Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Living in the house

I was thinking it will be so much easier living in the house while we finish it. Well it is but.....
moving stuff from the caravan is now more urgent because with no heating in the caravan it is going damp and musty. The bedroom floor is nearly covered in stuff before long I think we'll have a path to the bed only. I've only seen the breakfast bar surface once and that was before we moved in.
I know it will take time especially as Iain is now frantically cutting wood and trying to keep up with the Esse which still doesn't get hot enough to boil a kettle, but it will boil potatoes and cook a chicken. The range has heated the heatstore we have plenty of hot water, the underfloor heating in the rooms we've turned it on is being turned down as we're too hot, same with the heating in the bedroom.
Having spent 2+ years in a caravan where no matter how high you turn the heating up it never gets warm and your feet are always frozen, it's amazing to be too warm, to take your jumper off and have warm feet.
The sorting of stuff and putting away will come together eventually, and skirting boards, window sills and architreve will get fitted in time. For now we are warm and comfortable.

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Moving in to the house

We are still in the process of moving into the house although we are living in the house.
There is a lot of stuff to move from the caravan to the house but as we need it we'll bring it over then.

Sunday, 25 November 2012


Iain has just about finished the kitchen, just a small section of plinth to put into place.

The house is mostly finished just a lot of tidying up, the living room walls are still to be painted.
The skirting boards, architreve and window sills have to be painted then fitted.

It is liveable so we will be moving in this week.

The electrician still needs to come and finish the wiring for the heating and Iain still has to dig the trench to put the larger duct in so the electrical supply can be transferred from the caravan to the house, but it doesn't stop us from moving in.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Electric supply update

The supply couldn't be installed because the duct that we've laid for it isn't big enough. It is for single phase but we are having 2 phase.
Iain now has to dig up the duct and put the new bigger duct in, but at least it will be ready for the Electric company as the electrician came yesterday and is putting the consumer unit in and has nearly finished wiring all the lights and sockets too.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012


The electrician came last Wednesday and had fitted most of the rooms by Friday. Then yesterday, Monday he didn't arrive. Today he still hasn't arrived but the Electrical supply people have and we have no consumer unit for them to connect to!

Wednesday, 7 November 2012


The time came at the weekend to test the plumbing! Iain turned the water on, then off again, fixed the first leak and then turned the water back on.
The second OOPS came when the upstairs toilet was test flushed and promptly emptied through the light holes of the living room. A joint in the waste pipe had come apart when fitting the toilet but second test worked fine.
The last leak was a pipe at the very top of the tank, so 1000 litres of water to empty out before it could be soldered. It took long enough to fill the tank and longer still to empty it.
Iain is now working on getting the chimney up for the Esse cooker/boiler and there are a few steps to go through before we can light it, such as putting the water tank back that he had to move in the roof to be able to get to the chimney in a very tight space.
The electrician arrived today and both bedrooms and the landing now have sockets and lights. Hopefully tomorrow he'll get downstairs done, then it will be back to waiting for the electric company to come and transfer the electric to the house, then panic while we work out how to get power back to the caravan.
Moving into the house will be as soon as we have hot water and power. We already have a working toilet
We also have a new bed coming thanks to Mum and Dad, which is very much appreciated.

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Upstairs nearly complete

Both bedrooms and the ensuite bathroom are painted and ready for the electrician. There is a radiator to fit in each bedroom but the pipework is all there.

The living room is still to be painted but it's still full of doors, skirting boards and window sills.

Friday, 26 October 2012


The main bathroom was nearly finished this week but we needed special fixings to fasten the sink to the wall so a trip to Inverness was called for. Iain did have a long list of things he needed for various jobs that he's been waiting for.

The ensuite was just the same needing the special fixings.

When ordering all the bathroom fixtures and fittings I forgot the shower hose, head and rail. Ooops!

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Harl and stairs

The builders have finished the 'Harl' which was a new word to me as we would call it render. It looks brilliant and I'm very impressed with our builders Chris and Brian.

Iain has been very busy and has got the staircase installed.
The tapers have finished upstairs. Painting next and we have to ring the electrician to come and do second fix.
Iain is still working on plumbing and bathroom so the next picture maybe of a finished bathroom.

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Summer update

We've not had a bad summer in Scotland which is good but our tapers (painters & decorators) have too many outside jobs and will get to us when it's bad weather. We do have enough to do but it may cause more delays as it has already lost us a week.
The house is now fully plasterboarded. The electricians have been and cut the holes for lights and sockets. Downstairs is now fully taped, the kitchen is painted, the downstairs bathroom & airing cupboard are yet to do. The lounge will have to wait until we get it emptied. The stairs, skirting boards, doors with frames, architrive and window sills arrived today so all of that with the kitchen units and worktops the lounge is pretty full.
We went to Inverness and collected the slate for the kitchen floor this week so today Iain has sorted them and sealed half the floor (the Esse cooker is in the kitchen so can only do half at a time). I've been washing them ready for them to be sealed. The slate has to be sealed twice, first to stop the grout soaking into them and then again when finished. So I guess the floor is going to take a while.
After the slate is down Iain can start fitting the kitchen and sort the (complicated) plumbing from the Esse to the tank. While I get on with painting and varnishing.
Our House Martins have all fledged so when the builder comes he'll be able to take the nests down to render. I think we need to put something up to stop them from coming back next year I didn't realise what a mess they make. They nested on the end of the barn last year so hopefully that's where they'll go next year.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

One bedroom plasterboarded.

The rest of the upstairs still to be done.

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Taping, Electrics and outside!

