Week 23 – DPC on House 3, Patios & Fences on Houses 1 & 2!


I was back on the mixer just after 7.30am running cement to Ray who was looking to finish of the block work on house no 3 up to Damp Course Level.

This meant more carrying of blocks around the build which had to be 1 by 1 rather than in a wheelbarrow as the ground was very muddy/boggy so Dave’s Boot camp was back on again!…and then he went and picked up another 100 blocks as we ran out!

Dave and Ray had previously discussed and planned where the waste pipes would run from which is particularly important with this house as its the furthest away from the pumping station (plus its a block and beam floor again due to trees close by) and we need to ensure it has enough fall away gradient to carry everything away. So once Ray reached the DPC level for block work we used concrete lentils and 2 bricks to enable the waste pipes to pass through building to one corner…

B3 Foundations

…by end of day we had finished all but 2 walls…

B3 Foundations1B3 Foundations2

I forgot to mention that we had a plaster come in last week and today to cement under the white K-Render on walls the base of each house and Linda painted most of it black and will do the rest next week.


Coldest day on site since we had been there (felt like coldest day in history to me!!) as there was a frost on all the cars, grass and sand and the buckets of water I had left ready over night had also frozen over!!

…so we had a slight change of plan and started to plan out the patio on the smaller house before finishing the footings …and then started to lay the slab so more cement mixing/carrying and block/slab moving and by lunch time Ray had finished the patio…

Small Patio

After lunch the temperature had risen to a balmy 3c!!!…which was enough for us to move back to the 3rd house and finish the foundations off…

…so that is it for this year on this house and we will do the block and beam next year!!

B3 Foundations3

Next we started the patio on the larger house which is about 3 times the size of the smaller patio so we kept going on that all day.

We also turned the water on from the mains on street and had a problem with the supply to one of the houses??

The meter was churning around but we had limited water pressure…and it was to the house we had put a connector on so Terry dug out the connection and after testing we were relieved to see our connection was fine and there wasn’t a leak….so next stop was to get Bristol Water out

Terry and  Dave set about getting more of the fence posts and panels up…

Fence UpFence Up1


Ray and I continued on with the Patio and almost finished it by end of day with just a few more rows to go.

I really need to get Dave and Linda to start writing the blog as well because I haven’t really been inside the houses for a few weeks so don’t know exactly what they are up to…but did see the ovens and they look fantastic…will take a photo when I am allowed in!

We did get 4 LARGE gas bottles delivered for each house so between Dave, Terry and myself we brought them into each house.

Bristol water also came out and after a few tests including a listening device they deduced that the problem looked like it was about 1 meter from road which meant it was their fault thank god. Had this not been the case then we would have had to dig the whole pipe out again to investigate.


We finished off the large patio and then built steps on both patios to the French doors and the back door (on larger house)…

Large Patio1Large Patio

…and also built 4 slabs on the side of each house to place the gas bottle on.

Last job for Ray was to build a ramp at the front of each house…obviously we would have preferred steps but these days most planning conditions require disabled access.

By end of day we had finished the ramp to the smaller house and will add photo next week.


Busy day as we had 3 guys installing Wood Fire Burners, plumbers were in fitting toilets in downstairs toilet in small house and Window installers were back to seal all the joints!

Ray finished off the 2nd ramp to larger house and he was off by 10.30am.

Dave picked up some more posts and he and Terry finished fixing all of them into position and screwing most of the fence panels in by end of day…

Fence Up2

Bristol Water turned up to investigate the leak and found that indeed it was a problem when they installed the connection… so they fixed it quickly and now we have mains water to both houses!

It was a bit of tidy up day as well so I moved any spare blocks and bricks back to near the 3rd house ready for next year and barrowed lots of rubbish to the skip as well as tipping the rock/stone into the extra large foundation hole in 3rd property.

We also had some top soil delivered so once again I was back on the wheel barrow loading it up with soil and taking it to Terry who was raking it on the back garden of the small house first and then onto the larger house…and Dave and I will finish this off next week and then plan grass seed so it grows over the next month…

Top Soil in Large garden

We have the tree surgeons in on Monday to put up the connecting fence between neighbour property and trim some of the trees and front and back, Jason (Tiler) will tile the small patio roofs on each house and the carpets will be installed before end of week.

