Since it rained a lot on at the weekend (about 14mm) we estimate that the rainwater tank should have about 1000 litres of water in it now, ready for watering the garden in the summer. Better still, since the downpipes are now connected to something, we don’t have a moat this time.
No work happened on Monday, which meant that the windows were not opened at all during the day, and by the time we got there in the evening, the upstairs was a tropical 29° Celsius.
Like every Tuesday, today we met the Construction Manager first thing. As we arrived at the house, we saw that two grooves had already been cut into the road in front of our house by the energy companies’ groundwork company and they were working on a neighbouring plot.
The Construction Manager had taken the polythene off all of the windows where it hadn’t already been taken off, so the first time we can see out of all of the windows properly.
By this afternoon, the groundwork company had dug out the channel all the way across the road and were in the process of laying ducts for the water, electricity and telephone companies. Each of the companies should be on-site in the next few days to make the connections, and then the road will be closed up again.
The yellow duct is for gas, which is being laid even though we are not having a gas connection (presumably not connected at either end) in case we want to install gas in future.
Another week is over and looking back, a lot has been achieved.
The tilers finished grouting and set off for home at around 1pm on Thursday, having done all of the tiling in three and a half days. Someone else then showed up to start the silicon joints. The painters should be back again next week to finish off.
The electricians have now finished connecting up all of the wires, and the LNBs are now on the satellite dish, although the cables are not yet connected to the LNBs. The distribution cupboard is ready for the electric meter to be installed, once we have our mains electric connection.
Outside, a 3m x 3m x 2.3m deep whole has been dug out and the rain water tank installed. The downpipes for the water coming off the roof are now connected and as it is likely to rain in the next few days, the tank should start to fill up.
The road was dug up on Thursday to connect the waste-water and rainwater pipes to the mains, and new tarmac was laid today.
We also had the garden levelled at the back and side (where we are not laying driveways) so the original heap of soil that was dug out for the cellar and the new heap that was dug out for the rain water tank are gone!
Although the tilers were planned for the whole week, they have already finished laying all of the floor tiles and the wall tiles.
Even though it is only Wednesday, they have already started grouting, and told us that they will be finished and heading home around lunchtime on Thursday.
The electrician is making excellent progress in the cellar, and seems to have remembered which cable is which and where they all should go..
Next to the electrical distribution board, but not in the picture, the satellite multi-switch has already been installed as well as the network patch panel.
Outside, the groundwork continues. Today the road was dug up and our waste water and rainwater connections to the mains were made. The rainwater tank should be coming tomorrow. By the time I got there this evening, the digger and bulldozer were parked up for the night on our front parking space.
We visited the house this afternoon to ventilate it, but no need as lots of work was going on and most of the windows were already open.
Inside, the electricians are back and have been installing sockets and light switches.
Outside, more work was going on. The diggers were at work burying the neighbours rainwater tank which has been installed today. We talked quickly to one of the digger drivers who told us that they will be starting with our groundwork on Monday (connection to waste water, rain water and installation of the rainwater tank).
At 8am, one corner of the cellar still hadn’t been filled in with soil, but the digger driver assured me that they would be finished today (as you can see in the photos further down, they were indeed more or less finished by around 2pm).
The site now looks more or less the same as is we didn’t have a cellar, but instead just a concrete base for the house. Only the window shafts and the hole where the stairs tell the full story.
Our Construction Manager, Mr H. called this morning, to let us know that they are going to start earlier than originally planned with the walls, and asked us to pick up a water standpipe from the water authority and drop it off at the site. We had already clarified that this was just a case of going to the water authority, handing over a cash deposit and picking one up.
Sometime during the morning, a delivery of concrete blocks arrived from Ytong for the ground floor (the blocks for the internal cellar walls were already down in the cellar since last week).
Due to the current cold temperatures, they have only started in the cellar today, so it doesn’t look any different yet. Hopefully, it will warm up again in the coming days.
Pictures from 8am:
Pictures from 2pm:
By 4pm on Day 4, the cellar construction has been completed.
Our cellar has now been wrapped in black plastic (which I learned today is not for waterproofing, but only to protect the insulation). Now they have started burying it in the ground!
I was also able to walk across a wooden plank which is acting as a bridge, and stand on top of the cellar roof for the first time. Last time I stood there it was still more or less a field, and we were saying “the lounge will be about there” and so on. Now it is easier to visualise!
I am not how much longer they were planning to work, but they still had only worked on two sides, so we expect that this will take until the middle of next week to be completely done.
We have now received the first three invoices from Viebrockhaus – the first for the planning, the second for the groundwork and the third for the cellar.
Despite our understanding that due to the short delay during the week the concrete was not coming today, it seems that it got rescheduled again, and we now have a concrete slab.
Once it has dried, the next step will be the cellar! Maybe already this week…?
This afternoon, work continued with the groundwork after a short unexpected pause yesterday. Some missing paperwork had to be filed with the Building Authority.
The preparation of for the concrete base got started later than was planned, therefore was not completely finished today and the concrete delivery which was planned for tomorrow has been rescheduled to next week.
Again it was dark by the time we could get to the site, but still, we managed to get a couple of photos…
Daylight photos to follow soon…
Here is a picture in daylight. We are impressed how level and square it looks. It looks like the groundwork is finished and waiting for the concrete base.
One of the disadvantages of building in the winter is that by the time we are on our way home from work, it is already dark, so we had to use the car headlights to see the result of the first day of the groundwork.
Despite that, we were not disappointed, as we can see that the entire hole for the cellar has been dug out today.
There will probably not be much more to see in the coming days, as the concrete for the base is ordered to arrive only early next week, so at the weekend we will be able to get a photo of how it looks in daylight.
We also heard from the Construction Manager today, who sent a mail with the upgrade price offer for the water pressure-tight cellar windows that he had recommended to us when we had first met.
The advantage of these windows is that if the groundwater level rises above the bottom of the windows, the water is kept out of the cellar. Also if the window shafts fill up because of heavy rain, the water will be kept out. The disadvantage is the cost – we have three windows in the cellar and the upgrade cost is more than 1000 Euro each.
We will have to read up on the internet and do some kind of risk/benefit analysis before deciding. Apparently, we don’t need to decide until next week.