June 30, 2005


I rang Tegral today to get an idea of the lead time for the slates, it seems since we are going for the standard Thrutone slate that it will be a special order, in fairness it is not that special but anyway it will be next Wednesday before they arrive, got them for 1.70 per slate, a bit dear for a non natural slate but the Rivendale are a natural look with the ribbed edges and will look nice.
Got final price in for the Slater, 3500, so I rang me best price back and he said he would start the following Wednesday, a least some light as far as getting it slated.

Also got onto Eamo and asked when he was going to start, hoped for Monday next.
I ordered him a load of 4” solids and 2 rings of bricks

June 29, 2005

Window / Door Issue

I decided to inspect all the windows and doors to see if there were any issues. I noticed that the bar door wasn’t locking at the bottom and the sun room was sticking so I will have to get this sorted.

Pics of the house as of today

June 28, 2005

Cill + Lintels - Part 2

After contacting 4 companies in total about getting the stone Cills and with no success it was decided that we would get the Cills from Westport Concrete and alter the lip on the back of the cill to mimic the timber frame cill.
The delivery we could expect on the 5th of July. Cost for the Cills and lintels is 620 Euro which to be fair is an excellent price.
I am also getting the "figure 8" septic tank, distribution box and pipes off them for 660 euro.

This evening I decided to leave soccer training cut out the hot press and narrow it down, since we don't need the large hotpress for a hot water cylinder (it is downstairs beside the heat pump) we decided that we would narrow it up and give back the space to the walk in wardrobe, so I got out the hand saw, cut out the studding between, and added and cut pieces appropriately to fit into the space.

June 27, 2005

Fellow Self-Builders

Found a few lads who are doing self builds.

This lad I found his site and stole his idea of doing a blog, excellent site and full of useful links, and updated daily! (mental note!!!)


Goill is also keeping an up date on Boards. At foundations level


Re-Nailing - Part 3

What I thought would be a quick job is taking a hell of a lot longer, but at least it will be done and IF a jobs worth doing……..

June 26, 2005

ReNailing - Part 2

Played a match this morning for the C team, lost 3-2 not a good result and makes it hard for ourselves in the league, the pain of a long days work yesterday and 2 matches as well as training in 3 days is taking its toll!
I continued with the back and completed it, the heat was a killer, I could almost smell myself cooking with the heat, but that could have been the illusion of been hungry also!!

June 25, 2005

ReNailing Part 1

Meet with another plumber this morning, he is up the walls BUT he reckons he could come to me in 2 weeks, so I meet with him and discussed the setup, he did not like the idea of a full pressurised system, he wanted a separate pump on each shower, don’t know about this myself. Expect to hear back from him at end of next week

Went to Heiton Buckleys and got the cement, expanded metal, nails for same, L brackets to secure the chimney, screws for same, bolt for the door, screws for the hinges, more DPC, petrol & oil for our new generator which Siobhan bought in ALDI the previous Sunday for 250 euro, excellent price.`

We brought over our old front door from my parents home and installed it in the front of our place, now means the place is secure and locked up, it will be in place until the front door goes in, in 7 weeks!

The personal aspect of been a bit fussy verging on the edge of been a perfectionist reared its head today, I decided to inspect the battens on the back of the roof and even though the lads had used a nail gun with 75mm nails to put on the battens there was movement, so I decided to double nail with galvanised 90mm nails so that there was going to be no movement what so ever.

Off to Achill for a match with the B team, windy spot down there but came away with a 2-1 result, leaves us 6 points ahead with 6 games left, busted my left thumb, some twat thought it would be a good idea to follow through even though I had the ball in my hands, my biggest worry for the build is to get a serious injury.

I got a lift down to Achill with Wes, his dad owns Hurst Heating and Plumbing and Wes works there, very informative guy and extremely helpful, discussed the build and our requirements and he made a few very good suggestions which will help me make a final decision on plumber. The only tradesman I don’t have yet secured!

June 24, 2005

Steel Beam

There is a need for a steel beam over the sun room to carry the 4" blocks; it was a 203mm * 102mm steel beam, 25kg. Fecker is heavy; cost us 95 Euro in Westport.

