Once the plumbers and electricians had finished the first stage, the carpenters were back on site on 2nd November to lay the insulation and bearers ready for the Rehau underfloor heating system.
The heating installers arrived on 6th November and started work fitting metal heat-conducting plates into the first floor space, laying the pipes within those plates and fitting the two manifolds which would control the heating for each floor. Downstairs, the pipes were laid onto a screeded floor. Where there would be oak flooring, they were laid between battens. By the end of the week, this stage of the heating was complete and was washed through and filled with water under pressure. The installers would not be back until it was time to commission the system. Once the underfloor heating had got to this stage, the ground floor was screeded where we were to have an oak floor - this was done as soon as possible to protect the pipes. Where there were to be flagstones, the screed would be done at the same time as the flagstones were laid.
During this time the oak window frames were also being installed, and the plasterers arrived on 7th November to do the outside rendering, which took about a week. They applied a ridged scratch (base) coat to provide a key for the smooth, cream-coloured top coat. At last on 21st November the scaffolding could come down and the house was revealed more or less as it would finally look.
We had decided on flagstones throughout the ground floor except for the sitting room, and they were laid, sealed and pointed over four days beginning on 26th November. At the same time, the oak porch structure was finished off ready for the roofers to return, and the featherboarding was started on the study/utility annexe.