The chipping for drive ways and front of house will also be delivered so will need to rake that into position so can see I will at least get another active work out week before I head off on a well needed (and deserved LOL) holiday in Sydney! …Linda even took this photo of me near end of day showing my exhaustion!!…photo 2

Took this photo as the light was fading and shows the 2 houses almost complete! 🙂



Week 21 & 22 – Ground Work Done & Started 3rd Property

I combined 2 weeks in post as much of the work was same in first week plus I was away in London at end of last week.

Week 21

Most of the week involved digging the trenches to run the sewage points and connecting up manholes…

manholesManhole & Waste pipe

The runs were very long so we had to be very careful to make sure the gradient was enough for the sewage to flow away so we used a laser to make sure the gradient rose correctly as trench was dug…

Marking out trench to dig

Once we placed the pipes and manholes we had to pack them with stone so they wouldn’t move and then covered them with mud and Ed compressed them down with the bucket of the digger…

Drainage pipe covered over in stoneWaste Pipe covered over

We also had to dig in the the pipes to carry away the rain water from roof of property which came down drain pipes and out into the soak-away we built using the crates we dug into the ground a few weeks ago…

Rain Drainagerain drainage1

I also spent most of a few days on the dumper truck going back and forth to the farmers field next door (meaning 200 meters away) dropping off all the soil we were digging out

I was in London on the Friday but Ed and Dave finished placing the crates into the ground around the front of the property which will be used as soak-aways for the farmhouse and outbuildings which will be converted into livable houses. The plumbers also installed one of the boilers and will do the other when the water is connected to both buildings.

Linda has been ill for a lot of time but when ever she is in she has been varnishing any wood and cleaning everything else ready for the showings of property!

Terry was in for a day and spent all day priming and then painting the 2 porches black on the houses…of course making sure none of the black went on the white walls…took him all day but job well done! :-)…

Painted Door Porch

Week 22


With everything winding down on first 2 properties and winter approaching, we decided to start digging the foundations on the 3rd property so we could build to DPC level before the Xmas break and whilst we wait to sell the first 2 properties.

We marked out the property (which will be detached) using pins and marked with coloured marker spray so that Ed knew where to dig from…

As with the 2 previous properties, we had trees to contend with on 2 sides of the property and so had to dig down 2.1 meters on 1 corner and along some of the sides…

Foundations DugFoundations Dug1

Most of my day was again to run soil to farmers field and must have been doing that for most of the day.

We also had to place polystyrene on the deeper trenches to cater for the trees growing into foundations..

Foundations with PolyFoundations with Poly1


Arrived to find the dumper truck had a puncture (Must have been my driving) so we called in someone to repair who found a nice big nail sticking into wheel!

We were expecting cement to arrive around 10.30 and as Ed was digging the final foundations we suddenly had a land slide on 1 part due to ground that had been previously dug…thank god none of us were in the trench at that point as we would have been crushed…

Ground CollapseCollapsed Ground 1

This meant we had to pile a lot more cement into the foundations and we had 4 lorries turn up throughout the day so not the cheapest day for us!!…

Cement Truck for Foundations

so by end of day all the cement was in foundations and leveled off at correct level to built on…

Cement in FoundationsCement in foundations 1

It was a busy day as Bristol Water turned up to connect the houses to water mains so we had fresh water and they closed part of main road all day at front of house to do this…

Bristol Water

…which made it particularly interesting when our 2 cookers were delivered and they stopped traffic in both directions for 5 minutes!!

The installers for wood Burning fires also arrived but told us that we had to remove plaster board from within the fire-grate as it was a potential fire hazard…even though were later told b electricians that this was the case…still we need to do this!!

Yet again I was taking soil back and forth to farm so I feel like by body is always shaking day or night now!!


Jon (Lord) Drake arrived to plaster the downstairs toilet under the stairs as that had been studded the previous week by chippies and was in and out by lunch time!

This was Ed’s last day…of which was 20 days there so sorry to see him go but glad to get all the ground works done and we will soon switch the pumping station on once Wessex water connect us to main sewer line.

I moved some cement blocks around the new foundations so Block Bitch is back!

David was in so he started digging holes for fence posts and I helped out once I was done moving blocks…


He then started mixing cement and along with Dave the 3 of spent the rest of the day placing the blocks in holes with cement and connecting the fences in between…and of course making sure they were all level and at same height. It is tricky at the best of times but as it was raining hard much of the morning…the garden turned into a mud bog and often we had trouble even moving our feet…so must have looked funny to any onlookers!!

Bristol Water were still finishing up and the road was tarmacked over and waiting to find out when water will be switch on now and plumbers can come back!