June 23, 2005


My mate Eamo is going to build the chimney for us so in order to get the corner ready for him to build it we need to install the insulation, the breather membrane and then the plasterboard.
This had to be done both up and down stairs. The chimney stack is build 40mm away from the timber frame; the gap is then filled in with insulation.
We did this in a couple of hours.

I also order materials for the chimney, 12 straight flues, 2 bended flues, bags of cement and lime for building the chimney and also for the infill around the flues.
I also got wall ties so that we could tie the chimney into the timber frame.

June 22, 2005

Tradesman Rant!

I have to have this rant out as been an extremely punctual person this is something that really irks me.

From November of 2004 I started sending out plans to companies, timber frame, under floor, geothermal, window, door etc.
In fairness I would say that 90% of these companies came back to me and were very helpful but when you are spending a couple of thousand euros it is really the least you expect.

I also sent out my plans to tradesmen, plumbers * 7, electricians * 6, plasters * 9.
I had a roofer at the time and a plaster so there was no quotes needed.

In the last 7 months the trouble I have had in getting quotes has been nothing short of ridiculous. It seems that for some unknown reason some (& I should say the majority but in fairness to the 4 tradesmen that came back to me within 4-5 days I will not) of them just don’t seem to comprehend that when they put a date & time to visit the site, return the plans with a quote or to ring me with a quote you should at least come close to it.
But no, it has got to the stage that with some tradesmen I have had to ring up to 6 times to get a quote out of them and in some cases I have given up.

As I have said above there were out of the 22 tradesmen 5 who came back within a couple of days or at least rang me within a week with a price.

Maybe it is a case that they don’t want the work but out of courtesy they should at least tell you instead of wasting your time and money in chasing them!

Rant over……!!!!!

June 21, 2005

Front Door

One day myself and my dad went to a house to look at their geo and ufh setups so that I could compare it with what i was looking at and to get their opinions on what they thought of the setup.

When I got to their house I spotted their front door and my jaw dropped, I thought it looked top notch, it is a gothic door similar to this, except there is a glass framing around it to form a panel of time at the bottom half each side and curved glass around the shape of the door at the top

I got the details of the joiner who did the work and meet with him to discuss a price.
I was amazed when he said he would do it all for 1600 euro! So I agreed to call him when the frame was ordered and let him call to see the door ope to measure it.

I arranged 3 meetings with him and he could not make the 1st, he lost his phone, the 2nd he just did not turn up, the 3rd he apologised he was stuck on a job, since then I could not get hold of him.

So I had to go looking again, I got a few quotes in for 2200, 1900 and then for 3k!! I nearly dropped as it looked like we would not be getting it, so I prepared to get a "normal door"

Then I got word that there was a place near work who are excellent. So I took a spin up to them and he said it would be 8 weeks, meaning IF all things went to plan that there would be a 2 week delay.
But in the end I said flip it and decided that we would go with it. I asked a price and prepared for a big sum but to my suprise he said it was going to be no more than 1500 euro, all in!!!

So I wait with patience and worry to hope it all falls into place!

Time will tell.....

June 19, 2005

Cills + Lintels Part 1

Cills + Lintels had to be ordered so that I would have them on site for when ever Eamon arrived, I headed to a local supplier, Westport Concrete. I got talking to the lads and gave them the opes so that they could come back to me.

In the process of discussing our requirement it was discovered that they did not have a stone/timber frame cill. An 18" deep, 4" face size, with a timber frame lip. They had the standard 10" wide, 4" face but the 18" was never required.

So I said grand I am sure I can get it somewhere else. So off I headed only to be faced with absolutely no one with an 18" timber frame cill, I was very surprised!

I eventually with the help of Clarks came across Killeshal in Co Offaly, but the nearest they could come to me was a 15" cill with really was not deep enough.
So I had to keep searching.

