We’re still waiting on quotes. More accurately, we’re still waiting on finding a plasterer who’ll even consider us. We want smooth, natural plaster. Although we’ve tried to get quotes for regular smooth plaster, we’d prefer lime. Finally today we actually got a possible step forward, with a local guy who trains lime plasterers who’s passing on our name and some details to a couple of plasterers he’s trained. That is the level we’re at, that this is considered forward progress.
He also has a lime plaster that he imports that’s a prebagged mix so it’s much simpler than other plasters – which he’s keen for us to use. So that’s progress, of a sort.
We have also got a quote for the garage. We’ve given in and gone with TuffShed – having had such endless fights trying to get a contractor – and they have people they recommend for foundations.
It’s really much less (design and intent wise) than we were hoping for, but it’s functional and it’ll keep Rebecca out of the elements and give me a place for us to work on her… there’s still rather a lot of debate about roofing materials, but the guilt of using any kind of asphalt is getting to us both, so it may well be metal of some sort.
We’re also looking at building a little studio building at the back of the property for Kathryn’s art – replacing what was going to be the shed. It means the garage will have to hold the garden tools, which isn’t ideal, but it’s a fair tradeoff.
We’ve also got someone coming to quote for solar – which we really should have got put on as soon as the roof went on. Frankly, at this point, with the benefit of hindsight, we’d have built the garage much earlier. We’d not have bothered saving the trusses. We’d have got solar put on as soon as the wiring was done. Why? Because we’ve had a full year of the house sitting empty, and it could have been generating power – and reducing the depressing costs of having an incomplete house sit empty.
While we’re creeping towards getting a plasterer we’ve done some working on the garden. Well, sort of. We’ve got the rain water capture tank in the ground. Which is probably why we’re both completely exhausted. Digging through the hard-pack stone and clay was a nightmare. The revolting water sitting in the bottom of the pit turned out to be useful; once you’ve dug a bit into the clay it sort of turns into a slurry which allowed us to pull out the bigger stones. Then, eventually, we bailed out the sludgy water which gained us a bit more depth. And then finally we scraped and pick’d and dug and finally managed to get the hole deep enough to put the tank in the ground.
After quite a lot of poking around and the making of some scary big holes in the side of the tank we’d just put in the ground, we’ve got a floating water outlet (using this guide), and an intake for the water running from the guttering at the back of the house, so it should run into the tank. We actually have the stuff to add in the water from the front of the house, but I’m pretty sure the tank isn’t big enough; nor is there enough soak-away capacity in our rain-garden. So I think that’ll be left to run out into the street, which is what it does now.
The garage will also need some kind of thing – I’m hoping that we can knock up a rain-water capture thing which might feed the toilets. We designed the house such that the toilets could be fed from a separate supply. It’s a possibility, but we’ll see how that goes.
We also did some more joint compound yesterday – it’s almost done. The office needs a third coat on the ceiling which, for some reason, seems to be very uneven at the seams. Also, the tiny tiny pantry still needs some of the corners doing and really needs another coat.
It feels sort of endless, but also very close. I’m thinking that Wednesday I might start on cedar… and there’s also the application of a crack isolation and waterproofing membrane in the bathroom. So lots to do, but nothing that feels on the scale of what we need to do.