17th August: Whoops…

Apologies my little chickadees for the serious lack of updates over the last few (er) weeks. It wasn’t my fault really, it was my dongle. Sadly, I got rather seriously sucked into the whole Olympic fever thanks to Radio 5 Live. No tickets to go, but the next best thing was spunking my jiggerwatts on the equestrian stuff, the tennis, some running, some rowing and Usain. Sadly, the dangleberries at the dongle company weren’t very sympathetic to my predicament so I’ve only just come back online. Still, normal service has now been resumed.

Just to remind you of what it looked like before…

The house is looking utterly spectacular. Stu and DependaPaul have been busy bees, it has to be said and, although work is going at a slower pace than the destruction, Rich and I couldn’t be happier.



Remember that back wall that was missing? It’s now been put back up thanks to a little extra help from Simon. He and Paul worked liked dogs over four days, and got the block wall (three deep) back up again while Stu was working on the facing stone. The blocks will be covered by the extension and it means we haven’t had to buy anymore stone. The tv people keep asking what stage we’re at – I had to point out that the stones are sorted, cleaned, chopped to size with an axe and then put back in the wall, which is why rebuild is taking longer than it took to take to pieces!

Getting rid of the knackered stuff, which is most of it

No power tools here, just an axe and bit of muscle

Stu, being a bit of a perfectionist, has ended up doing a bit more than he hoped. Problem is, he’s done such a great job on the bits that were knackered, the bits that weren’t now look knackered because the original knackered bits don’t look knackered any more. If you know what I mean.

That’s the same bit of wall

On the back wall (the rebuilt one) we’ve got our first lintel in. It’s really looking the part, can’t wait til the windows go in and I’m staring out of it with a large G&T. It’ll have to be G&T(slimline) as Rich and I are off the beer. Having been in ‘holiday mode’ since we got here nearly three (yikes, that went quickly) months ago, we’re both looking a little chubby 😉

First oak lintel in, many more to go!

Talking of windows, here’s the man you need if you want some. Paul Knight at Howarth Timber. Having inspected the quote, which I had to go through twice to make sure there wasn’t stuff missing, Stu maintained that he’d have to have a look at them before we went ahead and ordered – largely for quality control. He couldn’t quite believe that Howarth could supply fully finished windows (with 30 year guarantees) for the price they’d given us. We’re having two sash windows made for the living room, flush fit casements (11) throughout and 3.8m of bi-fold doors for the kitchen. All windows in the old cottage have to have toughened glass and they’re also supplying a door for the west elevation. Sadly, the window for the master bedroom isn’t included as it’s too big for Howarths’ hinges. All the windows come sprayed included in the price. Stu was astounded with the quality, and the price, so we’ve put the order in and they’ll be arriving at the end of October. Go on, my favourite game, how much do you reckon?

We’ve also decided on the structural beams for the old cottage. The original plan was to use standard steels but we’ve now opted for lattice beams as we won’t be putting so much pressure or weight on the old building – nor did we particularly want a ton of steel swinging around near those gable ends. The guys at Metsec Lattice Beams have come up with the goods and, instead of the six weeks quoted delivery time, they’ll be arriving next Friday in time for Julian to come and put the roof back on.

3-d drawing of SIPS panels at rear of house

The SIPS panels for the new extension are also on the drawing board – a Yorkshire based Kingspan distributor who came in under anyone else’s quote. The SIPS panels or Structural Insulated Panels are all built in a factory – basically they come as complete panels with windows, doorways, etc cut and are erected in a matter of days. Once erected and membraned, as soon as the windows and doors are fitted, it means we’re weather-tight and can start working on the interior, seriously cutting down on labour on site. The exterior is clad (in our case rendered) and the roof covering put on (clay tiles) and you’re ready for the winter!

Building wise, I think that’s about it. Living expenses for the past three months (ie electricity) has come to £89 and cake every Friday for the building Gods. Richard is very happy. The caravan is still telly-less and, utterly brilliant. This weekend, I’m going to be making a duck house so DependaPaul is going to lend me a chop saw. If I don’t update early next week, it’s because I’ve taken off a finger or two. Oh, and we’ve ordered a mower 😉 More of that when it arrives!




One response to “17th August: Whoops…

  1. Interesting project (Roofer from PH) I am in Cambs Thursday, drop me a line if you want me to take a look..

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