Well, despite the bad weather (rain) causing frequent changes to Nigel’s work plans, a lot has been achieved on the house and outbuildings this month. We are grateful to Nigel and the lads because the weather has forced them to work inside one day and the next outside when it stopped raining. Nevertheless the week before Christmas was great with bright, sunny and warm days before the chilly evenings that get dark so quickly and early over there. But as I write they are having steady, consistent snow – maybe the start of “winter”.
One of the biggest disappointments was having to stop the work on the boundary wall and fence simply because the rain turned the area the lads needed to work in into a quagmire. It had begun to get too cold for a lot of concreting/mortar work and the fairly constant rain meant the lads couldn’t stay outside for long. So we decided to postpone finishing the wall and fencing until the spring.
In the past week the electrician has finished all the internal wiring for lights and power which is a big job. We had replaced the old distribution board several months ago – before the power company came and installed a new meter/connection outside the boundary wall so that the meter reader doesn’t need to come in to read the meter! This is another great milestone before the worst of the winter sets in. The next step will be to prepare all the wiring for the external electrics; e.g. lights and power sockets on the patio and in the garage, a few lights up the driveway and at the entrance gate.
At the beginning of the month we transported some items from the UK, by van. This included Jane’s bath which she had hunted for so persistently, a kitchen dresser that we had made, glass blocks for the two bathrooms and the tiles for the kitchen. We (and Nigel) had spent many hours searching in BG for the glass blocks and the particular tiles we wanted but with no luck – thankfully we found some discount suppliers in UK and a great couple to do the transport for us.
The main targets for this month were to complete the building of the garage (block built) and the tool/woodshed (timber frame) so that the various piles of materials that are inside the house can be moved outside to make room for all the work that will be going on while the “real winter” is happening. So there was a lot of pressure whenever the rain wasn’t really tipping down to get on with these.
The garage has been block built and the lads have done a great job. We had a bit of a job finding the right quality of hinges as the doors are pretty heavy, but we’ve got them on order now. Outside, eventually, it will be simply rendered and painted the same colour as the house.
The toolshed was probably a bit more ambitious even though it is a pretty simple timber framed structure clad in planks of wood that still has the bark on it. The woodshed will be accessible from inside the kitchen as well as 2m wide doors similar in style to those on the garage. Inside the woodshed is an insulated “pod” with space for a couple of chest freezers and a fair bit of shelving for food storage. The rest of the inside will be lined with OSB and usage split between space for stacking a good quantity of wood (we reckon we should be able to get 25-30sqm of logs/firewood/kindling inside) and space for gardening tools, tack, etc. Hopefully this will mean that we don’t need to build a barn in the medium term (hopefully at all!). All the timber inside and out will be given a good coating of wood preservative to finish it off.
That’s all for now – we hope that you had a wonderful Christmas celebration!