Building Work (Weeks 8 & 9) – Plasterboard, Niches and Corbels

So I’m getting lazy and lumping two weeks into one post.  It’s also going to be quite a short one as, although work has been happening at the house – it’s not stuff that makes for interesting photographs for example – pipes!

Pipes and back of barbican basinThese are the pipes going upstairs for the central heating, the hot and cold water (I think) and the waste for the shower and the basin (that’s the back of the Barbican basin)

At the start of week 8 a whole load of blue (moisture resistant) plasterboard appeared and my open plan house started to get segregated up.  

Here’s the downstairs loo.

Boxed in WC Boxed in WC with propped up Barbican basin

After visiting all the tile shops again and getting many tile samples delivered, I found the tiles I wanted and called up to ask for a delivery price to the Isle of Man – £130. Yeah, so instead I decided to go for some discontinued ones that one of the showrooms had priced at £10/m2. I had to decide the tiles now because I’m having a shower niche put in and Dave (the builder / joiner) said it should be perfectly lined up with the tiles, so perfectly that I had to decide how many mm of grout I was going to have – arrgh, decisions! The tiles are 248mm by 398mm and ideally I wanted them laid vertically but I measured out all the surfaces and it just wouldn’t have worked as well as horizontally (ironically the tiles I actually wanted were large format 100mm by 300mm matt flat metro style tiles which would have been laid horizontally). Anyway, for the niche, I was just going to have it one tile high (and accept I was not going to be able to buy the ‘bulk saver’ shampoo bottles) but by the time it was tiled inside, it would have been quite a bit smaller and so might not have fitted even the regular shampoo bottles, Dave suggested making it two tiles high and putting in a shelf – which sounded great until I then couldn’t decide if it should be positioned a tile higher or a tile lower. So he suggested three tiles! At this point I probably didn’t need to shout ‘yeah, let’s go wild!’ – but at least a decision was made and three it is!

Here we go, carefully modelled by some shower gel left by the previous tenants and a foam gun.

Shower niche

N.B. I opted for the moisture resistant plasterboard (painted with waterproofing sealant) rather than the uber waterproof stuff – as the niche is likely to be the point of failure anyway.

The rest of the bathroom got boxed out at the same time. The previous bath was an imperial bath (1675mm) which had been channelled into the wall to fit in the space (which was 1650mm). The one 1650mm bath I liked was made of steel and therefore the tap-holes (which I needed as you can’t wall mount taps in a solid wall) had to be drilled by the manufacturer into the enamel – which meant the lead time and the cost were pretty excessive. So, as the walls were in a terrible state after I’d removed all the tiles, it was decided to box it all out to make it 1600mm wide (a slightly more standard bath size). I didn’t really take any decent photos of this (it’s pretty hard now the room isn’t open plan) but here you can see the boxing in around two of the windows (as well as the new pipes for the basin and bath).

boxed in bathroom

In Week 9 the brickies returned and the extension started to grow. On Friday, I got there after work to see they’d got creative and put some little corbels in to emulate the ones at the soffits :)

Extension half up

Rear Corbel

Looks ace, doesn’t it?

Building Work (Week 7) – Sink and Slab

The week started at 8am on Monday as the builder and the plumber had a meeting and I’d been told to be there with decisions on underfloor heating and plastic vs copper pipe.  I sided with the plumbers on the pipe (plastic) but I got some grace on the decision about the underfloor heating (eek!).

Some pipework got done on Monday – you can see the grey plastic pipe under the floor and ready for the shower mixer in this photo.  The basin has also been removed.

Plastic Pipes

The stud work for the downstairs loo got put up and the Barbican basin got rigged up at the generally accepted height for a basin (900mm off the ground) for me to approve or disapprove.

Barbican Basin Low

I thought it was weirdly low though – I can’t rationalise why as you’d think the design would make it look higher.  Anyway, I asked for it to be 5 inches higher and although you can’t really tell from the photo, it’s so much better now!  Love that basin :)

Barbican Basin High

I’d also managed to find a recessed mirrored cabinet, which was exactly the same width as the basin (510mm) and thought that would look pretty smart mounted above it.  But unfortunately due to the grey pipe (that’s the drain from the shower) in order to make it fit,  the cabinet (and therefore the basin) would have to be off-centre by 25mm to 50mm.  It was also not as recessed as I had imagined – I thought it would just be the depth of the mirrored door but it actually stuck out about an inch.  So I said to forget it!

Can’t fault Screwfix though, I ordered it Monday lunchtime, it arrived Tuesday morning, they sent a courier to collect it Wednesday and I was refunded on Friday.

Croydex Recessed Cabinet 51 x 66

As for the extension – some baffles had been placed in anticipation of the concrete being poured.  I think the rain was a little heavier than expected for pouring day (Wednesday) though.

Baffles

Here comes the cement lorry!

Cement truck

A few hours after it had been poured.

Slab Day 1

The following day – someone obviously forgot their orange jerry can!

Slab Day 2

That’s it – I think they went off to work on another project while it was curing, so nothing happened Thursday or Friday.  There’s insulation and bricks on site now though, so I reckon there’ll be more action this week.  Which also means I need to make some decisions – eek!

Building Work (Week 6) – Getting off the ground

Oops – I’m a week behind with posting already.

Week 6 actually started a little early – I was enjoying this year’s first venture into a beer garden in Peel, on Easter Saturday, when I got a text from Bree “Just drove past your house. Didn’t expect them to be working on Saturday.”  Err, neither did I!  Dave (the brickie) had been taking advantage of fine weather to get the blockwork up to damp proof course level.  This is how it looked when I went by later.

Foundation Walls 1

He came back on Easter Monday and finished it off.  That rubble in the middle was left from the demolition of the outbuildings and was kept to reduce the amount of hardcore needed and to avoid having to take it away.

Foundation Walls 2

The following day the steel for the bi-fold doors / apex window went in and they also filled in part of the wall cavity, spread and levelled the hardcore.

Foundations Hardcore + Steel

Meanwhile the crows discovered the gap between the floorboards and the ceiling and thought we’d provided nesting boxes – apparently the builders had to remove two sacks of twigs!

Birds Nest Floor

So they soon put an end to that!

Birds Nests Blocked

A layer of sand next.

Foundations Sand

The waterproof membrane and yet more steel!

Damp proof course and steel

 

There was also activity indoors – I was first alerted to it by this sign.  Made me laugh as it’s just something my Dad would do (fixing it with a screwdriver, I don’t think he’d bother to leave me a sign).

Careful! No Floor

There were some ‘spongy’ boards which had to come out and one bad joist.

No Floor