I was overjoyed (NOT) to see a large deliver of cement blocks but knew they were coming and we started to move a few around the footings…and Ray was back to start laying the blocks…


However first task was for Ray and I to mark out the corners of property within the foundation and we started off by squaring the first corner so we could get get marks in for 2 more corners…and then when we had 4th corner marked in we then measured the diagonals to make sure it was square!…

Marking Out

Once done was back mixing cement as quick as I could as Ray was laying blocks as quick as ever!!…and in between mixing and carrying cement I was unloading blocks around all the edges of the foundations so he could easily reach them. When I did these tasks on first houses in nearly killed me so it was pleasing to see how much easier all this felt this time and was great to get a good work out again as last 6 weeks have been a bit slower and more finicky…plus Linda thought she would share with me that they thought I was S**t at painting!!….which I am to be fair!! lol

We also had someone into cement the bottom of the houses below the white render so that we could paint them black and he also pushed on well and had done the back and both sides by end of day and will finish the front on weekend.

By end of day, Ray had blocked almost all walls at 1 blocks high…and 3 in the area where walls of foundation had fallen in!…

Blocks being laid

Dave had the laborious job of taking off the tiles and plasterboard within both fire grates ready for them to be re-tiled on Friday with Terry.


I was straight into mixing cement and carrying blocks again and Ray cracked on with laying more blocks…and we had the radio blasting…it was the good old days again!! 🙂

Dave and Terry spent all day putting tiles back on grate which was a very time consuming, tricky and frustrating exercise for them but by end of day they had almost finished!

Linda was till sniffing away and blowing her nose like a fog horn but she still managed to paint all around bottom of house over cement and the black finished look lovely…not to forget she also brought Ray and I very welcome cups of coffee and tea which was lovely in the cold weather!

By end of day Ray had laid 3 blocks on almost all walls and we have to add 1 more block on all walls on Monday and we should be done!…

Blocks being laid1Blocks being laid2EOW

We won’t build the block and beam floor or build any higher until next year now but at least we have done the foundations before the worst of the UK weather hits!!

Next week we have to get patios laid which Ray will do, finish putting up fence, get last boiler installed, tile the porch’s, connect water to buildings and then by end of week we may even have carpet laid and then we will be FINISHED!!…

Interestingly its been very cold all week being between 1c and 6c!!…and yet I coped with it very well…particularly the past 2 days as it was dryer and sun came out…although I had 4 layers of close plus a big fleece coat and knitted hat so that helped!! 😉

Mud Bath & Walls Come Tumbling Down!

Well Winter is not far away and we had more rain this week but it could have been worse! With all the digging of sink holes, sewage drainage, water and telecom pipes and constant tracking of the digger/dumper back and forth turned it into a Mud Bath which you can see from my boots…



Representative from electricity company came out and connected up mains electricity so both houses now have power and lights which is useful as the English winter is drawing in and we no longer need to run multiple extension cables from Farmhouse.

Ed and I placed the concrete cylinders and manholes around the sewage outlets close to where they will be connected to main sewage on the roads…and as Dave had kindly taken his mixer home then had to mix it all up in wheel barrows!

The plumbers arrived and started to connect up bathrooms, kitchens and radiators.

In the afternoon, Ed starting knocked down barns and cleared all the trees and small wall in middle of land so we could get full access with digger/dumper and also to be able to dig foundations to 3rd house next week…and I followed behind in the dumper truck so I could dispose of all the waste on a corner of the plot.

Here is a before shot of the stables…


…and then after the knockdown

Barn GoneBack of Farmhouse clear

Linda was ill with food poisoning from Sat night…at least this time it wasn’t her own cooking that did it LOL (Just joking as she is a great cook!! ;-))


Ed and I cleared up a lot of the bricks, blocks, trees and soil that had been knocked down on previous day and then the plan was to start taking a few bricks from the large wall…which suddenly changed when a large part of it toppled over and so we had to clear that up and a lot more of the 2 new houses could be seen…

Back of Farmhouse clear2

With all these ‘Walls Come Tumbling Down’ it reminded me of the classic song from Style Council so had to include this in blog this week 🙂

Next task was to dig a large sinkhole for rainwater collected in gutters for all 4 new builds and fill it with crates and membrane…

Digging Sink AwaySinkaway dug

One the hole was dug, we had to lay membrane on the floor and then place the crates on top…

Sinkaway with some cratesSink Away with half crates

Linda was also back in although still not 100% but she battled on and was varnishing the stairs, window ledges, skirting boards and even offered to give me a fake tan as I am looking rather white for me!

