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.




The Heating is Running

Despite being cold outside, the house now has a warm feel to it. The heating system was started up for the first time on Wednesday.

Arriving in the morning, the plumbers were already filling up the system with water and getting the air out of the system.

The special program for drying the screed is running, and the system will automatically get progressively warmer over the next days.

While the system was filling up, the shower tray was being installed.

By Wednesday evening, we had received a delivery of lots of buckets of water. These were apparently for the plasterboarding for the ground floor (or at least for the skimming).

On Thursday morning, a delivery of plasterboard was just being offloaded from a small truck with a crane. By the evening, half of the ground floor has been plasterboarded…


On Saturday, the pile of sand was mixed with cement and water by this machine, and pumped through a long hose into the house.

Once the pipes for the under floor heating were completely covered up, one of the builders moved from room to room on his knees, spreading the screed evenly across the floor.

The end result, the floors are now at the right level for the ceramic tiles / laminate to be laid.

First though, we must wait until Monday so that it has dried enough to walk on, and then several more weeks for all the moisture to have gone.

Interior Construction is Completed

Our construction manager told us on Tuesday that despite the team building the dry wall being slightly behind schedule, that the screed would be done by the end of this week.

At the time it was hard to see how, as there was still so much work to be done.

By Tuesday evening, work was well underway with laying the two layers of polystyrene on the concrete floor.

On Wednesday, work started around 7am and finished around 7pm. The result, was that the bath was in place, and the sheeting that sits on top of the polystyrene had been laid.

Now it is Thursday evening, and the underfloor heating pipes are laid. In the first picture (taken from the side, on the stairs), it is possible to see all layers of the construction.

  • Concrete
  • Polystyrene
  • More polystyrene
  • Damp proof sheeting
  • Water pipe

In the cellar, the warm pump has now been installed in its final location (and as far as we know, the connections are all made).

The heating is scheduled to be turned on next week, to start drying out the screed.

Talking of the screed, it should be started tomorrow, and finished by Saturday. The sand has already been delivered…

Interior Construction Week 2

Today we had our weekly meeting with our construction manager, so it was a good opportunity to take some photos in daylight.

The electricians are now finished with the installation of cables, ducts, satellite cables and network cables, and  the plumbers have now finished installing all the water pipes for the WCs, sinks, shower and bath.

None of the cables are connected up in the cellar yet though.

Due to our water tank being in the cellar, it was recommended back in October, that we install a circulation management system for the hot water. This consists of additional pipes so that the hot water can be circulated when not in use. This meaning that we don’t waste 10 litres of water each time, waiting for the hot water from the tank in the cellar to reach the tap. Our understanding is that this can be timer-controlled so that it is not running 24 x 7. This should mean that it is not too expensive to run (maybe even saving money by reducing the water consumption).

The plasterboard walls are now almost complete (for some reason there are still a small number of panels which haven’t yet been done – they certainly seem to be taking longer than it was written in the plan, but doesn’t seem to be holding up the overall progress.

The screed should be coming on Friday / Saturday, so the plumbers will still be busy over the next few days.

First of all, two layers of polystyrene have to be laid over the concrete floor and all the cables & ducts, and then a plastic sheet.

Once this has been done, the water pipe spirals for the under-floor heating will laid, and then the screed can be delivered!

Interior Construction Day 5

It’s Friday already, but not quite the end of the busy two weeks, as the builders will be working tomorrow.

I went to the house early this morning as we wanted to make sure that holes for the bathroom sockets (and light switch) above the sink, that were originally marked in the wrong place got drilled in the right place. The best way was to directly talk to the electrician.

Fortunately the three electricians arrived about ten minutes after me. Meanwhile the holes are drilled in the right place and the cables are run.

We also went on the way home from work (because it was Friday we got away early so for a change it was still daylight!). Since the builders were busy moving big sheets of plasterboard around, and we didn’t want to get in their way. For this reason not too many new photos today.Most of the walls are now plasterboarded on at least one side and the first floor has now fully taken shape!

Bathroom Panorama…

Guest Bedroom…

The plumbers seem to be well on top of things, and earned themselves a day off today (there is no point trying to install pipes on walls that haven’t been built yet!).

The bath will go into the space to the left of this box, and the WC to the right…


Interior Construction Day 4

Lot’s more progress today. The dry walls upstairs have been started, and we have a bathroom! For the other rooms, only the metal frame has been installed. Maybe by tomorrow all of the plasterboard will be installed.

The plumber has also been busy again, and the electrician as even more cables have been installed.

Here are some pictures from today:

The electric, satellite TV and network cables all converge in one corner of the cellar. Hopefully the electrician remembers which one is which…

Our Heat Pump is out of its packing and installation has started…

The metal frame for the guest bedroom wall…It looks odd with the strange angles, but it is right! This is the 45 degree door into the bedroom, with the entrance to the walk-in wardrobe at 90 degrees to that…
Guest bedroom and office…

Ducts for the cables for Satelitte TV and Solar Panels coming down from the roof, on their way to the cellar…

The bathroom!

Frame for the box behind the bathroom sink. On the floor the water pipes coming up from the cellar…

Lots of pipes and cables running everywhere…

The ground floor heating manifold…

We are expecting that work will continue until Saturday lunch time. by then the dry walls, electrical and plumbing installation should be complete.

The only work scheduled for next week is the installation of the underfloor heating pipes and the floor screed. This will bring the level of the floor up by 18cm downstairs and 14cm upstairs (less in the cellar as there is no under floor heating there).

Late this evening we went back to the house, as the positions that the electrician has marked for the sockets in the bathroom (allowed in Germany) are not where we want them. We have therefore marked them in different places, so hopefully that works out OK.

We think the house is now well insulated, as the single fan heater that has been running since Monday on the ground floor, now has the inside temperature higher than we would normally have it!

Interior Construction Day 3

This afternoon, we had our weekly meeting with our Construction Manager. Once again, a lot of work has been done today.

The electrician (who we still haven’t seen yet) had been and gone, but had laid network cables and satellite TV cables for the ground floor. Most of the remaining cabling cannot yet be done, as the walls haven’t been built yet!

Today the plumbers were there for the first time, and have started laying pipes, and installing the downstairs WC.

Together with the plumbers, a huge amount of materials have arrived, and the complete lounge/dining room is now almost completely full with lagging for pipes, a massive amount of polystyrene and the hose for the underfloor heating.

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!)

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.