Hallelujah! The extension is so close to being done. And here is the truth. I am mentally worn out from this latest project, more so than I've been previously. I think it's because I feel like we have had a lot less control on this project and because I haven't had a strong understanding of some of the technical details so have just had to trust the builders, architect, etc. Also, the extension is pretty much an added luxury. It's not like we're homeless or desperate for the extra room.
We would like the extension as a family room, which includes TV and internet. The wi-fi doesn't extend into our kitchen (lathe and plaster + thick old walls=great barricade) and certainly won't extend into the new room. So I drilled a hole in living room floorboards, bought way too many meters of ethernet and TV cable, crawled under the house, and pushed the wires through the (former) exterior wall.
One of the cost saving measure the builders proposed was the floor. In the early days, we wanted underfloor heating, but it was way too much money. Then we were going to have an insulated floor with a screed on top. The builders suggested a concrete pad with the insulation underneath, which is what we did. Then a board and batten floor on top. Going this route meant we could run pipes and wires on top of the pad, that the floor would have a little give, and saved about £1000.
It also meant that we could run the internet and cable along the floor and up the wall. The builders drilled a hole for me and we did a crazy bit of threading with a chopstick, wire hanger and some tape. And now the cables are in place.
Here's the flooring frame.
Also, we wanted a cat door but did not want it cut in the glass door. We opted for a cat tunnel in the wall (maybe I'll do a post on it later), which the cat has been using and seems like a decent solution.
Oh, and a comment about the paint. I ended up using 15 L to paint the walls and ceiling, but that was on fresh plaster that sucks up paint like a sponge. We got 10 L of mistints from Dulux, their Diamond brand which is supposed to be hard wearing and scrubbable. Then I paid for a 5L tint of the same color, which was about £65. It's a lot more than the paint we could get off the shelf at B&Q but hopefully it will wear better!
The flooring was a saga that I'm trying to forget. We finally decided on a solid oak, and it got delivered and acclimatised. I will say that I love the look of darker woods, but our experience has been they scratch in a heartbeat and can't handle heels, let alone kids. I tried to convince Niall to go with a rubber or some other synthetic that the kids could beat to a pulp, but he wanted wood.
Once we finally got the floor fitters round (also a saga, but it's done now) the building site suddenly became a playroom! The girls have been playing in there ever since, treating it as a running track and stage.
Here's the view out to the garden. We opted for a matwell with coconut carpet because, honestly, there is going to be some serious mud and dirt tracked in. (We're already glad we made that choice!)
The dwarf wall from the pitching looking out to the extension. We need to do something with that shelf on top (it's only plasterboard on top of the brick wall, so it needs some sort of protection.) We've got the leftover flooring up there now, as well as a bunch of electrical and DIY stuff still in use. I'm tempted to put up barb wire just to make sure it doesn't become another dumping zone.
The front of the house is supposed to get wood cladding. It's Siberian Larch that has to be special ordered and treated. (I already have the product, it took two weeks to get and was also a special order.) The elevations have changed because the hardcore from the foundations are there, so I had to dig a trench out so it was clear where the actual levels will be.
I loved how the render looked before the rock got thrown on it, with a smooth finish. But Niall wanted pebbledash and it was what we had planned, so pebbledash it is!
Now that we're pretty much out of money, we need to figure out how we're going to finish the garden. But that's another post for another day.