Outside, the garage now has its windows and the cladding is progressing. Inside the house, all the rooms have now had a couple of coats of paint, but as the floors are still covered up we have yet to see the full impact. However we have seen the shower room floor uncovered for the first time, which is a black limestone with the surplus tiles cut to produce a very neat skirting. The photo is of the basin on its birch stand.The plumbers and electricians have also been back to do some commissioning, including testing the heating system for the first time.
The builders have recently see the need for the intricate insect mesh that was installed behind the wood cladding, as a swarm of wasps decided to make a home about 2m inside their long work bench in the photo. Not that I am a great one for killing wildlife, this was a case for Pestkill.
Most things have gone smoothly with this build, except we have had a couple of teething problems this week. The shower-room light came with a diffracter that gives alternating dark and light bands around the room and a white garage door was delivered instead of the grey that was ordered.
Your first question is most probably what is “Tadelakt”? Tadelakt is a polished plaster based on the original Moroccan plaster meaning ‘to rub’ or ‘knead’ in Arabic and we are using it to give a waterproof finish to our shower room.The main ingredients are natural hydraulic lime, selected sands and marble powder with a pigment to give it some colour.Once the coat of plaster has been applied it is sprayed with an olive oil soap and is polished with a stone. The olive oil soap chemically reacts with the lime to form calcium stearate, which results in a surface that is both water resistant as well as hard and durable.
We have chosen the parchment colour, which starts of as the bright yellow pigment in the previous photo. The inset photo below is nearer to the colour it will dry to. What the photo can not show is the beautiful smooth texture of the finish. Nor does it show the final subtle colours that come with the final polish.
Last week the grey painting was completed on the outside and so we are now ready for the scaffolding to come down. Upstairs is now nearly completely painted, but downstairs is still too much of a workshop for the painters to start. The tiler has laid the black limestone tiles in the wet room, which means the plasterers can start next on the tadelakt plaster.
Henry and Dan finished mounting the kitchen doors and appliances, whilst this weekend Peter came home to help with putting together the drawers.Just the worktops to sort out now.
Surprisingly Ella ( the cat ) finally decided to do a thorough explore of the house whilst we were making the drawers. Upstairs, downstairs and on the scaffolding – before she decided it was time to find a comfy place to sleep.
Lots going on again this week, though the outside painting has been held up waiting for more paint. The garage now has window frames and the back layer of the cladding has been started.Inside, the kitchen units are now up on the walls, though the appliances, doors and drawers are still to be added. But visually the biggest difference has been the arrival of the oak staircase. The handrail and glass panels will be added in the next couple of weeks.
Though the photos this week are all of the kitchen, there has been lots of other work going on. The grey paint is steadily covering the main part of the house, so watch out in a couple of weeks for the first photo of the outside without scaffolding. Inside the joinery work has continued on door architraves and started on the window seat in the corner of the living room. Also the cladding of the pod where it juts inside the house has started – will post a photo next week when it is completed.
And so to the kitchen – the one bit where we get hands on. The kitchen arrived in flat pack from last week – all 200 boxes of it. Kathryn and Rob gamely volunteered to come down to help up put the carcasses together.So by the end of the day 23 of the boxes had been converted into the units. Amazingly with no missing parts or major hiccups in the build.It is now over to the builders to secure them to the walls and put in the electrical items. And at some point I suppose we should think about what worktop to put on top.
It has been a busy week with 5 different groups of people on site. The painters have started outside with a coat of Osmo Natural Oil woodstain. The Douglas Fir cladding would have naturally gone grey, but at different rates depending on how much sunlight the wood was exposed to. Giving a coat of woodstain means that it will grey with age more evenly.
Inside, the tilers have started on the Travertine floor as you can see from this photo of the living room.
The plasterers turned up for a day to do a base coat of lime plaster in the wet room. Also Gary turned up with a digger so now the holes in the field are filled in with the mounds of subsoil evened out along the edge of the ditch.
And the regular team were still hard at work – fitting skirting boards inside, doing woodwork on the bookcases, and doing the fiddly job of fitting the aluminium capping to the roof cladding. The mesh is to stop insects making a home between the boards.
To round of the week, Ikea delivered the kitchen – all 200 boxes worth.
The house may not yet be painted or have its flooring complete, but this week the biggest change has been on those important fittings – the bookcases. Upstairs on the landing is an oak bookcase designed for paperbacks, which has a bottom shelf deep enough for hardbacks as demonstrated by this Terry Pratchet And downstairs the library has been kitted out with pine shelves.