Christmas is coming! 

So it’s been a long autumn here at Hey There, House, although it does seem to have flown by! We’ve made so much progress that it seems weird looking back at pictures from the summer – being so busy has meant I haven’t updated for a while and having a new job has taken up a lot of my brain power. Oh, and there’s the little business of an RSC production….

  

 

But we’re counting down the days until Christmas, but instead of awaiting the arrival of a small Jewish baby Messiah we’re awaiting the arrival of some bathroom furniture. Not as exciting for humanity but pretty exciting for us. 

The walls were done, and the roof was put on. I naively thought putting a roof on wouldn’t be too bad – Lord knows why when I’ve already lived through a new roof at Mum and Dad’s. It arrived like a giant Mechano set with instructions and everything. It looked enormous in our drive but once it was on it was amazing how normal the house looked – like it was missing it all along! Over a couple of weekends and with the help of various family members we got it up, felted and secure. 

  

However, it happened to be during a couple of storms. We had water in places. In the freshly decorated bedroom. In the hall. In the spare room. The coving made a run for it. 

  

After what seemed like an age we were able to get up and start fibre glassine the flat roof part. As it was a half-hipped roof, we had to allow a section of flat roof on the top which can’t be seen from the ground. Andrew was able to pull in some expertise from his work and we spent a weekend of sun on the top of our “landing pad” painting on layers of fibreglass and resin. The finished result is finally watertight and pretty sturdy!
As soon as the roof was finished we knocked out a wall or two and put one up.  As we were extending the bathroom we removed the original wall and moved it a couple of feet out, giving us two decent-sized rooms. We bricked up the odd hallway window and fitted the new bathroom window, and the set to preparing the floors.

  

The damp-proofing bitumen was not nice. It smelt. It was sticky. It ruined everything. I’m hoping this bodes well for our floor. And that it doesn’t eat through  the insulation….

  

 Our plasterer came one evening to screed the floors level. It’s amazing what a difference a flat floor can make to a room!
Since then it’s been all-hands on deck again. We’ve chosen our bathroom and we’re getting ready for it to arrive, plaster boarding walls, plumbing in pipes and booking in Matt the electrician for our lights and mirror. Fingers crossed, we might be in by 2016… 

   
 

The Big Build: Walls

Tonight, on Hey There House at 10…

Okay, so I haven’t updated for a while and so much has happened. This post is just the headlines.

In the past month we’ve seen some serious changes. The bricklayer has been and we’ve got walls!

   

  

    
 
We’ve still got one small wall to build (across the two above) and then we can knock the old walls through giving us two rooms – one for the bath and one for the utility. 

We’ve blocked up the old windows, too. Our kitchen window will be large and so will our new bathroom window, so we don’t need those anymore. 

     
 As the outside will be rendered, it’s enabled us to use blocks instead of bricks which is quicker and easier. You can see we’ve ripped out the toilet, too, ready for that right hand wall to be knocked into the new room. 

The kitchen and the bathroom have also been ripped out, so it’s starting to look like a real building site. It’s crazy how one cupboard can hold so much stuff! All of our supplies are now living on a camp table and in buckets. Luckily the fridge is still there… 

I had some serious fun removing the tiles. It’s my new favourite job. It was a lot easier with this baby: 

     
And in more news, our drains are finished! They’ve been here and there for months now THEY ARE FINISHED! Unless you have lived without proper drainage or a toilet for months you will not understand my excitement. This is big news.   
And finally, the roof has arrived!

  
Well, the trusses at least. They’re enormous. It’s hard to believe that all of that is going to be up soon. It does mean we need to remove the old roof which is currently protecting our brand new bedroom. We have tarpaulins but I am hoping we don’t see any more storms for a while; my beautifully painted walls can’t take it! 

The Big Build: Foundations Day!

 If you’re short on time, we’ve created this handy video to see what we did today in 25 secs.

  
But believe me, it took a lot longer than 25 seconds! It was a hot, hot day but we started at 7:30am. Whilst I made a bacon roll run, Andrew gathered the troops and made last minute alterations to the drain and the trench. 

At 8:50am, Big Bertha arrived with her cargo of concrete looking like a bizarre funfair ride and the boys began lining up ready for the drop.
  

Then it was action stations and go! As soon as the concrete hit the barrow we had 50 minutes to get it in the trenches. Luckily, Andrew had a plan!
  

Dan, my Dad and Andrew’s dad and AP himself made up the shovel team. When the barrows we ditched, they raked, shovelled and generally squished around in the concrete getting it into everywhere it was needed.

  

We had rigged up some boards and ramps through the shuttering so the boys could get straight into the far end. We needed a little bit of extra soil behind the shuttering as it was beginning to bow, but it held out.
  

After 50 minutes, the last barrow was emptied and the mixer was being washed…. But we didn’t quite have enough to get it to the right level. After a bit of deliberation, Mr Concrete said “save your money. Go get 10 bags of ballast, 5 bags of cement and mix it yourself.”

So off to B&Q me and Papa Hey went! 

  

There was just enough! The boys had created a frame to squeegee the concrete level, which was a great idea. Dan was Captain Concrete getting it all perfect. You can see our little poop pipe happily sticking out – it made a great drinks holder 🙊! (Don’t worry, it’s brand new).
  

With one final squish and a bit of trowel work, we made it. All that expensive steel was gone, covered in concrete. It just goes to show all the hard work you can’t see.

 

The finished product. Andrew is religiously dousing it with water to make sure it hardens low and slow, making it as strong as possible – although at 27 degrees and not a cloud in the sky it was proving difficult. At the end of the week we should be able to remove the shuttering ready for the brickie and backfill the holes around the edge so nobody falls down them again…oops. 

The only way is, quite literally, up. Hopefully.