A record of our adventures between Pipit and her successor...
We really are on the home straight of the build now, with the two dung board terraces now completed and gravelled. As ever, Salmon & Collett's builders have done a superb job.
The decking leads straight onto a gravelled area, steps in line with the kitchen bi-fold doors lead to the first terrace with a further set of steps in line with the central bi-fold doors leading onto the rest of the garden. When I say garden, the grass and planting will be a work in progress, but we'll enjoy creating something over the next few years.
We have replaced the greenhouse pane of toughened glass that was shattered by an errant stone from a brush cutter before we bought the plot. Surprisingly it was significantly cheaper to buy this online, despite the p&p cost, and it arrived extremely well packaged. It was a slightly nerve-wracking job to fit the glass, as the tolerance was extremely tight but, with a little soapy water, mission accomplished. So following a good clean of the greenhouse one day soon, we'll be able to get some things growing. Having said that, we're going to need a lot of plants as here's the weird thing - the garden seems to be growing in size. There's a pile of scrap timber ready for a bonfire, but it's now so big we're going to have to disassemble it and start small, not to mention checking for any hedgehogs who may have taken up residence. Once that's gone, it will free up another big space, making the garden look even larger again.
Inside, again more excellent work from Salmon & Collett with the engineered oak flooring now nearly complete. We chose wide boards as there are so many large areas which would have looked too 'busy' had we chosen narrow planks.
The kitchen units were fitted ahead of the templating and subsequent fitting of the quartz worktops. There is second fix plumbing & wiring to be completed, plus a few other finishing touches, but I think it can be said we do now have a kitchen.
We'd seen the impressive workshops at an open day last autumn, and on Friday Duke Stone of Cornwall came to fit the worktops that they'd templated the previous week.
As part of their attention to detail, they used a vacuum pump and compressor to pull together the almost unfeasibly heavy slabs of quartz to produce almost invisible 'micro joints' - very neat.
The wide induction hob will be a joy to cook on but we were somewhat amused to see the 'Wi-Fi' sticker on it. That wasn't one of the reasons we chose this particular hob, but I think the Wi-Fi allows the perpetually lazy or completely IT obsessed to get the extractor synced with the hob such that the extractor boosts when necessary. Such an effort to reach up and press a button you know... I don't think we'll need our hob and (yet to be fitted) extractor to keep in touch with one another. We've ordered the printed glass splashback for the hob and think it's going to add an attractive splash of colour.
When we worked with Martin from Cornwall Bathroom Centre on the kitchen design, we knew that there was sufficient space between the island and other floor units, but thought it might possibly be only just enough room, i.e. one way traffic. Now that it's all in, there's plenty of room around the island (more the size of an archipelago really).
We've had the metal webs to fit into the feature trusses made, and have painted them black today to match the industrial style décor.
Usually prefer a cheeky little fino sherry of a Sunday lunchtime, but needs must...
Perfect spraying conditions
The internal doors have been hung, architraves, doorstops and skirtings are being fitted next week and the tiling should resume, as well as the staircase being due toward the end of next week. All the trades are working with & around each other simultaneously and, at the pace at which everything is proceeding, we should be hiring another van really quite soon.
Meanwhile, back on the farm... (where we're currently living), despite a combination of work and dealing with the house build filling 6½ days a week, averaging 10 hours a day, we are still enjoying having the Cornish countryside on our doorstep, and watching the wildlife from our kitchen window. The birds are feeding voraciously; goldfinches, sparrows, robins, greenfinches, chaffinches, blackbirds, blue tits and great tits are all regular visitors. Watching the occasional fox and buzzards soaring overhead (we like grammar - could have used a comma but just to be clear, we have not seen foxes soaring overhead...) or swooping across the field at close quarters is a regular treat. Our affection for the local bunnies however has waned recently as they've discovered how to climb up and down our garden wall and were caught nibbling our fuchsias the other day:
Wall-climbing, fuchsia eating bunny
Finally, we had a parcel delivered from DPD whilst we knew were going to be out, having added a request online for it to be left in a specific place. Not only did Nick (yes, we've had that many parcels delivered lately that we're on first-name terms with our DPD driver) do exactly as requested, he took a photo which was emailed to us to confirm where he'd left the parcel. Of course that may well be for DPD's benefit as well, but credit where it's due, in our experience, DPD have the best online tracking and delivery option system amongst the couriers we've used.
Therein lie our LED dimmers (in the box not the baler...)