Tuesday, 19 November 2013

3 toilets and a certificate

We decided to complete our VAT return for the house because we're not far off completion and money is tight.
One of the requirements for the VAT return is a Temporary Certificate of Habitation.
Iain arranged for the Building Warrant Officer to come and said she would do an inspection based on a Competion Certificate and let us know what we needed to do for both, but while she was here she would like to see a pressure test on the drains.
That was in August and the kitchen drainage passed easily but not the bathroom drains!
Iain has been driven mad by this as he couldn't understand why it wouldn't hold pressure, apparently you put a bung on one end and another on the other then pump air in via a gauge which shouldn't go down!!!!
He ended up disconnecting everything, and I mean everything. The drain from the house to the first manhole was fine, he found a problem with the bath trap in the downstairs bathroom (a 50mm bath trap will only hold 50mm of pressure), the building inspector was duly rung and she advised that she would accept 50mm. Which was fine but the upstairs bathroom had a problem and it was the toilet which wouldn't hold any pressure at all. Iain wrote to the place where we bought it and they sent as a goodwill gesture a replacement pan, which still didn't hold pressure! So then we went to B&Q and bought another toilet and that didn't hold pressure properly although it did hold some.
With having them outside it enabled Iain to see better what was going on, all the toilets could be filled to overflowing and did not loose any water so none of them leaked but air was going somewhere. The replacement pan with the cistern tightened up (the seal wasn't sealing fully enough for an air pressure test) it passed.
So today 2 months later, the building inspector said yes we can have our Temporary Certificate of Habitation. Hurrah!

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Weddings, visitors, summer kit and stove

From May to now it has been a very busy time, we went to the USA mostly business but we had a couple of days holiday. While we were there our granddaughter Neave was born, which called for a trip south to visit when we got back to the UK. Then back home to get the house ready for visitors who were coming to Inverness to our youngest son's wedding in July.

Beautiful Neave
David and Amy cutting the cake

Alastair and Jane at John O'Groats
Our beautiful stove and glass hearth

We have had glorious weather and Iain installed the summer kit into the Esse which has made cooking difficult/interesting again. What a summer kit is, is bricks that you install inside the firebox, it makes it smaller and closes off one of the vents but it also makes the cooker hotter and doesn't put as much heat to the boiler, meaning the oven has just been way too hot but we're learning.
All the mouldings are on downstairs, not necessarily fully painted but that can be done over the winter.

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Spring update

Work on the house has slowed down partly because we're living in it, partly due to work commitments and we've had flu, Iain has had 'an inner ear imbalance' and I've got sciatica, but we have still made progress and we've had help.
David and Jill came to stay at the end of March and in the week they were here.....
New log store built

Jill splitting logs

Top part nearly full

Iain cutting logs

Jill with the electric cable

David at the other end

We have electric with meter in the meter cupboard and a full log store. We don't need to run the range all day as now the heat store is full it just needs topping up so we light it for cooking and either let it go out or run it for the evening.

Our next visitors called in for coffee and ending up fixing the stairs, they also took us for dinner 2 nights running, thank you David and Annette.

We have all the downstairs doorways painted, half are fitted with the architreve. windowsills are fitted in the kitchen/dining room. We got a bit stuck with the painting as the windows are brown and the manufacturer said a light sand then paint with a water based paint no need for undercoat. That isn't working very well so looks like a lot of sanding so they may stay brown until winter. The skirting board is all cut for the downstairs rooms, but we need to make space in the lounge to paint them before Iain fits them.

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Outside Iain has been working on the drainpipes for the gutters, as well as disconnecting the caravan from the electric/water supply and moving the barn onto the permanant electric supply.

Progress has been made since February and hopefully more will be made over the summer.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Our First Visitors

Our first visitors were coming for a couple of days over half term and work had almost stalled on the house, as wood has taken priority.
The utility room had to have the slate floor laid, so that the washing machine and tumble drier could be moved out of the barn. Then the barn could be cleared ready for the tools currently stored in the guest bedroom. We also decided at the last minute to lay a laminate floor in the lounge as well as the bedroom.

This is what they looked like before.

This was how they looked one week before:

And this is how they look now

It was an amazing accomplishment by Iain who laid the floor in both rooms in a day and a half.