80s Stone Cladding - the Good, the Bad or the Ugly

Tuesday, 27 October 2009
Ugly methinks or maybe baaaad, never good. Tis gone from around the fireplace. I'm loving it!

On the slightly less good news front - some tiles fell of the bathroom wall and knocked a radiator off the wall. Keith has drained the system to prevent a flood! Ooops!

The pine panel ceiling has now been removed from the downstairs bathroom and I could see today that there appears to be insulation in the sloping roof. Lots of draughts though as there are a lot of little gaps too!

A Modern Home

Monday, 26 October 2009
I'm into my IT - it's what I do for a living - so it makes sense that my new home will be equipped with the latest and greatest gadgets. I currently enjoy a 50mb cable line into my home which comes in very handy with the work that I do, for example.

When it comes to home networking, I like the idea of having CAT5e/CAT6a cable running into every room in the house (with the possible exception of the bathroom, of course). Do I need to do this though? Won't wireless "cut the mustard"?

As I see it, I would like to future proof the house as much as possible. If I want to stream HD video, CATxx cabling would be beneficial. If I want super-fast backup capability for each laptop, CATxx cabling would be beneficial. If I want to play about with home automation technologies, CATxx cabling would be beneficial.

And then there is the option of using the home's electrical wiring to carry data signals using those spectacularly good 200mbs bridge devices - I use one at present and it works a treat!

So the options are:

  • stick with wireless
  • use the electrical system
  • run dedicated CATxx cabling to each room
And when I get to thinking about it, I'll probably want to think seriously about a wired security solution and get that installed from the outset. I see ADT offer a solution for £450 with a £20 a month fee for remote monitoring and alerting though this is for a standard 3-bedroom house. Might need to spend a bit more time looking at all the options for both networking and security.

The Imagery Evolves

Monday, 26 October 2009
The artist in the family has been at it again. This time, it has been mocking up some more sketches of the front elevation and the upstairs floorplan.

We're basically settled on the idea that the dormers will be removed and replaced with Velux windows and that the study will have two long windows inserted instead of the small one that is in place just now. And, we are basically settled on the idea of a sloped front extension rather than a flat-roofed one (as long as the stairs can handle it internally).

The upstairs floorplan, however, has been revamped ever so slightly as there is now a room for a washing machine and tumble-drier. Not exactly a radical evolution but at least it matches the way that we actually live our lives. Why take clothes downstairs just to wash them and cart them back upstairs?

Where are we now

Friday, 23 October 2009
Haven't been able to get up to see where we are but I am reliably informed that the utility room at the back of the garage is empty, the tiles have been removed from the kitchen, attic emptied, ponds drained, garden waste gone, doors, frames and skirtings removed. Basically - anything removable has been! Will update after tomorrows visit.

The Latest Floorplans

Tuesday, 20 October 2009
Until the architect gets us a decent set of plans, the best we can offer just now are sketches on graph paper. They are mighty good sketches, however...

The downstairs layout rarely changes with each iteration of the sketch. A large extension out the back of the house will be for the new sitting room and kitchen and the downstairs bathroom gets converted into a WC and an ensuite.

Upstairs, the plan seems to evolve somewhat more. The extension will provide a master bedroom with ensuite and the bathroom "grows" into the main supporting wall with the landing moving from one side of the wall to the other.

Of course, the architect could say that the plans are rubbish or impossible. But it is a start.

Well - It's The Time Of Year For Bonfires

Monday, 19 October 2009
Today was another hard day's labouring. The bulker skip that was filled over the weekend was removed from the site and replaced with an empty skip. The second shed came down after much huffing and puffing and the two sheds combined managed to fill the second skip (with the help of some internal doors, carpets and other bits and bobs.

With the spiralling cost of skips starting to make our original budgets looking quite pathetic, it was time for some DRASTIC action. The trees and branches that had been taken down to provide access to the site were piled up in the back garden and a match set to them.

The result? A fantastic bonfire that burned for seven hours!