Snowing solidly for three days

Snowing solidly for three days's like Little House on the Prairie

the kitchen taking shape

Thursday, 29 April 2010

Bit of a blow. Looks like the roof will have to be completely re-tiled as the tiles are faulty. We thought they were just breaking off where thieves had ripped the lead off the roof before we bought it. But the problem is more widespread - a lot of them have got hairline cracks and are randomly breaking. It's a lot of roof to re-tile.
Met the neighbours who said the tiles had come from China and were very cheap. Maybe this was towards the end when the previous builder was running out of money.

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

I'm now obsessed with drains. The drainage plan is a thing of beauty and so detailed. Still not sure how it will connect to the sewer in the road - a specialist firm will do this, but it's 6 meters deep. That's a lot of digging and traffic lights to hold up the cars.
Of course, it's impossible to co-ordinate between all the utilities so looks like we will have to dig up the road several times. One good result though, the electricity cable runs along our verge so can tap into this without too much trouble.
The planning officer is off on maternity leave this week so is passing things before she goes. An end to the paperwork is in sight! Looks like our intervention with the local MP may have swayed the council over the double glazing.
But we now have two offers on our house so will have to move into a barn soon.

Monday, 12 April 2010

My new life as a builder

The sun is out and we should be building. But one thing I have quickly discovered in my new life as a builder is that nothing happens quickly in the construction world. For the past month I've been tied up with paperwork, drawings, planning approvals - trying to cut through the red tape we've been bogged down with for the past nine months.
Minor victory today though. The cautious conservation officer at the council has approved our application for slimline double glazing in the new extension of the small listed farmhouse! Don't know why this has happened....he was minded not to. It's still bonkers, we are being forced to put in single glazing in the main part of the farmhouse because it is listed and in the barn. Don't know how we can improve the environmental credentials of these buildings with restrictions like this. But we should press home our advantage and challenge that in the light of today's breakthrough.
In the meantime, trying to broker the relationship between the (real) builder and the architect. My only management tool - as in journalism it was cake - with builders it is biscuits. Moods become quickly smoothed on appearance of the chocolate digestives or the viennese fingers.