Big Build – Week 9 & 10 Downstairs (nearly) Complete… and the Great Flood!

A short update this week, combining two weeks, as essentially it’s been much more finishing off. Or attempting too… see below!


The roof is nearly complete and it looks fantastic. Only a few small areas where the scaffolding is in the way remain unfinished. We had a condition on our planning approval which stated that the council wanted to approve all finish materials and we had absolutely no trouble getting this struck off as the materials we were using were in keeping with the house and its surrounding neighbours. We’re really pleased we switched from the old red tiles to slate-effect composite. We also had black soffits and facias too, which cost a bit more but look fantastic. A house nearby has had black slates done with white facias and it does look a tad mismatched.

The highlight for me was having the underfloor heating installed downstairs. With all the walls being taken down we had no space for radiators, and in any case with the new radiators upstairs, we didn’t want to overload the boiler. I honestly didn’t realise it would look the way it did, on a flat plastic roll. As a chap who’d done some electronics for GCSE back in the day, I found it fascinating. We’ve zoned it across dining, kitchen and lounge areas and I’m just getting used to programming the areas to suit our needs, but the huge benefit is that it can be added to our wifi network and can be controlled via our mobiles.

The final plastering upstairs was completed, which led to our Great Flood. We’d done so well, only little incidents easily dealt with, but I guess we were due a disaster… The plumber had installed the second fix of bathroom plumbing, with tap assemblies and outlets being prepared for the final fix. The plasterers then did our en-suite but were using the shower outlet for water (which was a no-no anyway). The plumber switched the water off as he was moving our boiler and commissioning the upstairs heating, when he switched it on, the plasterers had moved rooms and so we had water gushing out of our shower outlet onto the floor, which flooded the room downstairs, which happened to be our boy’s bedroom which we were sharing. We weren’t made aware of the issue until two hours later by which time the bed was soaked through, the carpet was squelchy and a number of belongings were waterlogged. We had to take out our bed, the mattress was ruined, and cut out the carpet which was soaked through. There was no time to dry the carpet out as Jack had to sleep in there and it was already soaking all the wood around the fitted wardrobes. Not a great day. We’re still waiting for the plastering sub-contractors to properly own up but they’re being obstinate.

Anyhow, on a positive note, plastering was completed, windows were installed and heating commissioned upstairs and down, with a water softener fitted (we have very hard West London water). We even moved to sleep upstairs so we could have a proper bed and Jack could be in his room on his own again. We had to cover the floor as it was dusty and our curtains are cardboard but it’s lovely sleeping up on the first floor we never used to have!

Our final things before Christmas was having the ground floor laminate laid, which covers our big back room and all the way down the hall to the front door. It looks fantastic and the underfloor heating is wonderful. So that was us ready for Christmas – save for some unpainted walls and bits that still need plastering. Roll on the new year!

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