Holy Moly, never a dull moment here, I can tell you. The Helifix boys came back at the weekend to do a couple more bits of exterior work, and the finally get the fixes inside. I was at school at the weekend (stayed in a hotel, bath, inside toilet, room service and television – totally missed the ‘Billyvan) so left Richard in charge of works. Instead of staying to oversee and make tea, he went to Donington for a boys ‘coffee and cars’ morning. Sometimes, I do wonder…
Anyway, upshot is, the Helibars are all in and the building is finally totally structurally sound. Hooray. I think, to be honest, that Stu had pretty much rebuilt the house in its entirety but as with the roof and first floor, we’ve gone for the belt and braces approach. The pointing can be finished off, weather permitting, the last lintel can go in on the north elevation – Stu wasn’t keen on taking it out until the bars were in to offer it a little bit more support.
Inside, Stu has been rebuilding the fireplace. We’re still undecided about the woodburner, I just can’t help but like the Firebelly ones. Decisions, decisions. The fireplace is being built with some reclaimed bricks and pointed in lime. We didn’t want stone exposed round the fireplace, cos it’s horrid, so hopefully, the brick will work. We’ve gone for pillars at two bricks wide – Lazy God turned up with the final roof detail drawings last night and said two was too heavy. Stu thought one and a half wasn’t enough. Place your bets now… I’m going with Stu on this one!
Lazy God was, however, mightily impressed with how great the house looks though. I made him walk round, lamping torch in hand, not very sensible shoes on. Although he protested at having to walk round in the dark, and the mud, it didn’t stop him inspecting everywhere, including where the extension is.
Of course, I nearly overlooked the fact that a fookin’ great big lorry turned up at eight yesterday morning with our house on the back of it. We really are proper pikeys now, having our house turn up on a lorry, who would imagine. Well, part of a house anyway.
Despite some communication issues, the SIPS team turned up yesterday just after seven. Duane, Phil and Chris, complete with new branded clothing and shiny helmets (the cameras were there, of course) unloaded themselves and a load of equipment ready for business.
Dan, from Landtech, had brought the digger over to fork the gear off the lorry (so heavy it nearly tipped the digger up) and then we discovered that actually, the SIPS boys need a forklift/telehandler here all week. Er, okay, that would have been handy to know. Thanks Dan for sorting that one out!
So, as far as we know, the entire extension will go up in the next seven days. Yesterday, the guys laid and attached the soleplate – basically making sure it’s dead level. If it’s not level at the ground, then the roof won’t fit and there’ll be a lot of swearing.
Then, the numbered panels get slotted upright onto the soleplate and nailed into place, starting with a corner. A bit of wood slots tight inside the upright panel, and the next panel slides into that. And so it goes on, until you’ve got a whole house built. Sounds dead simple, because it is, even Stu was impressed, which is high praise indeed. The boys work like a seriously well-oiled machine, Richard was thoroughly mesmerised by their nail gun – which I was keen to have a go with, until I heard the tales each one had to tell me of when they’d shot themselves.
Very pleased with the first day’s progress, the guys are, thankfully, all smilers and easy to have around. I’ll try a keep you updated with the progress every couple of days, but if the radio goes silent, the likelihood is that I’ve shot myself with that nailgun…