Interior Construction Day 2

Electrical Installation

Today was day two of the electrical installation work. I popped in on the way to work this morning to try and see the electrician but he was not there.

One of the guys that was working on the roof insulation was kindly made a note of the correct height and promised to tell the electrician when he arrived. Sure enough, when we visited on the way home the holes for the sockets had been moved down 30cm or so, and the original holes and channel had been filled in.

Whereas yesterday there were just holes in the wall, today most of the ground floor cabling has been done, and there are now cables coming up out of the cellar, where the ‘fuse box’ will be and running all over the floor to their final locations for the light switches, sockets and for the electric shutters.

The plastic ducts for the network and satellite TV cabling are already installed, but the cables are not there yet.

Outside the house, we now have cables poking out for our three outside sockets, and six outside lights.

Wall / Roof Insulation

There’s been lots of progress upstairs too. The walls and roof insulation is now fully installed and has been covered in polyethene. The framework for the drywalls has been started on the side walls.

With the heater downstairs running and outside temperatures above freezing for the first time in a couple of weeks, it felt noticeably warm inside (and noticeably cold when we went back outside!)

Tesla Powerwall -> LG Chem Resu 7H

We heard at the end of last year that Tesla had discontinued their original Powerwall (replacing it with a new model), and also that in future Viebrockhaus would switch to a competitor product from LG Chem

Since then we have been unsure which of them we would actually get. We guessed that it would be dependant on how much stock of the Tesla Powerwall was left at Viebrockhaus.

We still haven’t received any official information from Viebrockhaus, but we have heard from the construction manager that he thinks we will get the LG Chem RESU 7H, rather than the Tesla product.


Interior Construction Day 1

Today was the first day of interior construction, so we visited this morning to install a coffee machine for the workers, and leave some snacks for them.

When we visited again in the evening, the first thing we noticed when we went into the house this evening, was how warm it was. A 9 kW heater has been plugged in, and for the first time the house didn’t feel so frosty. Thankfully this won’t be running too long, as it must be spinning the electric meter quite quickly.

Already, the electrician has drilled holes for the electric sockets, light switches, thermostats, satellite TV connections and network cabling in all of the walls that are already there.


Unfortunately the kitchen work-top sockets, which are supposed to be at a height of 1.035m have been drilled at 1.35m, most likely he misread the plan. We’ve sent a mail to the construction manager this evening, and are hopeful that this will be quickly corrected.

The installation of the insulation upstairs has also been started.


Garden Visualisation

As mentioned earlier, we had a first meeting with a local landscape gardener in early January. After receiving a quote, considering all of the options we talked about at the first meeting and making a few small alterations, we met with him again yesterday.

We are now waiting on an updated quote for the following work, which we are hoping will be done at the start of May:

  • 15m driveway at the side of the house
  • 7m parking space (at the front of the house)
  • 3.5m x 5m terrace on the west side of the house (back garden)
  • 2m x 3m terrace on the south side of the house
    All of the above will use Caldera block paving from Kreher Beton in ‘Muschelkalk nuanciert’ (Nuanced Shell Limestone)
  • Levelling of the topsoil and grass seeding
  • A step at the front door
  • A couple more steps from the parking space up to the garden level
  • Gravel drainage bed

We have decided that we might leave the fence a little while, as we don’t know exactly when the road/path will be finished and are not sure that it makes sense to install the fence before that is done.

To try to get an idea how it will look, we made this ‘artists impression’ in Photoshop just for fun…

Less than 80 days to go!



Our Place in the Sun & Upstairs Flooring v2.0

Finally, it’s the weekend and we have been to see the house without the scaffolding in daylight! In the pictures, it’s easy to see how the reflective surface of the bricks makes the whole house look a different completely different depending on the angle of the sun.

The first pictures were taken at 10:40 am. This is the east side of the house.

In the next picture (still at 10:40), the (south facing) roof is partly in the shade from the neighbour, but the solar panels were already in the sun. When the sun is a little higher in the sky than it is right now in January, it will be shining on the complete side of the house quite early in the day.

For the next one (now about 10:45), we decided to clear all of the pieces of wood and polyethene out of the way (we only did this in Photoshop!)

We drove by again on the way home to see how it looked in the afternoon sun. At 16:10 the whole of the south and west sides still in the sun.

Maybe we’ll be adding a parasol to the shopping list!

Upstairs Floor v2.0

As mentioned a couple of days ago, the Logoclic Aqua Splash click-vinyl flooring that we chose back in October doesn’t seem to exist anymore. In a similar way to the product’s website page now just says “page under construction”, the display in the DIY store just an empty rack (although the promotional poster is still there at least for now).

