Monthly Archives: October 2014
The weather has hampered our efforts this week, but even so we are making progress. After 2 days of laying flagstones, Paddy and Jonny reckon that that have laid about 20 sq yards (this is out of a total of about 160 sq yards, so there is still a way to go!). We reckon that it will take most of the coming week (weather permitting) to get all of the flagstones laid just on the lower terrace. However, you can see from the flags that have been laid so far that it is going to look amazing when it is finished.
Jo and I have started on the wall that is between the two sets of steps that divides the upper and lower terraces. This wall needs to be brought up to about 300mm to allow Paddy and Jonny to lay the flags up to it. The rest of the wall can be finished off at a later date, but the bottom few courses need to be in place for them early next week. I am glad to say that by the end of the day we had succeeded in building up the wall for them. It is deceptive, but there is a pickup full of reclaimed stone just in the short little wall (it might be short, but it is quite long!).
The blue pipes allow any water that builds up behind the retaining wall to escape. This blue pipes will be cut short and plastic weep holes built into the wall at the front to allow the water to escape should it build up.
While we were away for a couple of days this week, the first of the flagstones has been installed in the sunken garden. It is going to take quite some time to get all of these laid. Still, it will look great once it is done.
The bad weather, which has been forecast for a while now, hit us today. By 2pm, it was too wet to carry on, but Paddy and Jonny did their best. They switched their attentions to the step by the back door and this has now be laid. There is no point in trying to point it in this weather, but at least the flagstones are down. Their is a step to go in underneath the porch and this is being earmarked for another “wet day activity”. We can’t really do them both at the same time otherwise you wouldn’t be able to get in the house!
It has been very wet here in Yorkshire for the past week and this has impacted on the progress on the work in the garden. Actually, the progress has been pretty good, but the impact is definitely starting to show on the grass! Lots of rain, new grass and heavy machinery are not a great combination. Still, it will grow back!
Paddy and Jonny have really put the hours in this week and it shows. The two terraces are starting to take shape and next week we should be in a position to start laying the first of the flagstones. All of the wiring is now in place for the uplighters that will light up the walls around the garden at night.
Work continues in the sunken garden despite the rain. We are hopefully that we will have the levels sorted out in the two parts of the sunken garden by the end of the week. However, the first thing that we need to do is to build the retaining wall between the two terraces.
With the large steps installed from the lounge into the garden, we have passed a major milestone. The next job is to build the retaining walls for the upper terrace and get the ground level right (together with the drains). Much of this work will be done next week and I expect by the end of next week we will be laying the first of the reclaimed flagstones.
We are going to place the order for the remaining ashlar this week, but unfortunately there looks as if there will be a 2-3 week delay while we wait for delivery. We may well get on with other odd jobs around the property (e.g. flagstones outside the front and back door, pointing on the outbuilding) while we are waiting.
We have had more success today and all of the steps from the lounge down into the sunken garden are in place. And with no damage!
The large bottom step that got damaged yesterday was removed and replaced with a slightly slimmer one. It doesn’t really matter as the flagstones will cover this part of the step.
The new chairs and stools arrived for the kitchen today. They were ordered about 6 weeks ago, but unfortunately it was just before the factory in Italy closed for it’s annual holidays.
The chairs and stools came from Nuovo Living out at Redbrick Mill. They are made by Calligaris and these are the New York chairs and stools. The seats are leather and although the colour is listed as being white, in reality the colour is more of an off-white. We knew this before we ordered the chairs as there were swatches of the leather available at Redbrick Mill. It was still a relief to see the same colour chairs and stools arrive today!
Although we had looked for some time for chairs and stools that matched, we dithered a bit when we found these. It was probably more to do with the price than the actual product. We decided to have a cup of coffee in Redbrick Mill while we mulled over our choice. This decision was made slightly easier when we realised that the chairs we were sat on in the café were the same chairs we were considering buying. If they are sturdy enough for us in a retail setting, they will last well in a domestic one. Decision made.
We always knew that handling large and heavy pieces of ashlar was going to be awkward. We also knew that they would damage fairly easily. Well, today, we proved it.
While putting the bottom step in place, a corner of one of the large pieces of ashlar got damaged. The guys did the best they could to repair it, but unfortunately it is always going to show up. Structurally, the repair is fine, but cosmetically, it looks awful. It might look slightly better once the stonework dries, but it is always gone to notice when wet. The only option is to replace it.
The good news is that we probably have a spare step – we ordered 4 steps and it looks as if we are only going to need three. Still, it stopped work today as the repair was attempted and then finally discarded. Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day.
We are getting prepared to lower some of the large stone steps into place outside the lounge. Just the sheer weight of these steps make them a major challenge. To make life a little easier, the steps themselves are being preformed using concrete blocks and concrete. The ashlar steps should then just sit on top of these preformed steps. Well that is the theory anyway! With some of the stone weighing more than half a tonne, this is not going to be easy.