Saturday, June 18, 2011

Mostly Indoors

Our rest on the Queen's Birthday long weekend consisted of packing our remaining goods and chattels (mainly books and some toys) so that our former library could be made good and skim-rendered. We had major cracking in that room, but a lot was hidden behind the bookshelves. Here it is after being repaired.


We're getting a new ceiling, as you can see. When John got up to scrape it, his trowel went through the plasterboard. Three cracked tiles on the roof had been directing water on to it for years!

The renderers also came to do the family room walls. I am intrigued at how you can "see" the masonry as the render dries; I suppose the brick absorbs water at a different rate to the mortar.


I had a lovely chat with Jason the electrician, who advised me on a better placement of external lights, how many downlights I'd need, and so on. I'll have to do a separate whinge post on lighting. I was intrigued by the little panels he used to organise the wiring. The renderers plastered right over some of them, but that's no problem -- as they are steel, you just need a magnet to find them again.


We're also putting a skylight in the darkest part of our house: the linen press. It is so annoying to be unable to see whether you have grabbed a blue or a green tablecloth! And as the cupboard runs to the ceiling, there is no room for even an oyster light in front of it. Skylights have some disadvantages -- they allow convective heat transfer, for example -- so we chose a small tube-style light.

Because there was a batten running down the middle of the hall, Louie asked me which side of it I wanted the skylight on (naturally I said the side away from the cupboard, which would allow more light into it). The next day John just cut the batten, saying it would look far better if placed in the middle...


Lastly, here is a shot of my herb bed. It has been lined with a bituminous waterproofing membrane and I asked the brickies and tilers to chuck in any broken bits. Over this layer, I plan to have a layer of 10-20mm recycled concrete 'gravel', then planter box mix. I did wonder if I ought to have a layer of geotech fabric under the planter box mix to prevent the fines clogging the weep holes, but Stan, the gardener from work, assured me it wasn't necessary.



The lack of opportunity to work in the garden is getting to me. I found myself in a nursery today and restrained myself... if you don't count the three plants from the bargain table...