The digger has now finished its work after completing the drainage and garage floor. Much to my surprise the concrete floor of the garage has been sanded smooth. Simon is delighted as it will be, and I quote, ‘lovely and comfortable for me to lie on when I fix the cars’. I’m not sure that concrete can be comfortable even when smooth, but the boy seems happy. I don’t actually remember a smooth finish being in the house spec and have my suspicions that Simon put in a special secret request with the builder.
With the groundworks complete and the digger off to another job, it was time for the joiners to take centre stage and erect the timber frame. Unfortunately the order that the panels are packed by the factory does not match the order they should be erected, so the joiners spent most of Monday opening the pallets, splitting them out and propping them up in the correct order around the perimeter of the house. I was on site patiently watching their progress and finally had the joy of seeing the first panel of the house erected. In the middle of the afternoon I looked across to see the doorway into the utility room. It was a real defining moment of the build and as I was on my own I found myself grinning from ear to ear doing a little dance while singing ‘we have a doorway, an actual doorway, we have a doorway, an actual doorway….’. And it didn’t stop there as by the end of the day there was a complete wall.
After a further four days of hard labour most of the ground floor is erected. It is slightly surreal to finally stand within the rooms. It takes a little imagination and is still a good few months away, but I can already picture myself sitting on the sofa, glass of wine in hand, enjoying the view. Seeing all the window and door openings provided a stark reminder that we need to place our order for windows and doors to ensure they arrive in time to be installed without causing a delay to the build. This is proving to be more complicated that we anticipated. ‘Complicate how?’ you may ask, but I’ll save the tedious details for another post.
So far there is only one small hiccup with the large window opening panel being fitted upside down. Thankfully the joiners don’t seem phased and have assured us it will be fixed in no time. One plus point of the timber frame going up is that it is generating lots of off cuts of wood that we will be able to burn in the stove in the caravan. I can see myself becoming the official wood scavenger scouring the site for discarded off cuts to ensure we will stay warm through the winter. Our timber frame company also delivered two tonne bags of off cuts from the factory along with the house frame. To me it seems like a lot of wood, but I’m assured that living in the caravan during winter will mean we will get through it very quickly.