July 31, 2005

Day off!!

Today was my grans anniversary mass, it was on at 11:30am and afterwards we headed to my mams for a bite to eat, we sat and talked etc until about 2pm, I then decided that fek it, lets not go to the house!!

So I had my first day off since May 15th, just sitting there and not having to move to go to either football or house was a strange feeling, but hell did I enjoy it!!!

We even went into Westport on Sunday nite for few pints, and I also enjoyed these!!

Back to the house tomorrow!

July 30, 2005

Progressive day

Today tured out to be a very progressive day, was on the road for 8am, headed to Heiton Buckleys to get my screw bits, screws and new tape.

Then over to Hursts to get the shower valves, there were about 10 of them, actually spent more time checking all their show rooms than looking at showers!!

When I finally coped on I talked to Mr Hurst (yes thats his name ;) ) and he recommended a brand to me, in the end they cost me 270 euro a piece, steep but he swore to me that they would not fail or leak!
I trust him on this to be honest.

No roofer today!!

Bank holiday Monday so he will not be there until Tuesday at least!!

Today I put in timber ties into the chimney, then I had to strap the roof ladder to the timber frame, each screwed in at right angles, once again time consuming!!

I also added the edging along the ceilings and around the dormer!! every where I seem to look I can see edging needed!!!

July 29, 2005

Short day

Today seemed to fly, expected to get a lot done but the motiviation levels are low! Great fun now!!

I got a labeling machine from the lads at work for labeling the NW cables.

I managed to put the timber strips on the 2 bedrooms for the plasterboard, had a visitor so that took up some time!

Also was totally fked off, when I arrived my tape and screw driver bits were gone, plumbers must have swipped them, not a happy camper!

July 28, 2005

Aldi strikes again!

Aldi did an 18V cordless drill for 30 notes, not bad at all, will do the job for the plasterboard.!
Also 2 batteries, great since I seem to using 2 batteries a day at this stage ramming in them 80mm screws.

Ta da!! Plumber arrived today, well his lads arrived, not sure about them, time will tell!!

July 27, 2005

Back to the NW

Installed the boxes for the NW and also installed the noggings in the walls for these.

First 5 litres of petrol I got for the genie only ran out today, some going!

I got my price off Eamo my blocklayer, was very happy, 2200 euro for 2190 blocks/soapbars.

Today I also won an undercounter freezer on Ebay. Now we have the freezer, dishwasher, cordless phone, all on Ebay.

Finally got a hold of my roofer, he said he should be out on Thursday or Friday.

July 26, 2005

More timber work

Today all plumbing is now completed, something I have also noticed is that these little jobs seem to take a hell of a lot more time, when I leave work it is about 6:15 then get to the site for a quarter to 7, by the time I change my clothes and get my tool box and tools to the place I start working it is up on 7, this leaves you with 2-3 hours of work for the nite.
If someone arrives then another 1/2 hour is gone, by that stage tiredness and hunger has set in so you have to get your mind and enthusiasm back on track!!

The hotpress we had cut on and resized had to be completed, my dad took this on today and finished it nicely.

Again neither roofer or plumber answering the phones, to be totally honest I am not overly bothered as we have loads to do, but the minute we are been held up I will be flaming down the phone.!!!!

July 25, 2005

Continue the NW

I completed the runs for the CAT6 cabling to the 2nd bedroom and the bedroom downstairs.

I also continued with plumbing of the walls, screwing up into the ceiling joists.

NO sign of the tradesmen today so no plumbing (with pipes) and no slates.

The insulation arrived today also, rockwool and fibre glass, filled the sitting room, wall to wall and floor to roof, we will have some fun!!

Also a point to note for timber framers imparticular is that there seems to be a lot of noggings to put in, also what i was finding that I had to add timber strips or lathes along the tops of the studding so that when you put the plasterboarding up it had something to screw into, also the back of the studding needed the same strips.

Cabling and Plumbing (not the piping type!)

I finished off the CAT6 cabling, finishing the runs to the bedroom downstairs and the 2nd bedroom upstairs.

I then decided to plumb the studded walls upstairs, each had to be plumbed and lathes run between them and the rafters to strenghten them, then screwed together, slow bleeding job!!

Insulation arrived today, sitting room is now filled to the hilt with rolls of rockwool for the walls and fibreglass for the roofspace.

I decided to source a mantlepiece and I think I have found what I am looking for, now to get a price!

Found http://www.wilsonsyard.com/ and this mantlepiece, and it sanded and waxed.

The also do a lovely gothic door, shame I did not spot these guys when we were looking!

July 24, 2005

Sunday Nogging

Another day another nogging! Well thats what it feels like, going to Mass on a Sunday is now a thing of the past, the house has taken over, taken over by material things and all that ;)

Continued with the noggings, also did the noggings in the utility room, closet (for the manifold) and lounge for the TV, wall units.

