Progress has been slow. Like all self builders who are working within constrained budget and managing small packages of work (instead of a more conventional main contractor route) cashflow and the availability of labour have hampered us since Christmas.
I have a full time job and Kate works part time while we share another full time job looking after our two young children. So it’s hard to find time to achieve the big chunks of work we’d like. Its generally impossible for both of us to be on site together and if we do manage it we’re usually confined to an hour or two when we can entice our boisterous offspring to sit in front of a film in the site caravan. Young children and building sites do not mix.
Sometimes one or other of our long-suffering sets of parents will make the journey north and allow us a whole weekend of work. It is against this backdrop that on Saturday we achieved a significant milestone. Our underfloor heating was connected to the mains and pressure tested. Nothing leaked.
The system we used is a standard Wavin specification. That is 15mm plastic pipe clipped into 25mm insulation panels that sit between timber battens onto which we have fixed 9mm ply and – once its acclimatized – 15mm engineered oak flooring from Russwood.
The benefits of this system for us are two fold:
- We could relatively easily lay the insulation and pipework ourselves up to the point of connection (with the assistance of Wavin’s helpful online video tutorials).
- There is no need for a significant amount of concrete and its resultant drying time at such a late stage of the build.
For us using the timber building up as opposed to concrete means a thinner build up on the floor. This helps us gain a few more millimeters in height where the ceilings are lowest.
The electrician is now on site and so by the end of today our house will have fully functioning heating.