June 17, 2005


We have decided that we are going to go with a traditional buttermilk colour look for the kitchen. The requirement of an island with a gas hob has been outstanding for a long time so the kitchen is to be designed around this.
The kitchen length EX the island is 8m, someone made a comment in a kitchen company that if we used all three side of the kitchen, which we could, that it would be the same size as Michael Ring...a local TD!

We visited three of the main kitchen culprits around and they came back with varying designs and costs. Prices ranged from 5599 to 14k euro for the kitchen units, these were with a Formica worktop and nothing special on the designs.
At least we had a kitchen design with and a rough estimate or ball park figure, a fair bit higher than I had expected but such is the joy of self-build!!

I then took up my usual internet search to see what I could come up with across the water. A sent off the kitchen layout and requirements to about 5 companies in the UK.
Again price difference arose and we came across a kitchen layout which we really liked. The cost included all the latest kitchen gadgets like larder, towel rails, bin on the kitchen door, baskets etc, also it included an Iroko worktop of which we really liked.

I also got an excellent price for the appliances, all Baumatic, when I got prices here for the same units they were about 20% dearer here!

One evening at home we came across a mag with a load of kitchen designers. I decided to take all the email address, roughly 30, and send off the spec with the kitchen and out requirements to see what would come back.
Some we gave up on straight away, as the starting price began at 20k plus so these were not in our bracket!

But there were a number who came back with excellent price and designs.

SO at the moment we have 2 designs, one comes in at 11k with all appliances with the kitchen and Iroko, the 2nd is 13k with the same spec, except they are all Baumatic appliances and the design is a slight bit nicer.
The decision will have to be made in the next 3 weeks.

June 08, 2005

Timber Frame Complete

Got a call from Clarkes to say that the sun room frame was on its way, so that was good.
I visited the site after work and the sun room was up and the roof felted and battened. Excellent.

Now it was full systems ahead!

June 06, 2005


We decided in the morning to head out and try and sort out my dads turf, there was about 4 hours work left so we headed out and did the work, all finished, well bar taking it off the bog!

So in the evening we said we would try and drain the house of the inches of water.
We took 2 buckets and 2 sweeping pans and started at, I lost count after the first 80 buckets or so but we estimated we dumped out at a minmum 150 buckets of water!!!!

We then swept it out and cleaned up the site.

There was a requirement to put up some scaffolding to the gable of the sun room, we did this also to give access to the sun room all the way around..

June 02, 2005

Sun Room

The last piece of work for the lads to do was to put the roof on the sun room and to felt and batten this.
The lads arrived on site in the afternoon it and when I called to them were about to put the trusses in place.
At least it would finish it off!

My sister in law was getting married on the 3rd so on the 2nd we all meet up in my wifes house for a few drinks, was due to play a soccer match but due to the down pours all day Celtic Park was flooded, some summer!!!!

I got a call from Mark about 8pm, I presumed it was to tell me to call out and pay him!
After the call though I was not a happy camper, he said to me "I have to take the sun room down, it's wrong", I began to laugh and told him to fupp off, but soon realised he was not messing!

What had happened was that the walls were back to front, with the natural stone on the front the over hang was great, but for some reason the large over hang was on the back!

Also the feature windows were not centred on the apex but centres on the wall, so when the blocks and stone went on the front the windows were centered correctly and did not look out of place, we decided to move the windows to the centre of the apex

In fairness to Mark he took pictures of the sun room on Thursday night and emailed them to Clarkes and I gave my mate in Clarkes a ring and he said he would get onto it also.

On Friday morning I got up early and headed to the site, I had the wedding to be at for 1pm and to get ready and people to collect before that so I had to make sure everything was correct before I left site.

I rang Clarkes first thing and talked to the lad who was over our house, he said he would investigate straight away.
About 1hr later I got a called from one of head guys to apologise and to inform me that it would be sorted immediately and that they would pay the lads to get the kit out and up again.
I said no problem.

Off to the wedding....

June 01, 2005

Felting the house

The last 2 days the lads spent felting and battening the house, it is good to get it closed in and protected from the rain but with all the rain over the last week there must be at least 3 inches of water in the house.
At least it keeps people out of the house and from what the neighbours have told me there has been plenty of visitors in for a nose!