August 31, 2005

Upstairs slabbed!

Today the pressure was on, John was due in tomorrow so we really had to choice but to have completed the upstairs and all tools, slabs, timber, insulation and other stuff all downstairs!!

We pulled into the site at 8am, myself Damo and Adam. Around the windows, the walls of the walk in wardrobe, the walls of the main bathroom, a piece of the ceiling and a wall on the landing and the dividing wall in the ensuite/wardrobe and main bedroom, also the 2 windows in this bedroom , the velux on the landing and velux in the bathroom, so as you can imagine the blue arsed fly was employed all day!!!!

Dad arrived over about 11am and we were honestly no where near as far on as I had hoped, he set to on the vertical timbers to hold the glass blocks and then onto the dividing walls which did all the windows and the veluxs.

The 2 lads completed the wardrobe and moved to the bathroom. As has been the complete trend in this house EVERYTHING has taken twice the time to complete, I don't know why, maybe because this is a dormer you have so many angle pieces to cut.

I was beginning to wonder if the price of 3k euro was a good price, maybe not!!!

At about 8.30pm with 2 walls and about 10 pieces to be put in I began to panic, we still had at least 90 minutes of tidiying to complete, there was also the small factor of doing all 4 boxes in the ensuite and bathroom, these took at least 20 minutes each,

We ploughed, slogged, huffed and puffed and wore it all down, Siobhan arrived at about 9pm, and even though she knew the dust would drive her allergies mental she gladly set to cleaning up the large bits of rubbish and bagging these.

At about 11.30 we completed all slabbing and Siobhan brought Damo and Adam home while myself and dad completed any cleaning up that needed to be done, it took us to near on 1am before all had been cleaned up and moved, we sat for 15 minutes to get our breath and headed off home, a long long day, it was alright for me I had 6.5 hours sleep ahead, dad only had maybe 4.5 before he started work, not a situation I envisaged him to be in and definately did not want him in again!

August 30, 2005

Slabbing Away - Pics Attached

Picked the lads up at 7.45, we started on the hall, again more recess lights (5), it took a while, then onto the sitting rooms, 9 recess and a bay window meant it took us 2.5 hours!!
We then moved to the bedroom, was a flier, rapped it in an hour, then onto the dining room, six recess and 1 main light and a bay window killed us, spent literally all day doing the ceilings!!
Lads headed off at 7, I waited and finished the ensuite, totally finished now, have to complete the upstairs tomorrow regardless. Left at 11pm,
My dad installed the noggings for the manifold, 21 inches above the FFL.

August 29, 2005

Have to earn the bread to make the house!!

Had to go to work today, the project has to be continued and I need to get the others enough of work to do while I am off.
I rang John G, my plasterer. He wants to arrive on Wed, he can if he wants but he may have to wait a day or two.
Left Adam and Damien there at 8 and went to Heitons to get more nails and a saw.

I rang the guttering lads in North west, Eamon said he will come next Monday and clear off the whole house.

I also rang a lad about doing stone, he said he was off for 2 weeks and would come back to me then.

I arrived on site at 7ish, the lads were still there, dad was with them, they had the bathroom, utility and kitchen done, with 10 recess lights and socket for the hood there was a lot of cutting!!
I went upstairs and started to finish around the doors and bathroom on the landing, battery went in the screw gun which was a pain and then the bulb blew!
Headed home at 12.15am, buckled tired!

August 28, 2005

TV in the house!!

this feels like pre season traing, all day every day, my legs barely fell out of the bed and my body told me to stay there!! I picked up Adam at about 8am, he too is
feeling the strain but does not complain. We started to finish off the main bedroom, it took much longer than we expected, John arrived at 9am, totally unexpected buy really appreciated, great to have mates like him, he
set to on the sitting room wall and got the ply finished off and it slabbed.
He headed off at one pm to watch Kerry and COrk.

Dad arrived about 10, he got stuck into putting in the extra piece of studding to facilitate the glass blocks in the ensuite/bedroom.

we set ourselves the goal of getting all upstairs ceilings and diagonals. the akward spots!!!
Dad trotted off about 5pm, he is putting in savage hours and with him starting his own job at 5.30am each morning the days are long!

We completed all ceilings upstairs, delighted with progress. We both decided at 7.30pm that we had enough, great to get home early.

August 27, 2005

Continue slabbing

Picked up Adam at 7.45am, we set to straight away on back bedroom to get the walls done, the angles in a dormer is some pain in the ass, drive you mad to be truthful, my dad and John were there and they completed the sheeting of ply onto the walls in the landing, now it was left to us to slab it, very difficult, so we set into it.
It took us up to 2 hours to get it done with setting up scaffoling and that, but now it is done, it makes the landing huge.
MYself and dad finished off the landing ceiling, great to get that done.

The lads headed off aboout six, I started again into the small cuts around the doors, at the top of walls, in other words the small bits one person can do!!

I got a nice bit done, place looks more like a house by the hour!

I rang around without any success for a carpenter to get the gable ends done.
I went across to my new neighbour, Mick to ask if there was someone he knew and he did alright, himself!!! So next Saturday he will do it all,, I will get him a Hilti gun to aid in putting up the lath for the beading.

I headed off at 11pm, about to keel over now!! Still have to get it done!!

August 26, 2005

God said let there be light and there was

have to get a lot done, with both the work in IT and the work in the house and training, feck the football, has to wait!!
I got my dad to head to CT Electrice to cable to make up and extension lead to get power from Sean next door.

I rang the lad who is making our door, it was due this week, but to be honest I am not ready for it yet!!, rang him, he did not remember me or the door!! another headache, said to ring him at the beginning of next week!!

