And we’re back to terrifyingly expensive jobs

Comments Off on And we’re back to terrifyingly expensive jobs

So, we’ve had a phase where we were mainly doing things that we’ve already paid for. Which has been relatively low spendy and while there’s been stress it’s been much more… task focused stress. As of yesterday, all of the pipe is down.


And we’ve fixed my bathroom error…

The bathroom is fixed, but we do still need to whack a billion nails into the mesh – every 8″ :(

And so we’re progressing to terrifying but exciting things like:

  • Pouring the self-levelling compound.
  • Trying to work out how to deal with the front door area which is nearly 2.5cm higher than the rest of the house (because self-levelling compound will run away from it).
  • Installing the boiler

Yes, we are still going with a gas boiler. Yes, I feel insanely guilty about it. Yes, we should have done something different. But there’s no room in the house for an expansion / water storage tank (as required by a heat-pump hydronic system). We should have stuck with electricity, and perhaps got the supply uprated to 400A, and put solar on in the first place. I realise that now.

I didn’t at the time.

It would also have meant I didn’t have to deal with this mess:


On the plus side, I managed to order the boiler this morning. Most places won’t sell one to some idiot child like me, needing a contractor licence and account before they’ll flog you one. But I found a company that doesn’t care, which is handy. It’s not like I’m going to actually connect the gas to it. I’m going to do the plumbing and electrical side, then call for our gas-engineer to come back.

That should be arriving tomorrow afternoon.

It would, I suppose, be nice if we could have timed it to have the gas cooker here at the same time. That’s clearly not going to happen though. Or most likely not going to happen.

I also ordered the ‘I have no clue what I’m doing’ primary manifold, that most plumbers would probably make from scratch, but if it’s available as a kit for me to install, let’s have it.

The floor, however, is proving to be more of a challenge. There’s one brand (Henry) that makes a self-levelling compound that doesn’t require reinforcement over wooden floors. As you might imagine, that’d be nice. I’ve spent much time chasing around trying to find it – and yes, I can get it from Home Depot – but not for a week.

There’s another, Bostik, that makes one that requires a fiberous mat that ‘breaks down into fibres’ when you pour the self levelling compound on it. The underlayment is available here. Locally. In stock.

They can’t get the mat, and had no idea it exists, despite being listed on their website as “you need this, too.”

I’ve also found Sika which doesn’t say anything about a metal lath. It looks pretty much perfect. It also, is not available locally.

I think, if we go with the flooring we’ve been planning it’ll be the henry. I’ll have to run around and fill all the voids with the Henry crack-filling stuff, then pour the self-levelling compound over the top. Which is much less nice than just throwing the damn stuff down in one go, but as is often the case, renovating a house means doing 80 steps where you’d only need one in a new house.

Alternatively, we can put down the mesh, but that means staples every 6-8″, which is a fuck-of-a-lot of nails, especially over the areas of the floor where the hydronic radiator pipes run. On the other hand, it’s tempting because I’m beginning to think that if we use Custom LevelQuick RS we can probably get away with just pouring it over the whole of the floor in the main room, without futzing around with filling the pipe voids.

It’s one of these terrifyingly large decisions, where we just have to spend the money and do it. Because the cost of getting someone else in is way more than we can afford or justify. But it’s not something we’ve done before, so having read everything we can reasonably find… off we go, into the abyss.

Sometimes this is fun, sometimes it’s just terrifying.

Oh…and the plumbing? It turned out there was another box that I’d missed – it’s been a year since this stuff arrived, that’s my excuse. I’m going to look at that after lunch.


Kate's allegedly a human (although increasingly right-wing bigots would say otherwise). She's definitely not a vampire, despite what some other people claim. She's also mostly built out of spite and overcoming oppositional-sexism, racism, and other random bullshit. So she's either a human or a lizard in disguise sent to destroy all of humanity. Either way, she's here to reassure that it's all fine.