More photos. I’ll go into details in a separate blog post regarding the different topics. E.g. Skylight, flooring level, beams, f’ ups, Roof type, insulation, soldier bricks, etc.
She’s giving birth! The extension is forming. Remember, I’m catching up on the blog here. Progress is way ahead of what you see below. You can see from here how the beams and joists are put together like lego. It’s difficult to picture it on the plans, however, when you view being pt together it starts to make sense. More progress photo’s to follow.
We had to put up the retaining wall ASAP. There was real concern that rain would cause a mini mudslide. I personally think it was a small chance as there was only a thin layer of soil and the rest of the ground was made up of rubble. We’re guessing it was either the previous house if there was one or rubble from another property close by. There are broken tiles, bricks and all sorts creating the high banking for the lawn.
The retaining wall is not to the specification provided by the Architect as the cost of removing the dirt was much higher than expected. The Architects plan was to use sleepers. It would have meant removing dirt furthermore dirt and filling it up with concrete. In hindsight, maybe we should have stuck to the original plan. The plan now is to either render the brick or use cedar wood to clad. The later is my first preference.
It does feel like a big chunk of the garden has gone.
Don’t want this falling!!!!
The builder decided to create a loft opening on the side wall in the landing. It was a good idea at the time and in all fairness, the builders meant well. I was never 100% sure about it as I thought it looked like crap and could not imagine how the door opening would look.
We got to a stage where we felt the project was running away from us and called in our architect to cover a few pointers that we found puzzling. I’ll explain that episode in another blog. Anyway, she straight looked at it and said it will not pass building regs (inspection). There is a solution, however, when I received the details and looked into it, the costs were not worth it.
One reason why the builder did it was that he didn’t like the idea of the loft hatch being positioned in a bedroom. He had no choice to backtrack as there’s no way I’m paying the amount of money it cost to get it passed building regs and the fact that I never asked for it in that position.
You can see the concern. Anyway, I’ve had to order new ceiling loft openings. I’m sticking to the building regs version of our plan that the architect supplied. She put in amazing detail. I’m a bit concerned that I’ve ordered the wrong item, nevertheless, we won’t know until we receive it and try fitting. We have two loft openings. One I know I ordered is correct. The other to replace the large side opening, I’m not so sure. The builders have already plastered the bedrooms and the one I’ve bought for the bedroom requires it to be plastered. Before you judge me, let me explain something. The contractors plastered way too early on in the project and it has caused headache after headache. I was quite vocal from the beginning about being unhappy with plastering really early. We have four plaster-in light fittings and plaster-in coving. How the hell can they plaster before fitting these items?
That’s why I’m going ahead with the loft hatch type I’ve ordered. They will have to figure it out as it’s their own doing. The reason I got a plaster in loft hatch is that it’s in a bedroom and I don’t want it to stick out. I’ve actually bought a service hatch. You can stick insulation to the top to make it function as a loft opening. It also has a strong lock.
The other ceiling hatch is a standard picture frame.
Before asking builders/contractors for a quote, you must have the structural engineering plans complete. The structural engineer has a critical role to play in the build as they will specify what’s needed to accomplish your proposed plans. That includes the beam structure, number of beams, size of beams, foundation depth, etc.
A contractor will be unable to provide an accurate quote without knowing what work the project actually entails.
At the start of the project, I didn’t think I’ll be contacting the engineer much. I was wrong. I’ve contacted the engineer several times to confirm specs of beams and for the bay window structure. I initiate the meeting leaving the builders and engineer to discuss the technical aspect.
Back to the box topic. Our rear extension needs a lot of structural support as were breaking two of the outside wall and one side of the house could collapse if not done properly. To accomplish this, the builders had made a box frame out of steel beams.
Check out the images. You can see what the steel has to support and understand why it’s needed.
Finally. We have placed the order for the bathroom. My builder has been asking for the bathroom supplies for a while now. In return, I’ve been asking them why is the extension has not been built yet?
I’m not keen on the builders installing the bathroom at this moment of time. The reason; the bathrooms are the only section of the house I can run wires if needed from the ground floor to the first floor, loft and vice-versa.
The builders have completed plastering the whole of the first floor. I have no idea why. I told them to leave it as it should be one of the last tasks. At least have the extension shell built before plastering. The issue is that by plastering all walls on the first floor, we can’t make any changes. On a building site, changes are needed all the time. No new wires can be run as you will need to rip off the plaster.
I’ll let them fit some parts of the bathroom. The bathtub and shower tray. Should keep them happy.
Look at the link below. They have completed the first floor up to number 15. Plastering Out/Screed Floors. This schedule applies to the whole house. NOT floor by floor.
Note: Bookmark the site. It’s the best website I’ve come across for information and advice.
There seems to be another freeze on the build. There’s been no work for over a week as the builder waits for the steel to arrive. The suppliers do all the fabrication as requested by the builder. We met the engineer on the 18th Sep to go through sections the contractors were unsure of. The engineer explained in detail to the builder and he seemed to understand. Fingers crossed it’s measured correctly as it’s a big part of the cost for our project. For the record, this should have been completed at least one month ago. It’s another reason why it’s worth having an architect involved if it’s your first time as they would have overseen the project needs in advanced.
Finally, we have chosen our tiles. The builder wasn’t impressed when we explained the changes we wanted in the main bathroom. We want the toilet moved. He’ll do the job. I’m just hoping there are no other changes we need to do as he has plastered the first level. I don’t completely agree with it. I think the plastering should have been done at a later date. The extension shell is not yet erected. I’m worried that we may want a change and he will have to rip through the plaster. Fingers crossed we don’t need to make any changes.
I’ll add a drawing of the changes once I get all the tiles delivered.
The button was pushed when I walked in and looked up. This is the ultimate of 1st world problems. I was tired and frustrated with not making a final decision on the bathroom from the day before. Plus I had a long drive from London to Manchester and back in one day.
The view wasn’t as good as I was hoping. We had to sacrifice the line of sight to the second window for some extra storage for the walk in wardrobe. It really got to me how we affected the design. I was unhappy about the view from the ground floor. On top of that, I also decided I wanted the bathroom door moved to the right.
We spent all day on Tuesday going through the bathroom design and when I was looking around the bathroom on Wednesday I realized the ceiling had curved edges on two of the main walls. That changed the design completely. Don’t know how I missed the detail. It meant we would not be able to tile the whole bathroom as it will look strange having tiles going all the way up to the edge of two walls but not the others. That explains why the bathroom was never fully tiled in the past.
After looking at the bathrooms and landing, I went outside to check the measurement from the wall to the window where the kitchen units will start from. I discovered it was short of 60cm meaning the kitchen units won’t fit. I was really annoyed as we might have to make one of the windows narrow which will change the symmetry. We’ll check with the Architect (extra cost). I spoke to a kitchen shop and they recommended leaving 65cm. The general depth of kitchen cupboards is 60cm. The extra 5cm will allow space for plumbing pipes and the worktop counter lip.
The cure: Went sleep, woke up and vented out my frustration to my wife over the phone while driving to work. Done. Back to the right frame of mind. Not everything will be perfect and I’ll figure out a solution to the ugly box we added for storage. We’ll also book a session with the architect to fix the kitchen unit/window situation.
It is difficult living like this, however, it’s important you stay calm and try your best not to have sleepless nights thinking about the project.