Terry was also in and he helped Dave put more tiles in bathroom in small house and on the floor around the fire grates as well many other jobs including fitting all the plugs, switches and thermo stats.


It rained a lot over night so our ‘Hole’ had about a foot of water in it so we had to first pump it out before placing more membrane and crates before we could replace the soil and compress down…

Crates wrapped in membraneCrates wrapped in membrane1

…and last part was to cover in soil and let Ed compress down using the bucket on the digger…

Crates wrapped in membrane some soilCrates wrapped in membrane covered in soil

To finish the day we started digging a small trench to enable the water to be connected from main road to smaller of the houses which was feeding water in via the kitchen. As we were digging the trench we placed the blue pipe to carry water along with a tracer wire so it could be located in future if ever need to be dug up…and then placed sand and soil back on top.

I obviously wasn’t working in the houses (in fact I was even allowed in with my muddy boots) so not sure exactly sure what Dave did (maybe he wasn’t even there LOL) but sure he never stopped doing many of the small jobs that need to be done which did include putting up cooker hoods and curtain rails up above all windows…

Kitchen extractorCurtain Rails


We continued digging trenches for the water to be supplied to other house and this involved us needing to locate earlier electricity cables we had run and digging under them to run water pipes…so lots of jumping in the trenches and getting covered in mud!!…

We also laid the pipes from main road to houses for phone/cable connection.

Once all the pipes we laid then we filled in half of it with sand and then soil and then hard core on top so the front of the house was starting to look much more presentable and will add photos next week as wasn’t able to get good photos this week due to weather and vehicles parked in front.

Plumbers finished for the week and the main bathroom was done…


…as well as the en-suite in main bedroom…

Ensuite ShowerEnsuite Basis and toilet

…and the radiators upstairs…



Water board visited approved what we had done so covered in all trenches and they will come out within 10 days to connect us to water mains.

We then placed storm water drainage pipes from houses towards the large drainage hole we dug and as it was raining!!!!…we were able to ensure we had the downhill lean on pipes and it was working perfectly and filled it in as soon as the pipes were in place…

It was raining a lot of the day so Linda managed to catch a shot of Ed and I dressed for the occasion…I think Ed is off on his fishing trawler on weekends based on how waterproof his kit was!!!…

Marty & Ed in RainMarty in rain

Engineers also turned up to place the non return valves in man hole where we are going to connect to mains sewage…and the Chippies came and studded under stairs around toilet which will be plastered boarded next week…and also constructed and put up porche above other front door…

Studding under stairs

To end the day, Ed cleared everything from front of house and Hard cored ready for final cover…and Dave and I did lots of moving the fence panels around so we lock down the site for the weekend and as Western Power are coming on Monday to connect the 3 phase to pumping station we had to install the control panel…

PS and Control Panel

Weather this week was wet but could have been worse and colder…although temperatures look like they will finally hit there normality being under 10c most days next week!! …BBBBRRRRRRRR…LA and Oz friends please don’t comment on your weather right now!!

The chippies were in on the Sat and I took a quick photo from upstairs in one of the houses at all the land and buildings we had cleared in the week for where the next 2 detached houses will be build and amazing how much space is there…

View from house1View from house

Plumbers will be back next week to finish all connections and install the boilers, Ed will be back to finish off the sewage pipes and man holes as well as dig foundations for next house…and Wood Burning fires should be installed…so leaves a bit of plastering, carpeting, oven install and paint touch ups and we won’t be far away from dressing the house for sales and viewing!! 🙂

Sewage Tank and Stairs


Ed was back and he continued digging the trenches for sewage pipes and man holes.

We also had a delivery of special crates which are used to form drain-aways for all the new builds and we will dig a hole next week and place them in it along with membrane and funnel all captured water to this massive hole…

Crates for drain away

The painting continued inside and we started priming all the downstairs of the larger house and jumped up stairs to do some 2nd and 3rd coats in the en-suite and hallway in the stairs.

The Chippies also came into do more work on kitchen as well as put in all doors, skirting boards and architraves downstairs in smaller house…

Small kitchen 2Small kitchen 1

…and also put up a small roof above entrance to smaller house which we will probably paint black before having it tiled.

Porch on small house


Ed was outside digging more sewage trenches back towards new builds and managed to break the water pipe to the farmhouse so I had to go and get a number of connector pipes to repair.

Most of this day was painting for Dave and I and Linda was staining a lot of the wood and the chippies came in part of the day to put more of the doors, skirting boards and architraves upstairs in larger house.


