Update from Mid November

It doesn’t seem possible more than a month has passed since the last posting . . . yet we seem to have been working harder and longer than ever. Carpenters, electricians, plumbers, plasterers, tilers and window fitters have all been been coming and going whilst the resident team has been insulating (seemingly endless) and plasterboarding though none of this is very obvious to the casual observer.


Problems are never far away on a new build – especially one as complex as this one. The windows have given us some problems – not the quality (which is excellent) – but the fact that two of them are (just) two small to jump out of. Current legislation requires every main room on the first floor to meet the latest health and safety legislation and have a minimum clearance of 450 mm as an escape route. Hopefully changing the hinges will enable us to get the extra 10-15 mm or so required by Building Control. All (three) external doors are now on site and should be fitted in the next couple of weeks.

Water draining from the adjacent fields continues to cause headaches making the whole area around the house like a marsh. Progress has been started on a retaining wall on the south side which will hopefully collect all the drainage water and (eventually) route it to a wild pond in the lower section of the garden. More work is required here before the septic and rainwater harvesting tanks can be installed.

Electricians and plumbers have almost finished their first fix and low energy lighting and efficient bathroom fittings are currently being sourced. Plumbers have just finished laying the underfloor heating and the screed will be poured this week followed by installation of the wood burning stove and solar thermal evacuated tubes. Tiling has been started in the bathrooms and the range cooker should be functional before the end of the month.

All this represents a lot of man (and woman) hours reminding us (if any reminder was necessary) that a great deal of detailed and often time consuming work remains even when external appearances suggest the house is nearing completion.

There is no doubt that this is proving a challenging and often very difficult build. To quote a popular TV programme “It’s not easy being green”.

  • Simon Benson

    It looks fantastic Mark. I do hope the window openings issue is resolvable without having the change both of the windows. The end is now in sight – do you have a date in mind?

  • Mark Boulton

    Thanks for you kind comments Simon. No- we won’t be in for Christmas . . . Plastering the multipro boards is still proving very complex and time consuming. However doors are being fitted, tailed laid and lights connect whilst the plasterers continue to take up the challenge. Afraid hemcrete is problem material in the unpredictable UK climate

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