It could happen quicker if we paid a lot of money for more contractors to do more things, but as much as possible it will still be me and whoever I can persuade to help. I can only do one thing at once so it will take a bit longer that way. So we'll have to spend another winter in the cold, damp and mouldy bungalow we currently rent which is a shame but not that bad. That bungalow is in the process of being sold which is a whole other saga but hopefully one nearing a resolution that allows us to stay in it. The buyers want to continue to let it out for the time being, thankfully without using the obstructive and overly bureaucratic agent that recently suggested we'd need to move out for a check-out report to be done, and then move back in again (but relented after everyone else involved pointed out how ridiculous that was).
In real time: windows and doors are in, all the external walls are now full height (so there's no draughty gap beneath the sunroom/rear-porch roof overhang and the rest of the bungalow anymore), the inside of the bale walls are now stuffed and strimmed, and the final coats of lime render are on. I'm aiming to get the gable end of the bungalow finished by the end of the week (the top half of this is to be timber clad) so we can get rid of the ugly and surprisingly noisy flappy plastic (recycled silage wrap) that's currently protecting it. I'll post the final render pictures in the next blog.
Having the windows and doors fitted was another transformational moment. Suddenly the extension is an enclosed space, and the whole bungalow is a unified indoors! It's also far more secure now than it has ever been.
In preparation for the windows and doors to be fitted, naturally I had to take the old ones out first. At this point the bungalow became very cold.
Lime-spattered old Crittall windows (glavanised steel frames) awaiting collection by scrap dealer. They're cold windows but I'm impressed at how well-built they are.
The new windows arrive!
First new window (timber frame, triple-glazed with aluminum trim in the places most likely to collect water)
This is the exciting view from what will be Anna's studio.
Tony and Wayne fitting the window brackets ready to hold the window in place.
Only slightly posed action shot
Render and windows, all within a few days (the big end-gable wall was being sprayed with render as this window was fitted)
Fold-aside door (the sunroom windows/doors are coming shortly - I hadn't built this when they measured the main windows so they measured it up when fitting phase 1).
Shiny new keys, to doors that actually lock properly
South wall of extension wrapped in hessian to prevent the lime render drying too quickly in the sun
Cutting out render and straw prior to fitting external window sill of reclaimed slate
Finished slate sills
Clay-straw plaster onto reed mat, closing the gap between sunroom and bungalow
Clay-straw plaster from the back
The mix - mostly long straw. Later coats of plaster will use chopped straw.
Bale-wrap strimmed within sunroom.
Newly-widened doorway into extension. Thankfully the existing lintels here were oversized, allowing me to widen the opening and still have the required overlap of lintel onto brickwork.
Stuffing straw into gaps between bales inside the extension. Mostly this was done as the walls were raised, but a few gaps slipped through the net. This was a big one.
Timber trim between window and render, treated with Osmo natural woodstain
Trimming the walls generates a lot of dust