Enjoying our new home !

Enjoying our new home !

We been in our new house over 12 months now, and it really feels like home.

It took us a while to get used to the heating and ventilation controls, but now it’s nice and cosy

and so much quieter than our old house. Rather than dreading gas and electricity bills, we look

forward to receiving cheques in the post from the power company for the electricity our PV panels

are producing.

The builder has been back to “make good defects” as per the contract, so minor shrinkage

cracks, sticking doors and a few plumbing gremlins have all been sorted out so we have released

the outstanding retention money.

With the place to ourselves, we can concentrate on enjoying the space and finish unpacking boxes.


We threw a belated house warming party to say thanks for all the friends

who  helped us move in, and the long suffering neighbours who put up

with all the noise and mess for so long.  Many people who have followed

the build wanted “tours”, so we’ve lost count of the number of visitors we

have shown around.

The young son of a neighbour who had apparently been impressed with all the diggers, cranes  and

delivery lorries, presented us with a professionally mounted photo album which was a lovely gift.
There is still a bit of work to do in the garden so no danger of us getting

bored just yet, but it’s nice to just do the odd job when we feel like it for a

change.  Shelves are going up as we empty the last few boxes, and built in

wardrobes are helping to tidy up the bedrooms.

The most common comment we get from visitors, is how light and bright

the house is. Lots of natural daylight was a key design element for us and

we spend a lot of time in the rear of the house looking out at the garden.


The open plan kitchen, dining and garden room works really well for

entertaining friends and family, so we are always looking forward to

the next excuse for a house full.


We’ve estimated that already the house has saved us £3000 in bills,

and we certainley don’t miss the constant maintenance the old house needed.

Only problem is that the house is so well insulated we have only lit the stove a couple of times,

so at this rate our log supply will last us about 150 years !





Nearly There !

Nearly There !

Sorry for the delay in our updates.

We’ve been very busy moving in so, are a little behind with posting on the blog.

The photos below show the build almost complete, and finishing touches going in.
front-bay  With the roof tiledand our aluminium windows fitted, the

render went on and made a huge difference to the look of the

house. It really sets off the grey windows and blue brick

eaves and verge detailing. This is the front bay window, which

was designed to reflect the bay of our original house next door.

You can also just see our PV panels on the main roof, facing south which is ideal.



rainchainOur architects didn’t want a rainwater running infront of our bay window

so suggested a stainless steel “rainchain” which is a great feature.

It’s prompted more comments and questions from people passing

by then anything else on the house.


   We are really pleased with the combination of off white render, grey

windows, blue bricks and metallic silver metal gutters. The builder

found fitting the gutters a challenge, but agreed they were worth it.

Our funky triangular window is high level,  so we could have furniture

underneath it inside.  We realised that when down sizing, it’s important

to know what furniture you are keeping and where it can go on the plans.

   Being used to fireplaces in our previous house, we were keen to have a

focal point in the front room. Even though we have underfloor heating

we thought it would be useful to have a log buring stove incase we

needed a quick blast of heat. This stove has glass panels in the sides so

you can see the fire from all angles. We did need to put an external air

supply in through the wall though, to stop the stove confusinh the mechanical ventilation system !

The kitchen is almost fitted so we decided to add a splash of colour on

one wall. The decorator even asked for a sample which we took as quite a

compliment.  As we don’t have a gas connection, we chose a ceramic

induction hob.  May take a bit of getting used to cooking on, but should

easy to clean !

In our sunroom we wanted as much daylight as possible, but didn’t want

to be overlooked by the neighbours. The rooflight returns down the wall

just far enough to give us a view north wards, whilst still maintaining our

privacy.  Think we’ll be spending a lot of time in here, looking out at the

garden when we’ve brought all thoise plants over from the old garden.




The View

Now the first floor screed has set, we get a good view from upstairs into our new

back garden. The bricklayers have now started the workshop and potting shed.



Our sunroom roof has been loaded out with tiles, ready for the roofers to

return when the roof glazing has been fitted.  The builder has left the felt

over the opening temporarily to keep out the April showers !



On the main roof our PV panels have now been fitted on the south side.

We should still make a reasonable return but it’s a real shame we just missed out

on the higher tariff.  Not one to sit and watch, you can see Alan in action doing a

spot of welding on the bay window steel work.

This week we also had a visit from Jo Healey of East Midlands Today, so look out

for us on the telly in January 2013 !



More 1st Fix

More 1st Fix

We never realised just how much pipework, cable, and ducting goes into a house !

Just glad that the plumbers and electricians know, what connects to where !!


Our plant cupboard looked huge when it was built, but now it’s full of

electrics, water tanks, security alarm,  heat exchanger and underheating manifolds.

Our vertical service riser is also full of ducting for the ventilation and heat

recovery, but this will be concealed behind a false back in the linen cupboard.


Our engineered floor joists have made life much easier for the builder,

as cables and pipes are simply threaded through the voids without having to

drill out and holes. The first floor has now been screeded, which not only

makes th efloor feel more solid but also provides thermal mass for the

hidden underfloor heating pipes.



Studwork & First Fix

Studwork & First Fix

Internally most of the walls are blockwork, but the timber

stud partitions also started going in after the roof went on.

The plumbers and electricians also started first fixing the

services, before walls and ceiling are plasterboarded.


Building the linen cupboard in the bathroom showed us the size of the bathroom and adjacent bedroom. Concealed in the back of the cupd. is also a vertical service duct that allows pipes, cables and ventilation ducts to travel between the different floors. We are also having under floor heating to the first floor, so the pipes are clipped to the floor before being insulated from below and covered in screed.

The engineered floor joists (also by Truss-Tech) make it much easier to run sevices through

the floor, and even the soil pipe runs up inside the building

hidden in our service riser.

It’s out of sight but accessible if necessary.


Hot and cold water pipes are clipped to the blockwork, ready to

be plastered over. We’ve chosen to build most of the walls from

blockwork which will be plastered. Although drylining is quicker

and more popular these days, we wanted the feeling of solid walls

which are easier to fix into. Our Architect also convinced us that

the heavy thermal mass will be better for storing heat, than a wall

with a plasterboard lining with an air gap behind.  Lightweight materials tend to

heat up and cool down quicker, where as heavier ones tend to vary less keeping the

interior of a building at a more constant temperature.