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Monday, 26 September 2011

Where did the ceiling go?!

Started removing the ceiling in the kitchen and bathroom to be, since it will be replaced anyway, and the wall needs to come out in order to be renewed.

Had to find a new circular saw blade after the existing one was extremely blunt, it would be better as a smoker than a saw. Turns out that the size of the blade is something that nobody stocks... so had to go for a slightly smaller one.. oh well.

It looks like the ceiling was put up before the walls were put up, as the planks continue over the walls.

The circular saw made short work of that, but I fear I need a new blade again now..

I've also cut the top planks in the attic to the size of the rooms below rather than enormous long planks which are 5M long when you only require 50cm access of those 5M.

Anyhow, some pics! :)

This is how the floor/ceiling arrangement works, planks on top, planks nailed to the bottom with straw mats with rendering thrown against it. the bit in the middle is the bit that needs to come out.
 I'm a bit concerned about this, it looks like the chimney stack has been built ONTO the roof beams..  I don't think I require to move that beam, at least I hope so.. or we might be in doo doo!
 ceilings cut out and knocked down.
 Above the kitchen to be (Left is a supporting wall)
 And bathroom to be, none of these walls except the far left are supporting.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011


Ahead of the works to be carried out to grannies room I've started to knock the render off the other side of the wall (Our Kitchen and Bathroom to be) to reveal the brickwork and see exactly what we're dealing with. I've also removed the render from both sides between the kitchen and bathroom to be's wall, as that will be replaced anyhow.

There's a fair old heap of old render now, which will do nicely as a hardcore to throw below the new concrete slab.

I'm quite glad these walls are being replaced, they really are a pick'n'mix variety of wall.
I wouldn't feel safe sticking another 2 Ton of concrete up ontop for a plinth for the boiler and water tank etc, and another 300kg of blockwork to make a frost tight room for the boiler, and add to that the boiler itself and 200L water tank or whatever it will be.. soon adds up to 3000KG+

Funnily enough, the outside wall (North wall) is rubble/stone/mud too... supporting the roof beams, but the inside wall supporting the roof beams appears to be brickwork, quite nicely laid at that too!

Makes the job a bit easier I suppose.

Granny's freaking out due to the amount of dust generated.. sadly I can't do much about it now can I!

Anyhow, Pics time:

South facing inside supporting wall on right and internal wall that's too come down on left.. see the difference in workmanship (And materials!)

 Grannies de-dust cloaking device (it's an old curtain) to stop the dust getting round the gaps of the old door. This whole wall is coming down and is being replaced so it can carry the load of the boiler above.
 On the left is the North side outside supporting wall, I chipped back the render on it to see what exactly it was made of, and to see how the internal wall attaches to it... well err... it kinda doesn't really.
 Notice the difference between the blockwork of the chimney (In the middle) and the wall to the left and right of it... I hope the wall was built around the chimney later, it's still to early to tell properly.
South side internal supporting wall, nice blockwork, and the old electrical pipes.. which are still very much live..
And a pic from the inside of our bathroom to be, looking at granny's bedroom on left and dividing wall on right... very pretty blockwork.. NOT.
 And what the insulation guys have left behind, they haven't turned up for 2 days for some reason... Still need to come back and finish it.

Another view of the half finished polystyrene insulation outside

And this is what is planned now... Ytong Galore.

Dektrade ( is delivering materials tomorrow, 2 pallets of Ytong blocks, rebar mesh for concrete floors, 100mm underfloor insulation, cement etc etc. Should be ready to rock & roll after that and get grannies side finished and her isolated from the rest of the building works so she can stop complaining about dust.

Monday, 19 September 2011

Couple of pics.

House is still getting insulated from the outside, bit of a nuisance really as the gas pipe has been buried in polystyrene, but we will need access for the new kitchen and boiler at some point...

Also the telephone cable was almost buried behind polystyrene, I managed to get them to remove it from there JUST in time.

Sadly it was too late for another electrical cable.. I'll just have to snip it off once we get the electrics sorted out, and buy a new piece.

New front window, and polystyrene fronting.
 Polystyrene side.

Cable conduit re-buried under floor for now.                                    
   Tiles broken up and smashing through concrete floor.

Concrete removed and dug into soil below, only 20cm deep or so, this whole floor will be dug up eventually and replaced with new concrete and insulation, as well as drainage etc for the kitchen.

And everything covered up again temporary, the cable is now in a position it can be connected into the old electrical box, until we get round to replacing the electrics in the whole house.

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Electricity Main

Finally managed to get the cable buried, not been feeling too well the last few days so its been very slow progress with lots of help from my girlfriend, Maria.

Managed to dig the hole to where the new meter will be next to the road, and into the house.

Had a few setbacks as at first, we got 4x10mm2 cable, and a 32mm ribbed pipe to put it into, which would have been alright-ish.. Until we found out we needed an extra cable to tell machines in the house that the night tariff for electricity was active, and they could switch on... that suddenly wouldn't fit into the ribbed pipe.

Managed to buy a 50mm Orange tube which was ribbed on the outside and smooth on the inside, which did the job nicely :)

Also managed to find the end of the foundations at approx 75-80cm deep, so no need to knock a hole through the wall.

Anyhow, pictures!:

Trench towards the main gas valve, the electricity meter will be next to it. 70-75CM deep.
Back towards the house
Old parket floor coming up.. muhahaha!
Strip cleared out.
Time to lift the planks up, about 10cm of slag, then just soil..
Pipe in outside with electricity cables inside.
And the other end..

Picture of the very rotten floor inside, It needs to continue around the corner into the next room with the tiles, but I'll leave that for another day.
And looking back towards the wall, where it goes into the ground and under the foundations outside.
Here it goes from approx 45cm deep under the floor (Floor needs to come down approx 8cm to be level with other rooms, then 10 insulation and 10 concrete, pipe is 5.) Right down to under the foundations at about 90cm from current floor height.
Pipe buried with 20cm of sieved soil, then marker tape put ontop of it, the end has been tied down back into the ground to stop the gypsies from trying to steal the whole lot.. copper is valuable you know!
Aaanddd all covered back up outside.. inside is still a mess but we'll get there eventually.

Now it's down to the electriciens to fit the new post outside the fence and get the new meter box up!

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Back in Slovakia!

I'm back from my summer holidays, and there has been some progress since I've been away.

Granny's window has been renewed with a new double glazing unit,  the new bathroom to be has a new window too.

Granny has purchased enough polystyrene to do the entire outside walls, which will be done by some workmen.

So, no need to worry about insulating the inside walls anymore, looks like it's going to be done the cheap-ish Slovak method instead.

Now Granny ordered the electrician (without consulting anyone) to come tomorrow, and put a new cable from outside into the house, but in a completely backward fashion. We managed to halt it though, and still need to go and speak to the electrician again.

We've also gone out to buy a new 60x90CM Double glazed window to replace the window into the attic upstairs (Why?? No idea.. Just following orders!)

Today I've dug the trench through the front garden for the new electric cable, at 70CM deep, I wish I was at home.. a digger would have been useful!

Planning on digging up inside the house (It's getting new concrete floors with insulation anyway) and bringing the electricity to a central point.

Anyhow, some pics of the trench in the garden. 

Oh, and a pic of the top window that will be replaced, the new one is completely square.