Let there be light!

David arrived on Thursday and had a quick site meeting with Pete and Dougie, the upshot of which is that he put the Velux windows in on the side of the house Pete is currently working on and will be back again at some point this week to put the studwork in for Dougie.  I went down on Thursday evening to have a look at the windows and was so pleased that I almost cried!  The amount of light coming into the top floor now is amazing.

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Dougie is still tunnelling, very neatly.


And having had a look at our kitchen layout, he’s now more convinced than ever that venting the extractor fans from there and the bathroom through the roof is going to be too much distance for them to work effectively, so he’s having an exploratory dig through the wall to put them out of the back instead.


I went to Rembrand at the weekend and ordered up the insulation, which came to an eye-watering £1,778.  I keep telling myself that it’s paid for itself once I’ve saved about 4,200 litres of heating oil…  Seriously, as I intend to own this house for a very long time, it’s a good investment.  While we were in there we saw they had an end of line special offer on 18mm engineered oak flooring, so today I’ve been measuring up the ground floor as it looked really nice and at £21.99 a square metre, worth grabbing if they have enough.  (A similar thickness bought online is around £29.99 a square metre.)  Measurements are as follows:

Kitchen – 3.36 x 4.00 into bay window = 13.44sqm
Living room – 3.90 x 4.00 into bay window = 15.6sqm
Hall – 3.20 x 1 plus 1 x 0.52 plus 1.09 x 0.9 = 4.7sqm
Total = 33.74sqm – so I’ll order 35sqm, which will be £769.65 (assuming the price they were showing included VAT…) and if I go and see them tomorrow, it can be delivered with all the insulation on Thursday.
The bathroom will need something different, as engineered wood usually isn’t suitable for use in it, but I measured it anyway – 1.7 x 2.15 to the shower tray = 3.655sqm.

Today we’ve been baking to feed the team next week.  I’ve made a lemon drizzle cake and Mick has gone all in on the sausage rolls after they got rave reviews last week – he’s done sausage, pate, cheese and onion, Mexican-spiced sausage, and wild boar and mushroom!  Also pictured are the custard biscuits I made last week, after I raided Mum’s recipe book while I was away.

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Raising the roof


I have my friendly local roofer doing some work on my house at the moment and since rain had temporarily stopped play, I dragged him up the road to have a look at the roof on Ethel’s House.

The roof is currently Marley Eternit cement fibre slates and it’s not too bad.  There’s one tile missing on the back and a few that have been glued back into place, but it’s basically sound and should survive the winter.  However, what I want to do is enlarge the two tiny Velux windows – if you can see the size of the one on the front, there’s another the same size on the back and that’s the only light for the third bedroom which, consequently, is rather like a prison cell.

As I was standing out the back and the roofer was admiring the views over the fields and moor to the hill, it slowly dawned on me that I could put three Velux on the back, one in each bedroom, which would really bring some light into the upstairs, open up the views behind the house and, with the right positioning of the beds, would mean guests could lie in bed at night and look up at the stars or the Northern Lights (the house is about a third of a mile from the nearest street light).

Roofer thought this was a fab idea, but pointed out that he’d be taking off so much of the roof to do it that it would virtually be only the cost of the slate and a couple of days’ labour added on to the job to get the whole thing re-roofed at the same time.  So, subject to the purchase all going through, we’re booked in to have it done next March.