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Last week, they poured the concrete floor downstairs. That’s the actual finished floor. It needs to be cleaned of course but I have to wait a few weeks before using any cleaning products on it as it would damage to protective curing layer on top.

After pouring the concrete, they polish the floor and add the colouring. It may look pretty black right now, it’s actually a very dark gray.

doormat

And now that I have a floor downstairs, everything else can be finished. There’s still a whole lot to do for the carpenter. Drywall against the side walls, drywall against the roof, wooden floors on the other floors, doors, etc.

And by special request: more pics of the finished plasterwork.

No need to plaster around the doors as the door frames will cover that.

The plaster is actually sprayed on to the walls, then spread out evenly.

detail around the window.

Electricians and plumbers first cut into the wall, then it’s all plastered over.

…but not drunk.

I spent the weekend finishing taping off the windows and wrapping up the stairs, because today the really dirty work started, work that truly turns the house into a house.

This is how it looks right before they start plastering.

 

How many men does it take to change a triple glass pane?

A lot!

Today the glass for the window at the back (the one that broke during transport) was installed. In order to get it in, they had to take out the glass at the front first.

And if you ever wondered why the fa├žade of my house is so different from the original plans, here’s why:

There’s no way they could have brought the glass for the back in if it wasn’t for a huge window at the front.

Meanwhile the electrician has also started. There was a lot of productivity on site this morning.

Look! The scaffolding is gone!

This can mean only one thing: STAIRS!

The carpenter was planning on leaving without installing the stairs as he thought it would be impossible to fix them properly. I insisted they install the staircases. The moment the scaffolding was taken down, you could no longer reach the upper floors. So I needed those stairs desperately.

But in the end, it turned out well. The stairs are made out of rubberwood. Ecological.

So far only two staircases have been installed. I need a floor first on the ground floor before I can have the stairs installed.

Meanwhile in the DIY department:

My father and I put up a plywood wall for the meters, etc. so that the electrician can start next week. On the left you see the temporary electricity meter, the eventual one will be put up on that wall.

Today I finished insulating the floor. Two layers of 8cm.

The outside of the house is pretty much done. The roof is entirely finished – last skylight installed, all the gutters and pipes, etc are done. All that is left to do on the outside is the bits between the windows, solar blinds at the back, safety barriers on my balcony and eventually, the screen at the front to provide some privacy (but still let in light). With the roofs finished, the scaffolding could go and now you can truly see the house.

So now the work focusses mainly on the inside. Last week, the side walls were insulated with spray PUR insulation.

The plumbers have started. First toilet installed!

The first week of October, the electrician will start (and finish). Once he’s done, the walls can be plastered. Once the walls have been plastered, the staircases can be installed. And once those have been installed, the scaffolding inside can go. And with the scaffolding gone, the floor downstairs can be finished. Once that is finished, work on the kitchen and all the inner walls, etc. can start.

Lots of different builders, all with their own schedules, so planning is somewhat difficult. I have to be patient and accept that there will be weeks with no changes at all.

All the windows are installed (have been for a week). This means that I now need a key to get in. It felt special, receiving the keys to my house.

The parts between the windows will insulated and get a aluminium cover (same colour as windows). They had to install the windows first, then measure everything. So it’s going to be another couple of weeks.

5 men were needed to install the glass panes as they’re so heavy. One broke during transport so there’s one window that’s now boarded up (back, 1st floor).

The windows are beautiful. I’m very happy that they’re paying attention to details. E.g. notice the extra plywood next to the window frame. That’s only on the side of the hinges so that when the walls are plastered, the hinges aren’t plastered in. (the smaller windows have hidden hinges BTW. It’s only the high windows that have visible hinges as those windows are so heavy, they need strong hinges).

The detail below is also typical for passive house windows. There’s an extra rubber/threshold there to make the door air tight.

Now that all the windows have been installed, the house is officially wind- and watertight. I used this week to work on the airtightness, taping off the window frames.

and putting up the vapour barrier

bathroom is almost done as well

Today, the first builders (bricklayers, etc.) finished their part. Rainwater tank and septic tank have got a lid, soil has been added in the little patio at the back.

Unfortunately, they left a bit of a mess

I’ve been doing a lot of sweeping this past week.

This week the roofers continued work on the roof and plumbing. The front part is almost done.

It’s lovely to see the skylight from the inside. This is the view up from my future shower. Once the walls and ceilings are white, it’ll look a lot clearer. But I can already see now that it’s going to be lovely to shower in the morning, watching the sky above and be bathed in sunlight.

The roofers have been doing a brilliant job. It’s not that easy at that height. The joint between my roof and that of the neighbours isn’t that easy either. The slope of the roof of the neighbour on the left is different as the roof on the right. So I couldn’t just follow the roofline of one neighour. I decided to make sure my roofline would stick out on both sides over both neighbours, so that it’s easier to make it all waterproof.

However, there’s that tiny little pet peeve of mine. Case in point:

The roof tiles all rest on a wood batten and another tile…Except for the bottom row. There, the tiles only rest on a batten, not on another tile. As a result, you often see that the bottom row tilts downwards. I hate that. They have to double the battens underneath the bottom row so that the slope of the bottom row is identical to that of the other tiles.

Now, here in my case, the batten on the bottom row is installed slightly higher than in other places. Also,the roof underlay tilts a little bit upwards there because of the gutter. But still. You can see a slight tilt.

However, as it’s only a slight tilt, and there’s no way anyone will ever notice, I decided to leave it.

I mean, this is the view from the street, it’s not as if you can see the tiles that clearly.

However, there’s another problem that’s popped up. The second skylight doesn’t fit. They opening that was left for the skylight is too narrow. The carpenters have to come back to widen it and who knows when they’ll find the time.

The small windows have been installed.

inside

The large windows must wait for the glass (should arrive next week).

Today the roofers finished the two flat roofs (finished the edges, installed the draining pipes).

And…the windows are here!

Here’s the truck delivering my windows.

The smaller windows came with the glass already installed. They’re wood/aluminium window frames. The inside is wood (better thermal qualities, nice to look at too), the outside aluminium (unlike with wood, no maintenance). Between the wood and the aluminium is insulation.

detail of the window. On site, they attached wooden frames/sideboards. The windows are then put in place with the frames. On those frames, I can then glue some vapour/air barriers to make the overall construction airtight. The green stuff on the window is the glue before they screw the wooden sideboards on. The blue is the insulation.

A finished window.

Lifting it to the top floor

Two more windows, ready to be installed tomorrow.

Triple glazing

The bigger windows came without the glass. The glass will be installed next week. That’s going to be something. Triple glazing isn’t exactly light.

Here they are, assembling the frames.

It looks a lot bigger in reality than in this picture.

And in case you wondered how thick triple glazing is: 4cm (1.57″)

Just a few pictures of the two flat roofs, taken on Tuesday and tonight.

And just in time too for the first batch of windows to arrive tomorrow. No more wet walls, hurrah! I was very pleasantly surprised when I saw the result this evening. I’d asked the plumber to seal the part near the walls so that rain would stop flowing down there. He could do the rest when he comes next week. But to my pleasant surprise, he actually insulated the roofs too and put the roofing on. It still needs to be finished along the edges but at least it’s watertproof now. I’m so relieved.

Before:

After:

Before:

After: