Monday, 29 August 2011

Week 26 - Even more boarding out

Only managed to put in one full day's work this week so not much progress. Having finished the downstairs ceilings we went on to dot-dab the walls of the living room and most of the hallway.



The first window board (cill) has been fitted and looks really nice. The window reveals will be left till last along with lots of other annoying details. We're about three-quarters of the way through boarding out now, with one week left to go to get everything ready before the plasterers come in.
This particular task is getting a big monotonous now, it'll be good to get it out of the way... With nearly two tons of plasterboard stuck on the walls with 1.2tons of adhesive, we think it would be sensible to pay someone to do this next time!

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Week 25 - More boarding out

This week we couldn't put off getting messy any longer and started dot-dabbing the plasterboard onto the block walls. The changes to the recent building regs make this task a bit harder than it used to be as you now have to pass an air tightness test which means dabs of adhesive aren't allowed, you need a continuous line of adhesive along the tops, bottoms and corners of every wall to form a seal. Special attention must also be paid to the reveals on every window.


We have a rather unconventional way of applying the adhesive, most professionals would dab it onto the wall but we find it easier to dab it onto the board flat on the floor then lift into place, being careful not to break the now heavy board. I guess it's OK to find what works best for you, I will learn to do it properly one day.

The rooms are starting to look much neater with the blockwork covered up. The wires for sockets and lights are just poked through small holes for the moment - after plastering the boxes will be cut in.

The boards are pressed into place by striking with a straight edge alternating between the vertical and horizontal direction, this makes sure the board squashes onto the wall evenly. It requires a fair bit of checking with a level and ensuring that it's in line with adjacent boards. It's all quite hard on the hands!

The upstairs is almost all boarded out now so we've moved onto the downstairs ceiling. The boards require acoustic quilt on top of them which is a nasty job with all the dust and fibres getting everywhere.


We mounted a bit of chipboard on the wall ready for the consumer unit to fix to, it keeps the wires nicely clipped till we are ready to connect everything. The new gas line is all soldered up and ready to connect to the meter when they install that in a few weeks.

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Weeks 23 and 24 - Scaffolding down and starting to board out

Progress over the last couple of weeks has been a bit slow due to the jobs being fairly bitty. Kai took the scaffolding down himself as the scaffolders aren't in any rush to come and collect it! We need the space for a skip to be delivered this week, and so that the delivery truck could get in to drop off all the plasterboard and dot-dab adhesive for the stud walls. The scaffolding is currently all stacked in a massive pile on the ground. The house looks great without the scaffolding hiding it, we're really happy with the way it looks.


The plasterboard sheets are 2.4m x 1.2m - pretty heavy and unwealdy so we used props to hold them in position while fixing them to the ceiling.

We boarded out one side of the stud walls, and packed the cavity with acoustic blanket which is a building regulations requirement to reduce noise coming through the walls between habitable rooms.

Kai fitted the waste pipes for the bathrooms in position under the floor, and laid the gas pipe ready for the plumber to connect up.

Monday, 1 August 2011

Week 22 - Starting first fix plumbing, and stairs

This week's job was getting most of the first fix plumbing done - running central heating and water pipes through the first floor void and up or down the walls as required. The ends of the pipes are all temporarily capped so that the system can be pressure tested. For the main system, we're using push-fit plastics called SpeedFit which are guaranteed for 25years. The pipes running the first couple of metres from the boiler will need to be done in copper though, to allow the high temperatures from the boiler  to dissipate a little. Our last place was plumbed in polyfit which is an inferior brand, speedfit is so much easier to use with neat little features like insertion marks on the pipe so you know when it's fully home in the fitting. Running the flexible pipe through the joists is simple compared with trying to feed sections of copper through and soldering each joint.

Below, the wall has been chased out to allow pipes to be recessed. These will sit behind the dot dab plasterboard.

Kai even managed to get the soil pipes all sorted in the time it took me to have a shower... (athough maybe this says more about how long I take in the shower?!)
We're trying to be clever and hide all the services in the floors so you don't get boxed in pipes everywhere but it does cause some headaches deciding in advance where pipes should poke through the floors and walls. It has forced us to finally decide what layout we are having and which suite we are going for in order to get the measurements correct.

The staircase was delivered on Friday afternoon so we spent the evening putting the last pieces together and getting it fixed into position. Finally we can get upstairs in a civilised manner! The straight flight came pre-assembled, just requiring the 3 winder steps and newel posts fitting into position with wedges, dowels and plenty of wood glue. The stairs were cut on a CNC router so everything fitted perfectly, with less than 10mm to spare in our stairwell, I love precision!


We'll leave the ballustrading off until the house is in a more finished state - don't want the messy plasterers getting our handrail all mucky.