I then decided to run the CAT6 cable, I managed to complete 2 points in the sitting room, 2 in the main bedroom and 1 in the dining room.

No football today except for listen to Micháel O Mhuirahertic (spelling!) on the radio

July 23, 2005


Today I made a work bench, got sick of using temp stands, so made up a rough bench.

Today I also started the noggings in the house, I got onto the kitchen company and asked them for the height of the wall and floor units so that we could put in the correct positions.

This I thought would be a quick job. This quick job is a feature I am beginning to notice which is not associated with self build, every thing takes a hell of a lot more time that what I have budgeted!!

All in all there was a requirement for nearly 85 noggings to be cut and nailed in.

Did about 2/3 of them today, thank god for the old aldi generator!! (250 euro!)

July 22, 2005

BLocks finished

Blocks are completed, at least the place is closed in now!

The door had to be put into the attic also, got this done.

Had training tonite so night is gone!

July 21, 2005

I rang back the facia and soffit crowd to get them to finish the job, said it would be start of week.

Ordered the insulation for the house, will be beginning of next week.

Finished the clean up of the house, some amount of rubbish!! Must be 20 bags at this stage!

July 20, 2005

General tidy up

Decided to clean up the inside of the house today, also took plastice pieces off the dormer windows.

The gables are now finised and there is one line of blocks on the front.

No show from the plumber

July 19, 2005

Home Network

I decided that since the walls were open that I would run network cables and install the boxes.

CAT5E is the standard that is used but I went for the extra bandwidt with CAT6, 100mhz as opposed to 1000mhz. I know it maybe over kill but at least it is future proofing the house and if it ever comes to it we can stream video or tv over the house.

I purchased the box of 200m in CT electric for 69 euro EX VAT, not bad price. Got the steel boxes and punch down tool for the same.

I also got some conjude, the way I look at it is that IF we need to add more sat cables near the TV then if I put the conjude in place it will make it easier.

The dormers were plastered today, excellent to see them finished, look well now!

Gables are almost finished also.

July 18, 2005

Still going

BLocks arrived today as did the sand, got another 10 bags of cement for the lads so that will keep them busy.
Eamo back on site, he has help now so no more block lifting!

We did some patching up of the felt where they tears, also cleaned up around the house.

Did up a list of what we need to do before we start plasterboarding. Loads to do.

July 17, 2005

No site today!!!

Had to finish the turf for my dad today, was in the bog for 9am, got it all finished, house must be lonely without us!! ;)

July 16, 2005

Filling the chimney

Had to fill the chimney with sand and lime mix today, took 30 buckets, was expecting it to take 10!!!

No sign of Eamo for the blocks either, must be on holidays!!

Got bill for the raft and groundworks, loads of money!!

Had to go to the bog and put out turf with my dad, wheel our wheel barrows etc!

Had my nieces birthday also. good to have some time off!

July 15, 2005

Lack of Materials

I talked to John my plasterer and we agreed to plough ahead with a 20 ton of plastering sand.
I rang Roadstone and was told it would be god knows when I got sand as they had none!!!!

I rang Corcorans and they said that due to other commitments that they would not be able to deliver for 2 weeks!!

Then rang Harringtons and was quoted 390 for the sand, delivered, dear but I had no choice!

I also ordered a full load of 4" solids, I would use them for the walls and other uses so good to have them.

Strip was put on the dormers, ready for plastering now. I decided that I would wash them.... I know but them stickers they put on them are hard to take off!

Settled up 1st fix bill with Brian my spark

July 14, 2005

Guttering + Facia + Soffit

Initially we were going to do our own guttering and facia and soffit, I could source the gear locally for a great price.
Then we started to consider the amount of work we had on and that there was a few complicated parts to the house so I said that I would tender it out to see what sort of quotes,

The quote I got were all cash prices of 3000, 2100 and 1700 euro. Some differences again!

In the end I decided to go with NorthWest Guttering in Castlebar. They agreed to come tomorrow and to put on the strip on the dormer to allow them to be plastered.

Also decided to give Eamo a hand with the blocks, put 200 up on the 3rd level of the scaffolding and 150 on the 1st level, will keep him busy!!!

July 13, 2005

Plumber on site

We not quite on site but at least he knows what has to be done, told me he would not be about but his understudy would start on Wed week, great not!!

Had to get 2 lintels for Eamo, don't ask me how I forgot them!!!
Cheap too, 8 euro for two 850mm lintels

In the sun lounge I decided to put in a V bead, this was in the same shape as the apex of the roof but was about 8 inches lower down the wall than the rafters, it was covered in DPC and screwed onto the timber frame and it runs along the wall and hangs outside the timber frame into the cavity by about 10".
What it is for is that if a drop gets down from outside then if it flows down the wall at least it will hit the DPC on the bead and be directed down the bead and into the cavity outside.

