrounds and replaced them with ashlar. Artstone is a man-made aggregate product (a posh name for concrete!).
Unfortunately, one of the window surrounds at the rear of the property seems to have developed a very blotchy appearance. We have decided to return it to the quarry and not pay for it. It will be replaced with new stone from a different quarry (the same one we have used for the other ashlar windows that have not developed a fault).
While the ashlar has been removed, the masonry above is held in place using 3 acrows with “strong boys” (metal platforms) attached. It doesn’t look great, but the new ashlar should be back in place on Monday. Just in time for the new windows to be fitted.
And the house looks very different. The rebuilt extension is going to be sandblasted tomorrow (Saturday) afternoon. We are doing the sandblasting at the weekend since it isn’t really possible for anyone to work on site while the sandblaster is working.
The new windows are being installed on Monday, so there is quite a bit of work to be done this weekend in preparation.
We are going to need to get the details sort out for the electrics so that we can organise the first fix (installing the wiring without any switches or sockets). We need to get the first fix done before any of the ceilings or walls can be plasterboarded. So getting the wiring sort is important.
However, it is not just the power and lighting that needs to be sorted out. What about the network points? telephone points? thermostats? PIR sensors for the alarm? TV points?
With this in mind, we had a go at marking all of the above on a floorplan. It gets messy very quickly. Don’t believe me? See below.
What did we learn from this process?
- You need to understand how each of the rooms are going to be used if you are going to put the services in the right place. e.g. where is a table/desk going to be placed in each room in order to get the sockets in the right place? Where would a TV go? And this might not be where you might put it, but where a potential new owner might place it.
- Lighting design really needs the input of an architect. This is creative process and isn’t simply a case of working out where the pendant light goes in the middle of the ceiling. I met with our architect this week and they had some good thoughts about lighting ideas.
- Plan the wiring in such a way to make it as flexible as possible. I will write up more on this later, but for example, bringing the telephone services in via a patch panel means that with a little bit of thought it is possible to “liven” up telephone services in different sockets. This is a much more flexible approach rather than hardwiring everything.
There are three openings between the hall and kitchen. Two at ground level (an internal window and a doorway) and one upstairs (a sort of Juliette balcony from Jo’s study).
We have cut the two ground floor openings. We have cut the openings using a Stihl saw and then have pulled out the masonry (but not before installing a lintel above the opening!). Using a Stihl saw is a little gentler on the wall that bashing it with big hammers and chisels.
You can start to see the jumble of stones that make up the inside of the wall. It is a fairly fragile structure and needs to be shown a certain level of respect.
We are really starting to move into Phase 2 (Building the new extension), even though we have still to finish off Phase 1.
In terms of Phase 2, the barn has been completely demolished and we have now taken off the top soil in preparation for digging the footings. This is the first time that we have seen the full extent of the Phase 2 extension. I am not sure what I am meant to think, but it does look big at this stage. I can’t remember on Grand Designs whether people think their footprint is bigger or smaller than they thought. I wish I had paid more attention now!
The spoil heap seems to be growing. Unfortunately, we started it close to the corner of the foundations and now it is going to have to be moved. But it doesn’t take long with a 4.5 tonne digger!
We have also come across another soakaway. It is brick-built and matches the other one that we found at the end of last year. They are probably connected and used as a soakaway for rainwater from the drainpipes.