Bathroom progress episode 348

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.

https://www.homebuilding.co.uk/renovation-your-step-by-step-planner/

Note: Bookmark the site. It’s the best website I’ve come across for information and advice.

 

Freeze

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.

Panic Button

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.

Off Days

I don’t have a clue what the contractors were thinking on the day of laying bricks. I got a message asking “how high the window sills should be?”

I was baffled by the question and said I’ll get back to them. I then thought they were referring to the bay window and asked them to check the plans.

I was wrong. We get photo updates at the end of the day. They had laid too many bricks.

Below is a photo showing what they completed that day.

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Notice something wrong? The below may give you a clue.

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Why are there bricks where the floor to ceiling window is? The builders had bricked up to a height where a standard window will be installed. That day they also asked me how many bricks should be on either side of the bi-fold doors. They sent me a picture (below) and I wasn’t impressed with their suggestion. Two and a half bricks on either side to make it look symmetrical. I was at work and couldn’t check the plans at that point in time. I replied saying fewer bricks on the left leaving the bi-fold door and window around the corner closer, giving it a narrower frame. I still wasn’t happy about it. Something was playing in my mind but I couldn’t pin it down. It was only when my wife asked about the floor to ceiling windows and I checked the plan did it dawn on me that it’s not right.

The photo below was sent to me at the start of the day before they had laid the bricks.

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When they undid their work it looked like the below on either side of the bay window.

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Unfortunately, the drama didn’t end here. I looked at the architects and engineers plan to find there should be a steel post in the corner. I tried to study it and find the solution online.

The next day was a Saturday and we went straight to the house. Another mistake. They have wasted expensive bricks on sections that will have aluminum cladding. The builders say it will give us the option to take the cladding off in the future. Mmmmm, it’s a little more complex than that but I’ll explain in another blog post.

The list gets a bit longer. While we were there I measured the height of the bay window only to discover they had put one extra row of bricks. It was not to the specification of the drawing which states 500mm height from ground level. Looking at the photo below with the measuring tape, the ground level starts from the top of the engineering bricks (membrane layer).  They had to remove the layer.

Below is the final image of the day and the plans. The contractors decided to wait until they get all the posts and beams before continuing as it will help them understand it better.

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Bay windows with one row of bricks removed. The bricks were up to the same level as the insulation before we arrived.

20170902_134933 Below are the architects and engineering plans.

Let’s re-evaluate and see what happens from here. That was one hell of an off day for the builders. Shit happens. It’s important we move on. The contractors are still very good and one of the best teams I’ve seen work together.

Heavy Footed No More

I should now be able to use the toilet in the middle of the night without trying to walk through the minefield of creaky floor boards while terrified of waking up my wife. She’s lethal when she’s disturbed. We’ve (the builders) are installing an extra layer of flooring designed to stop impact noise. The boards have a hard sponge material on one side designed to soften the impact when walking. I was always unsure of the solution as it decreases the rooms head-hight, however, I couldn’t notice the difference once I stood on it. We were amazed at how effective the solution works.

Roof Insulation

Unfortunately, the builder could not use the roof insulation he wanted to as it would have taken time for building regs to approve. He wanted to use a new material that acts like a blanket. It’s supposed to cover more areas as it can be tucked into small gaps. We opted to use what was originally planned. It’s like polyester. A bit more trickier to cut up and place in all the gaps. Still works well though and gaps can be a good thing for ventilation. Shouldn’t be an issue. I hope.