Diary of the house build

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March 2002

By the first week of March, all the light fittings were in and working. Mind you, we had to rush from room to room with our one light bulb to test them. Off to the shops for 50 candle light bulbs for the wall lights. When we got back, we went round the house putting all the bulbs in, turned all the lights on and stood outside to look at it.

We had major problems in locating where our water supply was coming from. The water inspector came as promised on 5th March and confirmed that our water supply pipe was in fact not ours (as we’d been told a year before), but coming off the next door works supply. He recognised the urgency of the problem and would send someone up as a priority to find the location of the water main in the road. We desperately needed to know where the water main was before the sewage pipe was put in to avoid the possibility of going through it.

On 13th March the central heating was finally commissioned and turned on. There was a noticeable warmth in the house, which was lovely, and it meant that the plaster would dry more quickly. The second fix joinery work - putting shelves in the airing cupboard, bolts on some of the doors and so on - was also completed during this week. Now that the plaster had dried sufficiently, the green oak frame could have its final wax treatment. The structure was first cleaned with dilute oxalic acid, then Fiddes Supreme Wax Polish in Rugger Brown was applied and then buffed up.

We had also started on some of the decorating, trying to keep out of everyone's way, but had a friend who was a professional decorator to do the high bits! The oak staircase was also now finished off, with the stair treads stained in Cuprinol light oak and then waxed with a Fiddes hard wearing floor wax.

Well, we now had hot water in the house, which was necessary for washing the flagstones (very dusty from the plastering), but as yet still no mains drainage - so it was a bucket and chuck-it job every time we ran a tap. We had news that our water connection would be made on 27th March, which was good; we hoped that the sewage connection could be done very rapidly afterwards, although the delay had held everyone up.

The oak floor was delivered on Monday 25th March and was stacked in the hall to acclimatise to the heating; it was due to be laid the following week. Three weeks to our scheduled moving in date.

By 26th March all the foul water and sewage drains were in position and ready for the building inspector, who said it was a text book installation. They could then be back-filled to make access around the house a bit easier. Wednesday 27th March was supposed to be the day of the water connection, at last, but the water company spectacularly failed to find the mains. Unfortunately it was all holding up our sewer connection, which had been scheduled for that week. It would be in fact be another fortnight before they succeeded!