The electrician has been and cut the holes for the lights and sockets so we now have wires everywhere.
They also did red chalk lines all over the ceilings. The grey padding in the middle is the insulation cover off the heat store.
This is the heat store it had to be moved so the electricians could get into the cupboard.
This is the cupboard the heatstore is going to be in. We took the opportunity to paint a sealant on the floor while it was out.
This was the first day of taping where they put the tape on and one coat of plaster.
While the decorators were doing the taping and the weather was good. Iain put the dry verge on as well as tidying the ends of the eaves.
This is day 2 where they put a second coat of plaster on. As you can see it is just on the seams and over the nails.

This is the last day where they have done the third coat, sanded it all and sealed it.
Now the 2 rooms can be painted and used as storage for the kitchen units so the decorators can come and tape the kitchen. Then we can start upstairs.
There is still a lot to do but progress has been made.

Friday, 18 May 2012


From the moment we decided to buy a plot of land and build our own house we seem to have spent a lot of time waiting. Waiting for planning permission, waiting for the building warrant, waiting for Electric, waiting for the weather to rise above 4 degrees. Then waiting for quotes from electricians, builders, painters (for the taping), because although Iain has done a lot of the build himself with help from Paul, me & friends we have to have an electrician for the certification and it was more cost effective to get a builder to do the blockwork (from a time perspective anyway).
It took 3 months to find an electrician and it has taken a month to find someone to tape the plasterboard, which may have been a little quicker had I realised they don't trade under 'plasterers' but under 'painters & decorators'.
Iain has finished putting plasterboard up downstairs (apart from the heat store partitions). The electrician wishes to install the boxes and cut out for the lights before the taper can start. So we need him to come and do that, then the taper can do his bit so I can paint the back room first then the stairs, doors, skirting boards, window sills can be delivered as we will have somewhere to put them.
It wasn't going to take this long to build our house but if we eliminated all the waiting, we'd be finished now.

Friday, 20 April 2012


Iain and I have been putting up plasterboard in the kitchen and having done most of it Iain decided it was time to move the cooker in.
This is where it is going. The board behind is not plasterboard but superlux which is fireproof. Iain needed it in position so he could work out the plumbing before we put the plasterboard on the wall which is left in the picture.
This is the extremely heavy Esse cooker.
This is after the kitchen arrived. The cooker is in place but with it's box back over it. If we took delivery of the kitchen we would save 5% but of course now it is very much in the way, but as you can see the kitchen is plasterboarded.
So is the Utility room.
The above pic is the utility room.

So now we need a 'taper' but as usual having phoned 4 different ones, 2 didn't turn up and 2 didn't return my calls. Will try again after our week away training.
The living room is next then Iain can go back to plumbing and if we get someone to tape the plasterboard I can start priming and painting.

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Some pics

This is the study at the back of the house
This is the bathroom.
This is the heat store that is extremely heavy.

The first sheet of plasterboard in the kitchen.

Friday, 6 April 2012

Friends week with us

David & Jill came up to Sunny Scotland for a week and to help with the build. They arrived Saturday 24th March and started work on Sunday. The jobs to be done before putting up plasterboard was to put dwangs in place for the electrical back boxes.
The first dwang David put in, Iain used the nail gun to fix it into position BUT he shot David with the nail in the knee.
Luckily David was far enough away, it only glanced off and didn't leave a mark. So Iain was sort of forgiven.
After all the dwangs were put in and we had tidied up we could start plasterboarding, but not quite.
Dwangs then had to be put between the joists to fasten the plasterboard to.
Now plasterboard could go up.
We did finish the room and managed to move the extremely heavy heat store in from the drive too.
So more pictures to follow.

Monday, 27 February 2012


The bathrooms have arrived! Iain has been busy finishing off the insulation in the roof and sorting the plumbing so he can order the rest of the plumbing stuff we need.
We have an electrician who has been to look round and is hopeful that he'll have the wires in so that we can put plasterboard on at the end of March. Our friends Dave & Jill are coming for a week again at the end of March ;-)
The nights are getting lighter so hopefully things will progress more quickly now.
The cooker will be getting ordered this week now the chimney specs are all sorted, Chris the builder will be coming sometime to remove a section of the timber frame and fill it in with blockwork so we can put the cooker flush with the units instead of it sticking out by 2 or more inches (50mm or more for the ones that understand mm).
The woodburning stove is all sourced but as the flue can't go at the angle required to get out the dummy chimney and needs to go straight out of the roof, we need revised planning permission so the architect has submitted a drawing to the planners. The stove is on hold until we receive that.
Things are starting to move but it's still very slowly.

Friday, 27 January 2012

photos of inside

Some of the plumbing.

 Upstairs Bedroom

 Bedroom above the kitchen
Loft with ventilation ducting.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012


Progress is being made but slowly as it all seems to be one step forward and two back at the moment. Iain has got the first part of the plumbing done but needs to know what bathroom we are getting to continue with that, he is at the moment doing the neverending job of insulation in the roof.
We have decided to see if an electrician is expensive compared to the cost of Iain doing the work and having to bring a family member up from Scarborough to certify it. Getting an electrician is not easy though, if they are good at what they do they are very very busy!
We went to Inverness and went bathroom shopping which proved to be more expensive than either of us thought. So after that shock had worn off I spent a couple of days sourcing it all online and have just about found everything at half the price so when Iain has checked over the list to make sure what I've found will fit/work and everything is on the list then we can get it ordered.
Iain has been talking to a company about the chimney spec for the Esse cooker, so that can be ordered soon and we need to talk to the company who priced the kitchen we would like to see if the price can be discounted any further.
It is all coming together slowly, lots of decisions to be made that aren't quick decisions and as we are having a weeks holiday in Spain with our friends at their house we don't want deliveries until we come back.
Although the ordering can certainly be done as soon as possible especially the cooker which has a six to eight week lead time.