Big Build – Week 5 Internal Walls, Bits of Roof and Plumbing First Fix

Week 5 was all about the wood. Lots of it. Voodoo ran out of it at one stage…

Internal walls upstairs were built, all completed except for one between the master suite wardrobe room and the ensuite as we have a particular size shower that needs to go in first and the wall built next to it.

The walls are timber framed with regular vertical inserts, with the guys putting them in based on our plans. You’ll see how this affected our room positions in my post here. But essentially, it was the first time we could see the room space we had in the flesh as it were. I knew the depth of rooms on the west side would be larger than usual (study, bathroom and airing cupboard) so these rooms we have a lot of space. I didn’t realise though how big they’d be and actually one of the reasons we swapped the study and bathroom was down to sizing. It’s better to have a big bathroom than a big study!

Another interesting area was the master suite. We have a large bedroom at the front of the house for Jack (our five year old). He has a lot of stuff and wanted a good size room he can play in and store all his toys. The builders kept asking why this wasn’t our bedroom! It’s also at the front of the house and the road can be a bit busy at times (the bin men come at 6am too!)

The master suite suddenly looked quite small. Samantha (the missus) had wanted just our bed and bedside tables in our bedroom to create a calm oasis, so I’d designed it accordingly with the right amount of space and access in the corner through to the wardrobe room, which again was designed to do a job in a space-efficient manner. Cue lots of tape measuring and stuff! Sam and I had spoken about possibly having a fully open-plan master room but her preference was to hide away wardrobes and the en-suite.

The final piece of woodwork was the ceiling joists and the initial roof frame, all hand-built on site due to site complexities. The roof will be continued next week and the gable end block work completed.

Then the plumber came for first fix of the pipework. He liked to work on the weekend so the roof timbers aren’t dropped on his head! Building regs say that joists can’t be ‘notched’ now, so holes have to be drilled for pipework. This means our plumber used plastic pipework throughout. It was a joy to behold, especially with him working additional pipes for the megaflow system we’re having installed (Megaflows are a pressurised hot water cylinder system for homes with more than one bathroom, to maintain hot water pressure). We had to decide finally where radiators would go. It’s assumed they are always under windows so make sure if you want then in different places, you make it clear.

We also looked at having a water softener installed. We live in a hard water area and drown in limescale in the kitchen and bathroom, with our appliances also not lasting as long as they should. For a few hundred pounds you can add a water softener and knock all that on the head. We’re having it installed under the stairs as it’s near the mains water entry point and can be boxed in with our units we’re going to do for shoes and stuff by the new door.

So it’s all going on – the weather has started closing in and it will get colder next week so the sooner the roof is on and insulation in, the better!

Oh, and we thought you’d like to see the effect of living on site during such a build. This is our bedroom at the moment, sharing with Jack in his bunkbed and minimal wardrobe space…

Bedroom - Living on Site

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