After another mostly wet and windy few days, on Thursday and Friday work started again outside, pointing the brickwork.

As of now (Friday evening) three sides of the house are finished, and we expect that the builders will be back tomorrow morning to do the last side.

The walls that have already been done certainly looks much smarter.



Here are some new pictures of the exterior…

Also today, we went up into the loft, and poked our heads out of the roof window…

Not much has been happened inside in the past few days. On Wednesday the concrete ceilings on the ground floor were wallpapered, and once this is dry it is ready to be painted.


Washing the House

After a week of wind and rain, where no work could happen outside, the sun came out on Saturday. Perfect weather for washing our house. Now all of the cement that was on the face of the bricks (from when the walls were built) is gone.

At the same time, the remaining damaged brick that we had asked to be replaced back in December was being replaced. The next step outside, is for the pointing to be done. Due to the storm, this could not be done, and therefore the scaffolding was not taken down on Friday as planned. utility connection has been put back by one week

As the scaffolding is in the way, the utility connection has been put back by one week to the week of 13th March.

The Scaffolding is Back

Our construction manager told us last week that the bricks would be cleaned and pointed this week, and sometime between Saturday lunchtime and Sunday afternoon, scaffolding was put back up along two sides of the house (and on Monday, also along the other two sides).

Since it seems that it will rain the whole week, maybe it will be there for a while.

It’s now almost a week since the heating was switched on, and since the screed is drying, it is very humid inside. As you walk up the stairs it gets progressively warmer and muggier, and upstairs it’s a bit like being in a sauna. We now have to open the windows every day to let the moisture out.

Work is progressing with the plaster boarding – all of upstairs is complete (since last Friday) and downstairs the kitchen/lounge/dining room is done, as well as the utility room. Only the WC, entrance hall and cellar stairwell still to go.

At the weekend we were able to take a look into the loft.




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.

The Roof is Finished, Structural Build is Complete

Not only was our roof-tiling finished yesterday, but the solar panels have been installed as well! According to the plan, they were going to be installed around the middle of January, so it’s a new record for something happening early!

Unfortunately they are not connected to anything yet, so we still only have electricity coming from the orange box outside.


So now we will have to wait a really long time before anything else will happen. Maybe we’ll use the time in between to start thinking about the driveway and garden…

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Roof Tiles – Part 2

This morning we had our weekly meeting with our Construction Manager. We didn’t really have much to discuss with him, but we clarified a few details for the first weeks in the new year.

Work was well underway on the roof- the tiles were already off their pallet and laid out in small stacks ready for installation, and our Velux window had been fitted (it’s on the other side, so you can’t see it in the photo!)

We also noticed while taking this photo, that we can now see the south side of the house better. The skips are gone and the silo is gone. Only a few leftover bricks and the Viebrockhaus ashtray are still there (and, of course, the scaffolding!)

We’re not sure if the roof will be completely finished today, but if not, it will be tomorrow. Hopefully, another photo will follow tomorrow evening.

After that, it is the Christmas holidays, so no further work is planned until Tuesday 10th January 2017.