Sunday, 11 September 2011

Week 28 - Plastering and drainage

Kai and I both took time off work this week to get all the digging done for the new permanent service connection.


First off was a trench dug perpendicular to the road for the gas connection. The gas pipe is normally laid straight in the trench but where you are in close proximity to other services like ours it's advisable to lay a conduit, which is what we've done. This also allows us to backfill now rather than leave the trench open for 2 weeks which is when the gas company has booked us in for. The conduit is 63mm perforated conduit and they said it must be yellow. The electricity cable laid in April crosses the new trench, so this required some careful digging to uncover. We've taken the opportunity to lay some black conduit  alongside the gas and left an access pit as we backfilled so we can pull through the new cable when the connection gets swapped over to the permanent meter box on the side of the house in a week.

Next up was some careful trenching around the back of the house. There was virutally no room to manoeuver with the tail of the digger swinging uncomfortably close to the house. We dug the trench 750mm deep all the way to the front of the drive for the MDPE water supply pipe to be laid within a bed of sand. We then backfilled the trench to different levels sloping upwards from the drain connection point and compacted it to ensure no settlement will occur. Some careful levelling with the dumpy level got our falls bang on the 1:80 and 1:40 required.

The deeper drains along the side of the house have 420mm diameter manholes where the waste pipes exit the building. At the rear we have smaller 320mm diameter inspection chambers. You require manholes at every intersection and change of direction of the pipe - seems excessive at first but if anyone has ever tried to clear drains of blockages then you will appreciate the access.

We air pressure tested the drains - not a single leak, and passed the building inspection without a hitch. 2.5tons of pea gravel ensured everything was bedded in nicely. It's unbelievable how much you need, it just seems to go nowhere!

The digger made light work of closing all the trenches where it could get access, and at the end of four days and many rain showers all we have to show are 4 new manhole covers, a site which looks like it's been ploughed and a grand less in our pockets!


While we were busy making a mess outside our plasterer, Troy, was busy inside making our walls look beautiful. He's only done a couple of days so far and managed three complete rooms which look superb. He's working on his own so although he's pretty quick he's going to take most of this week to finish. Time isn't important for this bit, we want his quality to remain good so he can take as long as he needs.


The plaster is a 3mm skim, so it only takes a couple of days to go pink at which point we can get some paint on it. We're waiting for delivery of a semi-professional spray paint system which will make light work of getting a couple of coats on the wall. That will be the priority while there's nothing in the house - just mask off the windows and doors and everything else can get sprayed white!

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