I was back outside with Ed and we focused on getting the hole dug for the large sewage tank…

Hole for sewage tank

…and then dropped it in the whole and packed it with cement to make sure it wouldn’t move…and making sure it was level on all sides…

Sewage tank in holeLooking into Sewage tank

Next we had to connect the sewage pipe from the Manhole we put in place as well as put a pip to run electrics from sewage container to Control Panel…

Sewage pipe from manhole to tankSewage pipe and electricy pipe from tank

…and then we also connected the outgoing sewage pipe from tank to the piping we ran last week which goes 100 meters up the road to where it will be connected to the main sewage pipe…

Sweage pipe from tank to pump out

…and also finished running the large black pipe which carries the 3 phase electricity to the Pumping Station control panel and covered that with sand and the ribbon warning of an electric cable…

Electricity pipe to pumping stationElectric pipe covered over

The kitchen was also delivered for the larger house and Terry was in today helping Dave tile the en-suite bathroom and the fire-grate in larger house…


When we arrived we checked the manholes to find one of them had sprung a leak when a lorry drove close by the previous day and knocked it and had natural rain water running in it…which had in turn ran through the sewage system and into the sewage tank and filled up 3/4…this at least proved our sewage system had the correct drainage angles to carry sewage down!!…

Sewage tank filled with water

…so we had to dig back out the leaking manhole and replace one of the circular cones and re-pack with stones, cement and soil…and at end of day there were no leaks so all had been fixed.

Dave continued on with connecting all the sockets and switches for electrics in both houses and the chippies were in finishing off the kitchen in the larger house…

In the afternoon, we turned our attention to the outhouses which needed to be pulled down to enable us to get round back of property and knock out more walls to put in drainage and the foundations for future properties…this is what it looked like before we started…

outhouses before knock down

…and then Ed used the digger to pull away all the brambles and junk and then knock down the properties…

Brambles pulled from outhousesOuthouses knocked down

The chippies also came back in and started installing the kitchen in larger house…

Large kitchenLarge kitchen1 Large kitchen2


I was back inside doing painting on larger house and finishing off a lot of the walls that the plaster had taken longer to dry on.

Ed continued to finish off the pumping station and put another concrete ring around the manhole to bring it up to surface level to make sure it doesn’t get flooded with surface rain water and put a man hole on top of this…

Man hole on sewage tankPumping Station

We also had the stairs fitted in both in both houses …

Stairs in Small houseStairs in large house

…although they had to come back on Saturday to finish the job with balustrade…they really look great and they aren’t even stained yet…

Small Stairs doneSmall Stairs done1Large Stairs doneLarge Stairs done1

Next week the plumbers will be in all week so all bathrooms and kitchens should be connected and the electrician will be there so we should have electricity in both houses as well…and Ed will continue knocking down buildings/walls and digging sewage to the 2 house as well as digging the sink -away hole and putting in crates…another busy week as we push to get everything finished!!

Week 18 – What a week but still made progress!

This weeks blog is a bit shorter due to what happened in the week as my mum ended up in hospital for 3 days and I wasn’t on site all the time…


The plumbers were in again and continued working on the larger house and finished upstairs so all 4 guys moves downstairs.

Dave continued on with putting the tiles in the bathroom with Terry helping him with all the cutting and Linda and I spent a lot of the day doing a lot of tidying up of the guttering, window and wall below the white K-Render.

I was back in the farm house taking off all the plaster on the walls and almost did 2 rooms by lunch time…and then in the afternoon I was painting back in the smaller house.


Plumbers kept going on the downstairs of larger building.

Dave started to lay the tiles around the wood burning fire grate again with Terry helping him cut all the pieces. Linda was varnishing all the doors for the larger house as well as shopping trips for more plaster.

I was doing a lot of paint touch ups and also put more loft insulation in place when I had a call from a friend of mum at lunch time as she had been taken to hospital with total memory loss and had a seizure when she got there…so that was the end of my day as I took off and headed to hospital.


The plumbers finished all of the larger house and headed off by lunch time.

Dave also finished doing the tiling on wood burning fire grate which looked great…

Tiled Fire Grate

I didn’t arrive until 11am as I had a late night at hospital and then helped Dave get all the gutters fixed all the way up the wall before the scaffolding was due to come down at end of week…

Gutters fixed

Ed the groundsman also turned up with the digger and started planning for the building of the pumping station and started clearing the bushes so we could access the field next door which was wear the pumping station would be located.