We asked the in-store Logoclic expert why it was no longer available but he either didn’t know or perhaps he had been sworn to secrecy.

In October they had told us that a range of new colours/designs had just launched and that they expected even more in the coming months.

The product has even won two Plus X Design Awards. Their loss. We then went to a different DIY Store.

After a brief stop for bratwurst and chips, we have found and have now decided on this laminate floor that is a very similar in colour to the first choice, which is also quite a bit lower priced. It is not suitable for bathrooms (or other wet places), but since we are only putting it in the bedrooms/landing – this is not important for us anyway.



The Scaffolding is Gone!

Finally, we can see our house without the scaffolding obstructing it!

Late this afternoon, we received an e-mail from our future neighbours, with pictures of our house with no scaffolding 🙂

By the time we visited on our way home it was dark again, so we are happy to have the photos taken in the sun, and are looking forward to seeing it for ourselves in daylight on Saturday.

Even in the dark, the extra space around the house and the clearer view out of the windows makes a huge difference!

A quick update!

Since we haven’t updated the blog for a while, and since we thought it was already a little overdue, here’s a quick update.

Nothing has really been happening as the house next to us has been keeping the builders busy and is making rapid progress.

Despite being the second house out of three to be started, ours will be the last to be finished. This is in part because we have a cellar, and in part because we have bricks on the outside, whereas the others will be rendered.

Since the really exciting day when the roof and the solar panels were installed back on 21st December, the following has happened:

  • The ceiling support jacks that were supporting the ground floor ceiling / upstairs floor have been removed as the concrete has now had well over a month to dry
  • The soffit boards have been installed, so now there is no huge gap under the eaves
  • The fence that was surrounding the site (which was only there because of the excavation for the cellar) has been removed
  • A storm blew over the sign and some toilets, most of which have been put upright again
  • We have been waiting for the scaffolding to be taken down so that we can get a good look at the house for the first time, but it hasn’t gone yet!

As frustrating as it is for us to have to wait so long for any progress (especially after the daily dramatic progress during November and December), it was planned that way.

Other than the scaffolding not being removed the only things planned for Week 1-4 of 2017 were the installation of the French Balconies (it is written in the plan that these can be installed anytime between January and April) and cleaning of the brickwork (which will be done at the same time as pointing the brickwork, for which it is currently too cold). Neither of these outside jobs is (or will) hold-up the work inside.

Starting next week, however, we do expect to see some progress again. Over the next two weeks (30th January to 12th February):

  • The roof insulation should be installed
  • The dry walls should be built
  • The electrical installation should begin
  • The plumbing installation should begin
  • The bathroom installation should be partly done (bath and shower tray)
  • The heating system should be installed (boiler and underfloor pipes)
  • The floor should be filled in (screed) to a depth of 18cm downstairs and 16cm upstairs.

Pictures will follow of course.

Upstairs Flooring

At the weekend we are off to choose a new floor covering for upstairs. We found out yesterday that the one we chose previously (click-vinyl) has strangely disappeared without a trace from the internet, and seems not to be available any longer. We are not sure why, but if there is a problem with it, we are happy to have found out sooner rather than later!

After The Storm – House is Still Standing!

Not much to report, as no work has been done at all this week.

In the early hours of Friday morning we had a huge storm, so we went to have a look if the house was still standing, and still had all of its roof tiles and solar panels. Everything is OK with the house and the roof.

The only signs of the storm were our sign had fallen over and needed to be stood up again.

Also, our temporary toilet has blown over…

… but that seems to be normal – as almost everyone else’s had fallen over as well!

We are meeting our Construction Manager on Tuesday morning, so maybe we’ll have some more news soon.

Happy New Year – Only 100 Days To Go

So finally, the long Christmas Holiday is over and work on our house should get underway again this week.

Having said that, since the only things that are in the plan for the coming week are installation of the solar panels (which is already done) and cleaning the bricks, not much is really likely to visibly change.

The scaffolding is due to come down in 10 days time, so hopefully progress will not be held up by the current wintery weather. At least it is nowhere near as cold as it was last week.

Yesterday we went shopping for a couple of new things for the house in the new year sales:

  • Saucepans that will work with our new Induction Hob (they need to have magnetic bottoms). Finally we ordered these online as they were about 40% cheaper than in the store.
  • Two bar-stools for the kitchen island / breakfast bar (we got these early because they were reduced to close to half price)

Today we went to the site to see our house in the snow for the first time!

Tomorrow we have an appointment with a local landscape gardener, and have spent the afternoon going over the sketch we drew while on holiday in Italy back in September, so that we are ready to talk about the driveway/parking places and the path around the house as well as a fence.