Well there goes the schedule

I mean, it’s not like we had a schedule. We have had multiple optimistic timelines, and I can’t help but feel somewhat disappointed by the gradual acceptance that it’s not going to be livable by the new year. I’d refused to say “we’ll be in by the New Year”, because we’ve missed every other deadline.

But I had hopes.

And we’re not.


The garage is still not done (although it is now sporting the right roof), and because of the code-fixes required and the space needed for the garage door, we can’t stack lumber in there.

Which means that we can’t plane the lumber which is to be our battens – which was a job I was thinking I could ‘fill time’ with. Why do I need to fill time? Because our special flooring compound is still not on its way. The guy who makes it had some supply issues – and has ended up rush-ordering a polymer that he uses from a different distributor, because his usual one is… out of stock.

All of this means that the interior is effectively stalled until it arrives.

I spent the day working on the outside – slowly shifting the ridiculous pile of construction driveway rock into being a somewhat intense pile of pseudo-drain-rock.


The idea is this will stop water pooling by our foundation, and plants trying to grow up next to our foundation.

I also spent time digging out the trench that was originally meant to be dug by our groundworks folks. At least, they said they’d try and get it done… I’m not sure what happened there, but they stopped after a few feet, which has left me with the unenviable task of digging out a 60cmx60cmx4m trench, into which will go lots of gravel and a soak away pipe.

This will, of course, do sod all because the water table sits about 6″ below the surface when it really rains.

But hey, it’s required, so I’m doing it. Hopefully I can get that finished off tomorrow, and we can arrange for the garage to have guttering as soon as we can yank the tank back out of the ground.

I’m just going to lie here going zootlewordle.

It turns out that loading 7 30kg bags of sand-mix (which is, sadly, a concrete based thing) onto a Bob trolley, then loading half that into the car (I got help with loading), then unloading 6 bags into the house (I realised I’d done my sums based on 60lb bags, not the 80lb bags they had in stock). then mixing 5 of the bags, spreading them, then lugging the 6th bag back to the car, and then the 6th and 7th bags bag onto the trolley and into the store is about my limit.

So I’m just going to lie here going zootlewordle for a bit.

I did also clean the tiles in the bathroom and prep the bedroom for flooring.

This (the bathroom floor) is a job I’ve been worrying about since planning it. I’ve watched countless how-to videos, and read countless articles. Everyone has their own opinion and just to make it doubly complex I switched from the schlauter-kerdi membrane to the paintable hydroban membrane.

After I’d installed the schlauter-kerdi special drain.

But everything I’ve read suggests that this should all work.

So I spent today making everything slope nicely… It just has to set up (I’m leaving that heating off for 2 days), then in a month’s time I can paint it with the hydroban and we can get this bathroom in service too.


In rather more irritating news, it turns out that 1/2″ (15mm) UK pipe is a different size to 1/2″ US pipe. By a fraction of a mm. Meaning the plumbing valves I picked up nice and cheaply from Europe won’t fit the US 1/2″ pipe. Balls.

Also, Tuff Shed. Pfer.

Grrrrout! And other things.



It’s done.

Now there’s just the silicone to do around the edges, and the corners, and the shelf. And there’s a couple of spots on the grey grout that need touching up.

Oh, and then once the floor is fully cleaned, I need to pour natural stone sealant on it… which will also seal the tiles.

So that’s done.

Then I had endless terror pouring black gunk over the floor – this is the anti-fracture goop which I smeared around the bits of the floor I could reach. Our final finish goes on top of this, and we’re hoping this will allow for any cracking of the self-levelling compound (which has definitely got some hairline cracks in it). It’s meant to allow cracks of about 1/8″ (3mm!).


Once this lot is dry we’ll move the kitchen units up into the lounge, then I can paint this gunk on the dining room and laundry floor – and we can get the bedroom floor laid… then kitchen into the bedroom so we can get our final floor laid, then put the kitchen in and move in.

This is, of course, dependent on the floor coming soon.

Which would be nice.

I also spent some time digging the soak away for the garage… I’ve got a few feet at one end, and a couple at the other to do. Hopefully the rain won’t wash all the dirt back into the hole.

In other news, I talked to Tuff Shed again today. The woman I spoke to said all she can do is keep asking the area manager to call me. Because I complained to the customer service team, she thinks it’s been escalated to the regional manager, but she has no way to contact the regional manager, apparently. All she can do is keep pestering the local area manager to call us, which he so far has never done. Feh.

A plan, if you call it that.

As we wait on tenterhooks to find out whether our flooring material will arrive before our bedroom floors do, we’ve continued to work on a variety of projects. Kathryn’s been busy up making our skylights more pretty – waxing them with a substance which is meant to be low VOC and air-quality friendly, but which instead smells like a thousand oilpaints compressed into one tiny can.

It’s all, apparently, plant based. But 2 days after coating it, it still stinks to high heaven. I actually turned the heating off today and opened a bunch of windows to get some air through the house. We’ll see how it is tomorrow.

However, it’s worth it. The skylight looks awesome.


That is of course only one of two, so there’s a whole ‘nother one to be sanded, fettled and coated. Yay?

I, on the other hand have continued my quest to tile everything in sight. At least, in the bathroom. And finally finished putting down the floor tile today. I’d got to a point where there were 6 partial tiles left to cut on Saturday (we had a social day yesterday!), and rather than attempt it when I was tired I declared I’d do it today. And lo, with very little drama it was done. Incredibly there was only one miscut – and that was out of a tile scrap, so it didn’t cost us any usable tile. I need to grout the whole lot tomorrow, then when that’s dry I can silicone the corners of the bathroom floor and the base of the bath / floor join.

I did, however, break out the grey silicone to seal around our bath which, if you ask me, is looking positively resplendent in it’s new coat of white pseudo-enamel.


I still need to gunk the corners of the shower with the hateful stuff, and the corners of the shower shelf. That’s because I don’t trust grout to hold the water out of those areas. I also need to treat the floor in the bathroom with tile protector once I’ve got it good and clean and the grout’s in. So much fun!

But I’m super-pleased with how the bathroom’s come together. It feels luxurious despite being mostly salvage or very cheap (the white subway were the cheapest home depot had on a special offer, the copper tone tiles were clearance (albeit not cheap once we factored in shipping), the marble tiles were salvage, the bath and sink were salvage… only the toilet and shower were bought new).

It was a little close on tiling the floor. There were 6 tiles left over – and they were all somewhat stained with rust. I did actually use a few rust-stained ones, where the stain could be cut off. We thought we had much more than that. Actual off-cuts were pretty small, too. So…

I spent a lot of time staring at the problem of “we don’t have a date for the floor coating arriving yet” and “in theory the bedroom floor could be here tomorrow”. My conclusion was that we could paint the anti-fracture paint in sections: the hall and lounge area tomorrow, then when it’s dry we can move the kitchen units into the lounge, and we can do the kitchen/dining/laundry area. This is not ideal, but it does mean it can happen without moving everything into the bedrooms and… if we’re lucky and the bedroom flooring (a floating engineered wood affair) does arrive soon, it’s something I can quietly put down while we’re waiting for the main room’s flooring material to arrive. So the afternoon was cleaning up the floor in the main room and hallway ready for the anti-cracking paint which was endless fun. I did discover that it’s relatively easy to sand back our self-levelling flooring compound which has allowed me to ‘fix’ a few of the most obvious issues.

I continue to wait with bated breath for a date for a garage door, or them to turn up and fix the incorrect roof.