As anticipated, the heating system was successfully switched on on Thursday afternoon, but there was just one small problem left to solve – Derek had checked the tank and found that what I thought was 4-5″ of oil was actually 2-3″ of oil and about 2″ of water. The system had been off for so long that condensation had been slowly topping the tank up. So Mick went down the road armed with a can of WD40 and a determined expression and managed to get the lock off the main filling cap and then Steve came back on Friday morning, syphoned off three very large cannisters of water, bled the system again and said I was good to go, but please to get oil delivered ASAP! One quick phone call to Simpsons later and I have a delivery scheduled for early next week.
Dougie had left all the thermostats set to 21C and as a result the house had warmed up amazingly over 24 hours and was showing 18C or 19C in all rooms. We’ve turned them down to 16C to eke out the remaining oil a bit and also because it’s just going to be too hot for us to work in there as it is at the moment. It’s fascinating to watch the the little motors open or close the valves as the temperature setting changes.
I sent David a text to see if he could come and lay floors for us during the first week of April. He’s going to schedule us in a couple of days, but is a bit distracted building a timber-framed house for someone at the moment, so I suspect we’re going to have to use our time with him carefully as he’s expecting it to take at least 12 weeks full-time.
Mick and I have both taken next week off work and we’re planning to blitz the house in terms of taping, jointing, skimming, sanding and, hopefully, painting, so that by the time David arrives to put the engineered oak floor down, we’ve got as much of the downstairs messy stuff done as possible. Wish us luck!
Last-minute emergency pre-Christmas shopping is supposed to be things like stuffing balls, sprouts and bacon, isn’t it? Not what I bought today which included:
- A multifuel stove (plus fitting kit and flexible flue liner)
- Paint for priming the plasterboard and panelling and some of the colours (we need to have another look at the small bedroom, the living room and the kitchen after the sample pots didn’t quite turn out like the catalogue colours)
- 17 litres of ready-mixed skim (for me to fill in all the screw heads on the plasterboard and the joins that can’t be taped)
- More wood for framing
It just struck me the other day that Derek was probably going to want to put the stove in BEFORE he laid the underfloor heating in that room and so I’d better get a shift on and order it. Fortunately Stovesareus had what I wanted in stock and should be delivering a Stovax Stockton 3 on 5th January. Small, traditional-looking, and capable of burning peat – perfect for a croft house.
In other news, we had a fairly strong southerly with rain in it overnight, i.e. perfect conditions for testing out the chimney sealant, and I’m happy to say it passed with flying colours – dry as a bone in there this morning 🙂 If it comes through the rest of this week the same way, I think we can safely say we’ve solved the issue. Fingers crossed.
Edit on Thursday 22nd: I can add 72 x 4.8m lengths of lining boards to the above list now, as David sent me a text to say he’d picked them up from Rembrand on Monday and would cut them all down to size at home before coming and fitting them for us next week, but I needed to call Rembrand and pay for them. One swift phone call later and I’m a smidge over £400 lighter, bringing me to about £1,500 in two days – not bad going!! I think the next two to three weeks are really going to see a huge shift from building site back towards inhabitable house.