The kitchen was also delivered for smaller house and this will be installed either Friday or Saturday.

Again I left early to get to the hospital to visit mum.


As if the week wasn’t bad enough…there was another accident on the motorway just after the junction I was due to come off at and subsequently ALL traffic came off at my junction…and that took me 3.5 hours to travel just 2 Miles so again got to site at 11am!!

On top of that, Dave had smashed his head on a bolt hanging from the scaffolding and was being patched up…it was a quite a nasty gash though as you can see..Daves HeadDaves head 1

I then spent the rest of the day with Ed in helping him to lay the piping for the 3 phase electricity to be run to the pumping stations as well as the sewage pipe running 100 meters up the side of the field so it could be connected to mains pipe…

The farmer next door (also called Ed) was kind enough to lend me his Tractor and carrier so I was able to load it with all the black pipes and drive it into the field and lay them in position…saved me a lot of time!!…

TractorMe in tractorPipes ready to go in trench

First we layed all the pipes in the trench…

Pipe to 3 phase

….and also the sewage pipe…

Sewage pipe

…and then combined both pipes in the same trench to Pumping station…

Yellow Tape in Trench 12 pipes in trench

Once we had positioned all the pipes for electricity and sewage into the trench, we then had to cover with dust and squash down…

Dust on 2 pipes

…and then lay a tape which indicated there were electrical lines below in case anyone digs into this trench in future…

Yellow Tape in TrenchYellow Tape in Trench1

…and then Ed re filled the trenches again with the soil he had originally dug out.

I also went back up hospital and took mum home…she is still not right and very washed out but at least she is home!!


We got everything ready to start digging sewage trenches and laying pipes back from Pumping Station to the various houses in development…and we placed a large pipe in ditch next to road to ensure water can still drain away…

Pipe in ditch

…but before we started we went for a big breakfast at 9.30 and then we worked the rest of the day just stopping for a cup of tea.

Thankfully it didn’t rain but at various points when we were digging we hit the water table and had to get the water pump going to drain the water so we could lay the pipes and the fill with stone and then  soil again…and thus I was covered in mud from my knees down.

We also put in a couple of Manholes and filled them back over…

Manhole covered in

and didn’t leave until about 6pm so a very long day on a very long week!

The week did end well though as the kitchens were partly installed on Saturday..Kitchen 1Kitchen 2

and the scaffolding came down so we could really see the 2 houses we have build and really happy with what we have done!…

House No Scaffoldside front House No ScaffoldFront House No ScaffoldBack house no scaffolding 2

There is a big storm coming in Sunday night/Monday morning so will see how much that disrupts us but we have to keep digging the trenches back to each house for sewage and putting in man holes so somehow I think next week will be both very dirty and very wet!!

Week 17 – Floor & outside render complete


We taped all the floor/wall edges in both houses ready for cement to be laid…but it was delayed a day until Tuesday  as  a previous job had run over.

Terry chiseled and fitted electric sockets in large house and took him all day and he worked hard to the point where he was sweating!!!

New K-render plasters turned up unexpectedly as another job they were on wasn’t ready so they set up ready by beading all the walls and will also start tomorrow and may even get done in 1 day!!

Dave and I painted for hour before lunch and all afternoon with primer and 2nd coat downstairs in the smaller house…1 more coat and this house will be full painted and we can fit all doors, architraves ….and next week hopefully kitchen, bathroom and wood burners!!


A crazy day as K-Render plasters turned up as well as guys doing cement scree in both houses…and what did they both need to do the job?…WATER!!…and how many water outlets do we have…1!!

…but they worked together and both had machines cranking so a lot of noise…and both were working very quickly and the K-Render on left side of house and front as full applied by lunch time and they started rubbing it back in the afternoon.

The K-Render plasters had a special machine that could apply the plaster very quickly…

K-Render MachineK-Render Machine1

Jo who was doing the cement scree in both houses also had a machine which mixed the scree solution delivered by a large cement truck and fed this into the house using a large pipe…

Scree Machine1Truck with cement for screeScree Machine hose into house

…the cement scree was also done by late morning…

Scree in smaller houseScree in larger house

and now we have to let it dry for next 24 – 48 hours before we can walk on it!

As we couldn’t go in the houses, we started to take the bricks off of the huge wall that we need to knock down as we were hoping to re-use them…but they weren’t in great shape and was taking too long so we will get Ed to knock down in a weeks time and clear up from there…and so we went into Farmhouse and started to take out all the ceilings upstairs.

