Monthly Archives: September 2014
The doors to the outbuilding are finally finished (although they still probably need one more coat of paint). The lock arrived this morning and was fitted straight away. It is a van lock intended for use on the rear doors of vans (you have probably seen while waiting behind a van at traffic lights). The hasp is circular, as is the padlock itself, and this produces a neat looking solution. I wasn’t expecting the lock to be quite as big, but then that is one of the dangers of buying things online. At least it was quick to fit!
We are almost there in terms of finishing the new home for the mower. Over the weekend, we made some doors and got them installed. They made using 165mm wide tongue and groove floorboards. The original doors (which are probably more than 100 years old) were made the same way but using much bigger boards (some of them well over 300mm wide). You just can’t get these size boards anymore, so we decided to use the smaller equivalent. It is a shame as I would have loved to have kept the old doors, but there are just too far gone to go back on (plus they don’t fit the wider opening).
The boards in the new doors are held together using strips of 18mm plywood. This should resist any twisting and help the doors remain straight as the wooded boards dries.
They just need a bit more paint and a lock!
We laid the new concrete floor in the outbuilding yesterday. The concrete (around 2.5 tonnes) was due to arrive at 3pm, but eventually got here at 5:30pm (shortly after we had packed up our tools and decided to go down the pub!). Once it arrived, we had little choice but to lay the floor. In the end, it only took about an hour, but it was at the end of the day and it felt like a very long hour.
Earlier in the day, I had laid some rubble at the far end of the floor in an attempt to level it up a bit. We want the finished floor level to be higher than the drive outside (so water doesn’t run in) and sloping slightly to the front (so if water does get it, it will flow out). I use the rubble to level up the worst of the floor and then put some crushed stone on top (about 1 tonne). This was then compacted with a Wacker plate rented from a local hire shop. Then we put down some Visqueen damproof membrane and then a couple of tonnes of concrete on top. The concrete came from Hi Spec concrete in Huddersfield. The machine mixes the concrete on site and we were fortunate to be able to shoot it straight into the outbuilding. There was still a lot of shovelling to do to get it into all the right places, but shooting the concrete right in makes life a lot easier.
The finish is pretty good and at the end of the day, it is a shed! However, pride kicks in and you want to make it look the best you can.
We have just installed some hi-fi speakers in the lounge. Or rather, we have just installed another pair of hi-fi speakers in the lounge.
We had a set of black Celestion speakers and wall brackets from our previous house. We thought they might work well here. But alas, no. While they sounded great, they looked terrible. Against the almost white walls, these large black speakers just stood out like a sore thumb. The wall brackets didn’t help very much as they just stuck them out into the room even further! They had to go!
After doing a bit of research, we found some white Bose 161 speakers. Unlike most Bose kit, they were very reasonably priced. Just £180 for the pair. They also came with their own integral bracket (in matching white and very unobtrusive).
So there was nothing for it, but to take the old speakers down, fill the holes where the brackets had been, repaint that patch of the wall, and finally install the new speakers.
They have definitely been worth the effort. They look and sound great – plenty powerful enough to fill this large space (both the lounge and the kitchen).
Only one stone needs to be replaced before the props can be removed.
We have had quite a few swallows darting about over the summer. Lately, these seem to have been replaced by large crows that walk along the top of the roof wearing clogs (well, at least that’s what it sounds like when you are laying in bed!).
Today, one of the security camera caught a rather large Blue Tit.
We seem to be on a bit of a roll with the ground source heat pump. Last week we finally sorted out the leak in the ground loops that had been plaguing us for the last 6 months. Today our application for the Renewable Heat Incentive got approved. We applied for it at the end of July and it looks as if our first payment will be at the end of October. The incentive is paid on a quarterly basis, so this means that the approval today means that our first payment is exactly 3 months from when we first applied.
The current tariff is 18.8p for every kWh generated. According to our EPC, it has been estimated that we will be generating 35,405kWh per year. A quick bit of mathematics will show that this generates a payment of around £1,660 per quarter. These payments are for 7 years and by the time we reach the end of this period, it should have re-couped the capital that we invested in the ground source heat pump.
We have installed our own electricity monitor (Owl Intuition) so we know exactly how much electricity that we are using. While we are going to have to wait to see how the heat pump, and the house, performs over the winter, current indications are that we are using between 150kWh per week in the summer to around 1,000kWh in the winter (this includes all of our heating, hot water, lighting and cooking). We will have to see how it all pans out…..