Is that light at the end of the tunnel?

Is that light at the end of the tunnel?

I just checked when the blog was last updated: 28 March, so not even 3 weeks and yet (fanfare please) it seems a lot longer because so much has been done.

First of all we have an anniversary (to celebrate?). 11 April 2023 was the first day work started on the house. Let’s remind ourselves what is looked like on that day:

The crane had been up a while but the first thing they did was remove the doors. And then, a year later:

It hasn’t changed enormously on the outside over the past few weeks, the new railings are round the back, but plenty has changed inside. In the kitchen the countertop has been added. It’s made up of a few huge pieces of local granite which we have chosen not to be polished so there is a matt finish to it. Neither the builder nor workers were very keen on the idea but we didn’t want the glossy look. The splash back tiles have been added, the Belfast sink put in place and the tap installed. I did have a slight panic when looking back at the photos of the kitchen earlier in the year to compare that I realised that one of the double sockets had been plastered over and then tiled… fortunately the workmen were able to locate the socket, remove the tile and clean it. I had this image of me on the first morning going to plug the kettle in and then discovering there was no socket…

All the windows and doors (but not the internal wooden ones) have now been fitted. These include the sliding doors to Richard’s man cave but alas we cannot close them as there are a couple of redstart nests in the beams so we want them to be able to fly in and out. Downstairs the toilets have been put in but not the showers, taps or basins.

There have been some major changes to the land around the house too. We turned up to see huge trenches had been dug around the house for the water pipes to be put in. Water already went to the house but we have three external taps and so the bobcat dug everything up. By the end of the day it was all flattened level again.

But then the following day the bobcat was back with more trench making! The electricians had decided to turn up and connect the house and barn. So exactly the same thing for the cables but in a slightly different place.

One of the things the council insisted on before they gave us building permission was that we had to provide car parking space for two cars. The road outside the house, like most of the country lanes, is narrow and winding. It seems that there are issues with cars parked along the lanes when an ambulance wants to come though, I think that’s the case. This was a bit startling: the idea we had to add a raised area that ran along side the road, which is inclined, that could be used by other cars. It meant taking away some of the front garden too of course. Anyway, they are getting on top of this and we have decided to have a metal railing that matches the balcony at the back. With luck, once we get some trees in, it won’t look too bad.

Work has also been done in the lower field, the ‘garden’ area. We wanted some steps joining the two levels and our attempts have not been so successful. Two of the builders made these in less than two days. We have however, prepared a little comfrey bed (and these are now in) and tomorrow the asparagus roots should arrive so we are already looking forward to 2027! Three raised beds have been marked out, not entirely sure when those will be completed. The weather has perked up no end and we have both enjoyed working on the garden and being outside.

Finally, another project in the higher section has started. We have had the huge stone slabs from the wine vat out lying on the ground since work started last year. These are going to be embedded to make a water feature. In fact the cement has already been laid so we hope the walls will go in tomorrow.

Oh actually, there is another thing: the chippy has at last turned up and is laying down the wooden steps on the stairs. Once that’s done he’ll be onto the cabinets, wardrobes and doors. Things are definitely looking up!

6 thoughts on “Is that light at the end of the tunnel?

  1. Looking good – exciting times! Let me know when my room’s ready 😉 I read this on the Shinkansen from Hakodate to Sendai … and thought I’d sent my comment but went into a tunnel…. Xx

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