Some were just plaster board but others had wooden sflooring on top of the joists and then thin wooden strips covered in plaster underneath and so whilst it was fairly quick to take up wood and knock the ceilings down…it took hours to carry plaster and wood downstairs and into the skip that was delivered…

Junk on Farmhouse floor

End of day we had the roof cleared on the larger if the 2 farm house lofts and there is so much room…and we will see if its possible to put an additional bedroom & bathroom up there which would very large!…

Loft view Farmhouse LargerLoft view Farmhouse Larger1


IT was raining hard so the plasters doing K render cancelled and will come on Thursday.
The 3 of us went back into Farmhouse roof and pulled down the ceiling on other loft side as well as removing most of the joists.

As before it took hours of carrying all the wood and plaster to the Skip and even managed to hurt my elbow with all the hammering of joists.

Loft view Farmhouse SmallerLoft view Farmhouse smaller 2

Kitchen company also came into measure up in both houses so we should get the quote back by end of week and will install kitchen next week in smaller house as that is almost ready downstairs.

I also dropped into Homebase on way home as we needed some beading for bathroom tiles in smaller house.


Lord Drake and crew turned up to continue plastering inside the larger house and had 2 working upstairs and 1 downstairs.

The weather was also better and the K-Render plasters were also there finishing off the back of the house and by end of day both houses had been done and it look fantastic…

front with K-Renderfront with K-Render1Back with K-RenderBack with K-Render2

Dave continued to paint the smaller house and many other jobs…Linda…made tea (and lots of other things) and I was left to cut off all the membrane and sponge that was around the edges of the now dried scree flooring.

…and then back to the painting all afternoon downstairs in the smaller house and apart from a few touch ups on Friday it was all done…

Kitchen painted in smaller housedining painted in smaller houseLounge painted in smaller houseHall painted in smaller house


Dave started to plaster the bathroom in smaller house and the below photo doesn’t do it justice so will try and get a better one when we have lights working in the house…

Bathroom tiled in Smaller

The plasters kept going in larger house and all 3 bedrooms are now finished and just the bathroom and landing until they can all focus on downstairs so Monday should see upstairs all finished…I tried to take photos but didn’t come up well with the available light so will get some next week.

I was doing odd jobs like adding more screws to ceiling plaster boards downstairs to ensure it didn’t move before plastering and cutting off all the membrane and silver sponge above scree in larger 3house.

Linda and I were doing a lot of cleaning up around outside of houses…particularly any mess left behind by K-Render machine so we had to scrape the blocks below K-Render and clean the guttering and windows.

It was great to take a look at the 2 properties at end of week with all the K-Render on as this was potentially a job that could have been delayed with the English weather…


…next week will be exciting as Jason will finish the last of the roofing and then we can take down the scaffolding midweek and we can really see the 2 houses. The plastering will be finished in larger house so we can start painting that and the kitchen and bathrooms will be installed in the smaller house…and maybe even the wood burners!!

Week 16 – Underfloor Heating and POWER!!


Arrived to see Jason had done most of the leading around the Chimney on the roof.

Linda was ill today…must have been something she ate for Sunday lunch?? 😉 (Private Joke)

Dave and I needed to put some additional support on the plasterboard in roof of larger property so I climbed into the loft and had to pull all the insulation back and forth until all the batons had been screwed into place from Dave below.

Next job was to cut the bottom of some of the walls in the smaller house which were now all plastered…this was to bring them above DCP level as we expect to have the under floor heating installed by end of week.

To prepare the floor, we had to first put the membrane down which is a thick black plastic sheet that needs to overlap above all the skirting boars (once they are in place)…

MembraneMembrane in Hall & KitchenMembrane in LoungeMembrane in Lounge 1

In the afternoon we started measuring the various plaster board sizes and I cut them so we were ready to do Dot & Dab the next 2 days with Terry coming in.

We were also expecting the large Celetex sheets to be delivered which are much wider/longer and 100mm thick so not heavy but awkward to carry…and of course they arrive at 4pm so we had to move them all into the smaller house quickly before end of day to keep them dry and protected over night…

Celetex delivered


Terry was in today so we did Dot & Dab in morning and afternoon so had to clean up twice as you can’t leave the tools for very long…thank god the weather wasn’t that cold as projected for Thursday!!

We managed to get most of the lounge and kitchen done and will finish hallway and study tomorrow…

Plaster Board in Lounge1Plaster Board in LoungePlaster Board in KitchenPlaster Board in home office

…and carried on cutting the remaining boards ready to place on the walls the next day.