Loaded up more blocks for Eamo, he is getting on well now, back is finished and he has started the gable

July 12, 2005

And on and on

Rang my plumber today to try and get him organised for start first fixing, he is slow at this stage and I would prefer to get him in and out.

He arranged to meet me on site tomorrow, don't know really why but sure why not!!!

Had soccer training, have to keep the fitness *cough cough* level up!!

I got back onto CLimate Control to get a quote for the UFH off them, 29 per m sq inclusive of 33mm of insulation, quote was excellent, to good to be true!

July 11, 2005

Organise The troops

Was on the road for 7.30am to get Eamon the extra flues for the chimeny so that he could take it through the roof and finish it off!

Got onto my plasterer to get him to plaster the dormers, said it would be done by the end of the week.

Rang Sean and told him to leave me until the weekend as dormers were not completed.

I also rang to tell them to redo the drawings so that the UFH would run at 35 deg C and to make sure that there would be less work on the HP.
Said they would come back to me by end of week.

Loaded blocks up for Eamon since he still has no helper.

Chimney now finished!

July 10, 2005

Day Off !!

Today we decided to head to Clane to my sister who just had a baby girl.

Really could not have picked a hotter day, head out the window job and the air was hot!!

Good old drive up and down in the one day but it was strange with the need not to go near the house!!

July 09, 2005

Cutting the Cills

We had to complete the DPC on 2 windows, this we did first, then I decided to make a start on cutting back the lip on the cills for the stone on the front.
I have eventually gone with the 18" standard cills and decided to get an angle grinder and cut the back lip to be the same size as that on timber frame cill,

With the intense heat and dust from the grinder it was not a plesant job at all.
It was mad slow but luckily Eamo had a con saw and when I used it I ripped through them, I then had to cut the horizontal section of the cill with the grinder which is not easy.

I managed to get 7 of the 9 cills completed and the two 5ft cills left to finish.

Eamo has the chimeny out the top of the roof, he will complete this on Monday and a chimney cap will go on it.

Had to head off to a match at 5,30pm, could have done without especially since we lost!

I wandered about the house today taking pics of the inside, hard to figure out some of them!

July 08, 2005


Eamon my blocklayer started today, he is to concentrate on the gable to get it up and ready for plastering and get the roofer in to slate it.

I also needed the chimney started as I needed to get it plastered.

I had training this evening so all I have was 1 hour to get him 100 blocks inside and upstairs so that he could bring the chimeny up.

July 07, 2005

Facia + Soffit

In order to finish the dormers they needed to have the facia and soffit fitted before the slating was started, also before the plastering was done we needed to fit the beading on the sides.

I rang around 4 companies and asked for quotes.

Today the electrician started, good to see a bit of work going on inside.

July 06, 2005

DPC - Part 2 & Appliances

Today my dad had started before me, he had done 5 windows when I arrived in the evening so that was a great help.
Brian the spark also was due as he is starting tomorrow, we went through all the rooms again and agreed on the points so that is good.
We finished off most of the windows bar 2 which are out of reach until we setup the scaffolding correctly.
I also decided to start pricing the appliances for the house on the net, I got a number of place who would deliver to Ireland and then I remembered Ebay and am I lucky I did!!
I found a site who do appliance which they rate as seconds, in other words they have a small dent or mark on them, 100% working order and almost new. For example a Baumatic Island hood, 799 euro here, on that site it was sold for 300 euro! Some difference!
I will give more details later on!

July 05, 2005

DPC on the Opes

Cills arrived today, not correct quantities to I will have to get onto them tomorrow morning.

Got onto the plumber and beat him down in price, he will start next week.

I decided to start DPC around each window and door. What you have to do is cut a strip above the opening about ½ inch above, then slip your DPC in under the breather membrane and staple them together onto the timber frame.
Then you fold the DPC down over the top of the window and staple in onto the batten.
You also do the same with the vertical battens, but you do not cut the membrane.
The vertical DPC is slipped under the horizontal DPC and stapled.

I thought I would fly this but due to the crap weather, rain rain rain, it was really slow. Only got 6 windows and 2 doors done!
Back tomorrow!

July 04, 2005

Slater, dormer etc

Today Sean, my slate/roofer arrived.
He came to lead the 2 dormer windows so that we could install the actual PVC windows in the dormers and finish off putting on the expanded metal.

He hopes to return on Wednesday or Thursday when the slates arrived to slate the house.

