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living on site, self build, the build

week 7 – windows, first floor and an unexpected visitor

We spent another few days on site this week trying to put the finishing touches to the caravan. After we arrived we headed over to the house to catch up with the builder and check out this weeks progress. On returning to the caravan I discovered that we had an unexpected visitor in the living room.  At the top of my voice ‘SIMON THERE IS A BIRD IN THE CARAVAN’….pause….then in the voice I would use when talking to a baby ‘awwwww its a wee robin, hello Mr Red-Breast’, after closer inspection and again at the top of my voice ‘AAARRRRGGGGHHHH SIIIIIIMON IT’S SH@#ING ALL OVER THE PLACE. Cute is fine until you mess with the new hand crafted sofa and curtains that I spent hours, in fact, days making. After much flapping about, us and the robin, body slamming into windows, the robin not us, ducking for cover, us not the robin……..he finally make it out of the door.

hello mr red-breast

hello mr red-breast

We finally ordered our windows and external doors this week. Our specification for windows includes triple glazed, low U value, timber frame and different paint colour externally (Slate Grey) and internally (White). Finding this combination at a competitive price has proved challenging. A lot of companies could only meet our requirements by using aluminium cladding on the exterior of the window, however timber framed windows were a condition of our missives when purchasing the land and unfortunately the Estate were not willing to budge on this one.

We found our window company after visiting the National Homebuilding and Renovation show in Birmingham earlier in the year. They seemed knowledgable, friendly and most importantly were able to meet all of our demands for a competitive price. After months of emails regarding window handles, door handles, door locks, spacer bar colour, silicon colour, drip sill sizes, hidden hinges, vents, glazing bars, door styles and a couple of changes to the window sizes for good measure we were finally ready to place the order.  We did one final check of the window for our bedroom to ensure the dimensions were correct. It is a large window from floor to ceiling height which, as it is within the gable end, is to the peak of the roof line.  The window is split into two sections with a rectangular section at the bottom and a triangle on top. After checking the dimensions we identfied that the horizontal frame between the two sections would be directly in Simon’s eyeline when standing at the window.

After a long conversation with the window company it transpired that the factory could manufacture the full window as a single window unit and therefore remove the horizontal split….perfect, but at nearly 3.5 meteres tall they were unable to ship it due to the type of lorry they used for deliveries…..not so perfect. The solution…..hire a 7.5 tonne lorry and head to Poland to collect the windows outselves.  Initally this seemed like a great adventure (possible more so for Simon than me, driving a lorry in Poland in Feburary with a high chance of snow and ice and our precious windows in the back…..Simon – ‘it’ll be fun’, my inner thoughts – ‘it’s a disaster waiting to happen), however when we added up the addition cost of the single window unit, lorry hire, european lorry insurance, goods in transit insurance, ferry, diesel and a nights accomodation, it pushed the window cost from slightly overbudget to waaaaaay over budget.  As often is the case a compromise was required and we now have a higher bottom section to ensure Simon and anyone who is taller than my lofty 5 feet 2 (and a half) inches, can enjoy an uninterupted view from the window.

Final split for bedroom window

Final split for bedroom window

While we were busy ordering the windows the joiners had started work on the first floor. It was great to be able to see the view from one level up. The walls for the garage are also now in place and to our delight the large window panel in the sitting room that had been installed upside down was now the right way round.

window panel now installed the right way up

window panel now installed the right way up

first floor

first floor

first floor

first floor with hole for the stairs

first floor

first floor

 

Simon's garage

Simon’s garage

front of house

front of house

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Discussion

2 thoughts on “week 7 – windows, first floor and an unexpected visitor

  1. I don’t know how excited you two must be. I’m pretty excited just reading about it!

    Like

    Posted by Liz McDonald | 8 December 2014, 10:39 pm

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