Upstairs we can see one Bedroom and En-Suite is now fully plastered. Just the floor to be tiled, then the plumbing finished before tiling the shower. Nearly there in that room! In the photo on the left Susy is standing on the doorway to the En-Suite, and the shower can be seen behind her. On the right you can see the plastering is nearly finished acrosss the back of the cottage (three coats). Only the white plaster needs to be added now. One more coat needed for the gable end and front. A nice contrast to the photo below from last week. The sheeting is ready on the end of the roof for the 'Barges' to be cast early next week. Weather permitting of course! However more plastering inside if it rains.


The remaining plaster has been chipped off the outside of the cottage, revealing some interesting history. The right hand side of the cottage, looking at the front, is a later addition. There were doors once where the windows are on each side of the front door. At the back (see photo on right) you can see there were windows upstairs, and a door in the middle downstairs. The cottage is now joined onto the extension. There was only one wooden lintel above a downstairs window which you can see on the left being taken out in bits. It was too rotten to be of any use! There is now a nice reinforced one in it's place. Inside the ceilings upstairs are finished ready for plastering. Next week (weather permitting) should see the outside plastering begin. Rain is forecast for most of the week, so I think there will be good progress on the final coat of plaster inside.


The rough plastering is now finished inside the Cottage, and the across holding up the first floor have gone. The Utility Room shower tray and stud wall is in place now. Only a small stud to go in to make the door into the room. In the photo on the left you can see all of this ready for the plasterboard. On the right is a photo of the roof of the 'Back Passage' between the Cottage and the Extension. This horror was revealed when the old sheeting was removed last week. It looks as if the big stones in the wall are about to be part of a nasty Rock Fall! The old wooden lintel is soft and rotten. The stones seem to be pretty stable. We replaced the lintel with some oak we had from our previous house, and put in a couple more for good measure. It is all covered by plasterboard now, ready for the sheeting which should happen next week. Hopefully the plumber will turn up to connect the water between the Extension and Cottage, so the floor of the aformentioned 'Back Passage' can be finished. We will leave the pipe connecting the Plant Room to the Cottage accessible. You never know when another cable might be needed! Next week should see the plasterboard finished, and most of the sheeting on the ceilings done.


As predicted the electrician turned up on Thursday and spent two days on the First Fix. Job Done! Meenwhile, the damproof plastic sheeting has gone up on the walls as a 'Belt and Braces' measure against any damp getting through the walls (see photo on the left). I am please to say the walls seem dry enough anyway, but it may well prevent prblems in the future. This has now been covered by a lime based plaster ready for the final coat of white plaster as in the extension. Upstairs the stud walls were put up before the electrician arrived, as can be seen in the photo on the right. Next week we hope to see the plumber on Monday to finish his First Fix. Then there will be more plastering once the stud walls have been insulated and slabbed up (technical term!).


Upstairs the Underfloor Heating is down ontop of the Kingspan Insulation, and with acros to support the floor the concrete has been poured. This was achieved by building a scaffold plaform up to one of the velux windows, making a chute out of wood, lifting the concrete in a loader bucket up to the platform, and shovelling it down the chute. Very ingenious! In the photo on the right, the loader can be seen in action, and in the insert you can see Dan watching as the concrete runs in to his wheelbarrow. We are delighted with the result. The upstairs shower trays were put in place before the concrete was added. On the left Susy can be seen standing near the opening for the stairs. Downstairs, the rough plastering is pretty well finished too. Next week we are hoping the electrician will do the First Fix, the stud walls will be built, and even some more plastering. Great Stuff!


This week has seen most of the initial layer of lime plaster applied to the walls inside. This is done by throwing a trowel full at the wall and hoping it will stick .... it usually does! Quite a skillful job, i'd say. Then the joists have been put in for the upper floor, and yesterday the board floor added. We then finalised the layout for the ensuite bathrooms with the lads, and the base for the stud walls was put in place. In the photo on the right you can see the board being layed. the hole in the floor for the stairs is now very clear. The photo on the left shows the wall before plastering. Note several inches of solid rock, forming part of the back wall of the cottage, just above the new floor. Next week we should see the insulation, then pipes and plumbing before the concrete floor is layed upstairs.


The insulation is down, and the underfloor heating has been laid. The other plumbing necessity has been preparing for the Utility Room pipes, the upstairs underfloor heating and soil pipe from the ensuites. Bashing a channel to take a 4 inch pipe into a stone wall was not an easy task, but has been done, and the pipe is in place, passing through the wall below ground level just by the front door. All the manifolds for the cottage will be upstairs, because it makes bleeding the system easier. On the left you can see the pipes running up the wall by the door through to the house. On the right the underfloor layout leaves a gap ready for the stairs, and wall between the utility at the far end, and the office nearest the camera. Weather permitting we should see the ground floor concrete poured next week.


Only one day of action this week, as a result of which we have a ground floor in the Cottage. On the 22nd, in no time at all, we had 10 tons of gravel delivered, and some steel mesh to reinforce the floor. The mixer was put inplace, and then, using the digger to load the mixer, concrete was soon being wheeled into the cottage by hand. You can see in the photo on the right the digger filling the mixer, two barrows ready to go, a cement pack being opened to load into the mixer, and the water barrel filling up. All systems are go! Soon piles of concrete were appearing inside the Cottage. Dan can be seen, in the photo on the left, finishing the woodwork below the door into the House to contain the concrete when the floor fills up. Next week should see plaster being chipped off the walls inside and out, and then rough rendering of the walls.


This week saw more progress than we imagined. The floor of the cottage has been levelled, covered in Sand, Kingspan Insulation, and is ready for the Underfloor Heating Pipes to be laid. More plaster is being chipped off the ourtide walls. On the left you can see John on the Loader working up the wall, and Mike working safely at ground level. On the right the fitter from Marvin Windows is putting the windows in. They look crooked, but it is the walls that are far from straight! All the windows are in now, so next week we should see the ground floor finished, and more plaster coming off the outside ready for finishing off. I think we need to be ordering a door for the cottage very soon.


It is Christmas, and the lads are off from the 24th until Jan 12th. However we have had such an interesting day today Monday 22nd, that I thought a couple of pictures to give the flavour of the work. They removed the front door, and surrounding plaster to squeeze a mini digger inside the cottage. They had to dig the doorstep and floor out to get it in, but once inside, great progress breaking up the floor as can be seen in the photo on the right. On the left you can see their normal digger in action clearing the rubble out through the door, whilst Mike is breaking the rock near the back wall. Very skillful work indeed! They returned on the 27th to finish the rockbreaking to dig out the floor. We are now ready for building to commence after the New Year Break. There will be more on our progress on 17th January at the end of the next full week of work.