Myself and my dad decided to install the dormer in the evening. Each window had to have its PVC cill cut and shaped and then screwed onto the window.
The window was then set on a bead of silicon and we then plumbed the windows before screwing the brackets to the timber frame.
It took a bit longer than expected.
Then it was a case of completing the expanded metal on the 2 dormers.

I also rang Mahon Windows to tell them about the 2 doors which were not closing correctly, they told me to wait until most work is done and they will come back and check everything.

I rang the last plumber to get a quote, have almost decided on who I am going with but I wanted to check to see what sort of prices the other lads would come in at and the final lad said to me he could not do it, should have told me that 2 weeks ago!

Dormers in with expanded metal on them now.

July 03, 2005

Getting There

Woke this morning at 8am, these long days are taking there toll, the prospect of another 12 hour day with a match in the middle of it was not appealing, the fact it was pissing it down also did not help me to jump out of the cot!!

I started the 2nd dormer at about 9.30am, I think the neighbours are beginning to wonder if I ever go home, I would say to them I am there day and night, actually I am beginning to feel the same way myself ;)

Only messing, practice makes perfect and the mistakes I made on the first dormer were learned from and not repeated, I managed to get the expanded metal cut and fixed into place along with the timber for the soffit before I headed off to the match at 1pm, less blood and skin lost this time in the exercise of cutting the metal.

Got over the match, we won 3-1, good win, now with 2 points of leaders, playing them next week for an almost title decider.

Got back on site at about 5, two separate batches of visitors and guided tours ensued, lost about 1 hour all in all, so completed the nailing of the expanded metal, and did a final check on the 2 dormers.

There was a load of battens on the ground all around the house, decided to tidy the place up and remove all the nails that were sticking out of them.

Also moved some of the blocks out of the way of the sand, Roadstone made the delivery on Friday and for some unknown reason decided that they would place 900 blocks plonk in front of the sand, blocking access to the sand and around the house!! Don’t ask!!!!

Eight bells arrived and the smell of food hit me, time for a shower and a feed!
Another weekend gone! The move in for October 2005 moves closer and closer, with weekends now a thing of the past the weeks of work, as in the 7 day weeks of work are running out!

July 02, 2005

Blue Arsed Fly Day!!

Today is a big day; there is so much to do to be ready for the block layer and the roofer. Sean said he might come out today and install the lead on the dormers so that we can put in the dormer windows.

With my brother Damien with me we headed to Heitons Buckley for 9am.
On the list was:

Lead 18” – 3 rolls
Lead 6” – 2 rolls
Slab nails – 1 box
Crampions – 3 boxes
2 A06 veluxes + flashing
2 A08 Veluxes + flashing
Masonry angling grinding disk * 2
4 rolls of 4” DPC
ESB Metre box
Phone Box
Staples for the gun
Hockey stick

We got all our stuff; lead is heavy in the back of a focus!! But we got it to site and unloaded the lot.

The wind was fairly picking up as promised, I am not sure if the wind + rain knows that it should be down under in Oz not up here in our “Summer”

The list of items which had to be done for before the tradesmen arrived was as follows:
Install the hockey stick
Put expanded metal on both dormers so that they can be plastered before the slating starts!
Put in lath along top of dormer to install the soffit
Run the DPC over the battens on the windows.
Put a “V” lathe and DPC run just under the apex of the sun room so that if water does get down inside the flashing on the gable that is will first hit this V lathe, flow along the DPC and be escorted outside the sunroom and into the cavity.

We setup the generator to get the 1st task out of the way and get the hockey stick moved and re-installed.
Some fun cutting it out, but after about an hour of huffing and puffing we have now installed the hockey stick within the 2m requirement from the front of the house, hope the ESB will be happy now!!
The next task was the lathes on the dormer to carry the soffit.
We started with one dormer and installed the lathe no issue, then the expanded metal took a hell of a lot longer than expected. The measuring and cutting was a painful task in getting precision and also getting the hands cut off us!

Six bells came on us in no time and we decided to call it a day. At least the hockey stick was in and one of the dormers ready for plastering. I will attack the 2nd one in the morning but I have a match at 2.30pm so I will return after it and finish it off.

Monday and Tuesday are going to be busy evenings. Have to get the DPC on them window and the V lathes installed
Cills are also due Tuesday and the 9 Cills on the front need to be cut with the angle grinder to fit! Busy times!!!

July 01, 2005

Getting Ready For Blocks

Blocks arrived today so Eamon has all the materials at him disposal, they were actually meant to arrive tomorrow and this meant that he could not get around the back but we will move the block around for him.
Myself and my dad installed the steel beam on the roof of the sun room, it will over hang the sun room by 3 inches on each side, and will rest on the block outside not the timber frame.

I took a few pics of around the house: