Welcome to our blog.

This blog will follow the ultimate in home improvement: demolish and rebuild!

This is our starting point: a 1930s bungalow. While not a bad house; it is too small for us with three teenage children so what should we do? A full storey extension versus complete rebuild - ultimately the stronger eco-credentials and more certain finances of a new-build helped to guide our choice.

For a number of years we've been trying to find the right route for us to build an eco-friendly, low energy home. We tried various architects and building companies and have eventually settled with a German prefabricated build. The new house will be nearly to passivhaus standards (but not quite due to budget constraints). In any case, the house will be heavily insulated and airtight.

As a family, we have not built a house before so everything is new and exciting but the risk of making a mess of things is quite high!

This blog aims to outline the day to day steps involved in our build.

Monday, 19 July 2010

How many tradesmen can fit in the utility room at one time?

This was a very busy morning; the plumbers, electricians, tiler and decorators were all busy. Fortunately, they managed not to get under each other's feet.

Here Paul the plumber, somehow he managed to persuade Sam to put his head inside the rainwater tank in order to make a connection with the pump!
Meanwhile, over the weekend the family have all been busy painting the main room (not very well). The paint is incredibly thick and doesn't smell at all, with very good coverage. It does look like the aliens have sprouted from the ceiling or maybe a photography studio or filmset. During the morning Josh sorted out the light fittings, pushing them back into the ceiling.

Josh also did some of the electricity sockets; gradually the house is being reclaimed from the building site as it becomes a more recognisable home.

One of the limiting factors for the internal decoration of the house is the floor screed. I've tried it with Ebi's moisture meter and it doesn't look very dry yet so I'm trying Ebi's other test. I have attached plastic sheeting to the floor and I will check in a couple of days if there is water underneath.

The electrician is discussing with the people who are commissioning the heat pump whether the additional pump for the underfloor heating is needed. Apparently, it is surperfluous as the heat pump will pump the water around the underfloor system instead. By the time the heat pump distributor people leave, the underfloor heating has been switched on for the first time. There are no leaks and the floor slab begins to warm up. It was a hot day today but by tomorrow it will be roasting in the house as we heat up the screed by 5C everyday until we reach maximum temperature that the system will run at normally. This will take a few days but hopefully we will be able to tile the floors once that has cooled down again.
Meanwhile, upstairs the decorator is working valiently on; he is very quick and efficient and by the end of the day he's managed to put the first layer on the whole landing and stairwell; quite some effort with ceilings that reach over four metres high! Good job! He is not alone upstairs, the tiler is busy for most of the day with the mosaics in the ensuite. Another job that makes the house feel more like our home.

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