The electrician also came in and wired off the mains box in the smaller house and tested the connection in both houses to make sure all wiring was working and hadn’t been damaged during the process of running it in the roof and walls…

Electric Box installed in Smaller house

We also started laying Celetex on top of the membrane in smaller house…

Celetex on Membrane in KitchenCeletex on Membrane in Lounge


Ed was in to dig a trench from the property to the side of the road and the main power so Western Power can connect us on Friday…and he also knocked down the fence out the front and it was interesting to get an idea of how much space will be cleared at the front of the property…

knock down fence at front

We finished off the dot & Dab by lunch time although we were 2 sheets short of what we needed and 1 bag of instant mix so we had to order that and will do it later in the week.

Dave and I quickly fixed the outside electrical boxes to the front of each house which is where the mains electricity comes into…

Fitting outside electicity boxes

Ed moved to the back of the house and started digging out a trench to the back of both kitchens to feed the waste water pipe…but this proved very difficult as the angle of the pipe we had placed when laying the blocks wasn’t as flexible as we needed.

Lots of chiseling and digging and we finally got 1 done by end of day and will have to do other one tomorrow.

Dave and Terry carried on laying mebrane and celetex in the lounge of the larger house…

Celetex on Membrane in hall larger houseCeletex on Membrane in toilet larger house


We finished of the smaller house and put a sheet of polythene on top of all the Celtex and taped all the sheets together…this was ready for the plumbers who came in and started laying the pipes for the underfloor carpet…

Ready for underfloor heating in smaller house

Dave and I then focused on getting the pipe connected to the kitchen in larger house and with more digging and chiseling of the stone and mud it only took 30 minutes and we were able to run the long blue water pipe back up into the kitchen and leave the long curled bundle which will be run around front of the house…

Water pipe into house

We also had a delivery which was a large lorry delivering just 2 plaster boards and 1 bag of adhesive..

Small Delivery

We then went back to the larger house and finished laying the membrane, celetex and polythene sheet so by lunch time it was all finished and the plumbers could then move into the larger house to lay the underground heating…

Celetex on Membrane finished in larger house loungeCeletex on Membrane in kitchen larger house

Linda had been varnishing all the door frames and skirting in the smaller house all morning and it looks really great with the white painted walls rather than white trip…and suits the overall cottage feel of the house.

By Lunch time the plumbers had finished installing the underground heating in the smaller house…

Underfloor heating in lounge and kitchen in smaller houseUnderfloor heating in hall and kitchen in smaller houseUnderfloor heating in loung smaller house

…and the control panel and taps were installed for heating in kitchen…

Controls for Under floor heating in small house

After lunch, Dave, Linda and I then focused back in the smaller house and painting upstairs with a 2nd and 3rd coat and by end of day upstairs was almost done!!

…and by end of day the plumbers had also finished installing the underground heating for larger house  along with control panel as well…

Underfloor heating in hall and kitchen in Larger houseUnderfloor heating in toilet in larger houseUnderground heating controls in larger house


We started the day with my favorite job of the moment…Dot and Dab!!…although we only had to put up 2 more plaster boards so didn’t take that long and I finally took some pleasure in the clean up process as it won’t happen again for a while until we start the next house!!

When the underground heating was installed, the edges between the Celetex and wall were filled with a thing silver spongy material which pushes the membrane up the wall allowing the self leveling cement (being laid on Monday) to form a tight finish and seal…but a few places were misses so I completed that…

sponge sealer

The next door neighbours Tree surgeon also came in and started cutting some of the trees back that are across the other land we have and where we will build the next detached houses so was good to that clearing…

Trees choppedTrees chopped1

Western Power also came into connect the power from the street to our properties so in next few weeks we can turn the POWER ON in the houses!! 🙂

We had a quick trip up road to get the big cooked breakfast before rushing back as Rob (Plumber) was coming later to fit the bathroom so we set about finishing the painting upstairs in the smaller property …this was the 3rd coat of paint and by end of day we had completed upstairs painting and the bathroom was part installed…

Bath in placepainted room

Linda had also been varnishing the 4 doors for upstairs and along with the stained wooden door frames, skirting boards and Architraves it looks really great against the white walls and adds real ‘farmhouse’ character to the new builds…

door framedoor and door frame

skirting board

Lots more painting next week as well as the plasters in for a few days (so more jokes and swearing!!) and its time to decide on kitchens and get them delivered ready to install.