I Got stuck into the first bedroom and managed to get the walls completed, at least it is one room down, 17 "rooms" to go!!!! Moved onto the next bedoom, it will be an early start in the morning and it was after 11pm when I turned off the light in the house, but it surely taking shape, a big echo now in the room!

August 25, 2005

1st day of slabbing

got Adam for the day, a great help and a savage worker.
We started at 7.30am and got stuck into the slabbing, doing the roofs while dad and John worked on the walls.
Talk about a slow and very tough job, but after a lot of huffing and puffing we managed to get the ceilings in the 3 bedrooms and landing completed, the landing is really the hardest as you are on temporary scaffolding.
The lads headed off at 6pm and I waited until 9.30 and filled in the easier work.

The underfloor heating gear arrived today, did not get a chance to look at it.

Near the end of the day I was finishing off a bit of slabbing when my plasterer John arrived. I thought grand we can sort out a date to start, but just not yet!!
Little did I know, he has 6 house lined up to do so unless I wanted to wait until the end of Oct, then i had to be ready for Thursday!! I near had a heart attack

We have 240 sheet of 8ft * 4ft (the are actually shorter) plasterboard to put up, have 11 windows cills to install, have 6 gable boxes to make and a lath to run the whole lenght of the house and 3 gables and then get the guttering guys to install the strip for the soffit, also the downstairs needs the vapour barrier installed.

On top of all that we are MENTAL busy at work!!

God where to next, will I get it done. I don't want to lose the plasterer but if I cannot get 3 days off next week it will not be done.

Have to organise some lights for here, long hours ahead.

Got a quote for the stone mason, 6.5k euro cash, nearly dropped dead!!

August 24, 2005

Upstairs is getting head wrecking

More plastic, another job that is taking more longer than expected!!!! The upstairs is a nightmare!!!

August 23, 2005

Plastic Walls

Dad got extra rolls of plastic, 500g but to be honest it seems very light, I should have got maybe a 750g. I manged to get the wardrobe and ensuite plasticed.
Another day of plastic!!

August 22, 2005

Loads of slabs

My dad and his mate John were on site today, the took in a total of 80 sheets of 8ft*4ft of plasterboard, some carry but it has to be done, 240 sheets of plasterboard delivered altogether.
Some of it got wet with little tears on the plastic but we lost about 3 sheets, not too bad!! the sheets are actually not 8*4, they are 240mm * 120mm, which does not suit the height of our ceilings!!

August 21, 2005

Bit of progress!

Started at 7am, Began to plastic the bathroom.

I also put up the insulation on the living room walls and I put fibre glass in the whole of the ceiling space. I had to plastic 2 meters in from the external walls.
In order to "future proof" the house I decided to put in extra empty conjude and sockets in the walls near the TV in the living room. At least I can then drop cables down the conjude in the future.
I had to add in extra noggings into the living room wall at the stairs to carry the plywood.
I put in the extra box in the bathroom upstairs.
The book case in the wall in the main bedroom also had to be secured and insulated at the back.

We also ran out of plastic today, not sure why the quantities were got so wrong but will have to get some tomorrow.

August 20, 2005

Don't drink and build!!

Totally hangover day, not used to the drink, killed me until 3pm, was some struggle to move, this was a totally waste of a day!!!
Siobhan said she would give me a hand to put up some plastic on the walls, we managed to get 2 of the bedrooms done upstairs.

Stone masons were also meant to call today, no sign, shock horror!!

August 19, 2005

Day off

Today was a day off for me, we had our annual soccer dinner so I went on the beer for the night, great to get the night off!
My dad was working alright, he insulated the internal walls of the dining room/
He also had to put up some strips of ply to strenghten the wall of the kitchen and also on the living room wall along the stairs to give it strenght. Still full sheets of ply to go on this wall at a later stage.

August 18, 2005

Insulation on Externals done

We completed the insulation of the external walls downstairs, at least there is light at the end of the tunnel!
Also there was a double socket, a network box and phone socket to be installed in the wall, the noggings for these site about 25mm back from the face of the studding. Nearly took the head off myself when the blade of the reciprocating saw snapped and went flying!
The walls between the kitchen and utility needed to be tied to the floor joists for the strenght, managed to get this done also.

August 17, 2005


Again we continued with the insulation, taking so long it is not funny!!

August 16, 2005

Insulate downstairs

I decided to be lazy and leave the small jobs up stairs and rip into the insulation downstairs.

Easy as in you can use up a full roll of 150mm rockwool on 3 lenghts of stud space. I manged to get the external walls on the bedroom, toilet, utility and 1/2 of the kitchen done.

I also completed the 100mm insulation in the dividing wall between the sitting room and bedroom.

Getting dark very fast these days. Sean offered my a lead for light so I must take him up on it.

Rang 2 lads to come out and quote us on the stone frontage and fireplace.

August 15, 2005

Hot house!

Arrived on site for 7.30am, and got stuck into putting the plastic in the hall roof.
I then installed the fibre glass for the hall and dining room and did the 100mm rockwool in the vertical walls.

My dad arrived over and once he had finished his bit of work we decided to tackle the ceiling space with the fibre glass.
We decided to cut all the fibre glass into the correct widths and lengths before I went up.

Cut up about 30 rolls altogether and up I headed.

The heat was a killer, slim fast plan my ar*e, get up into ceiling space for a hour!!! ;)

Took us most of the evening to complete this.

I headed off to Hursts heating and meet with Wes, I got the glass blocks for the dividing walls between the ensuite and bedroom. A fiver each.

Also got the quadrant 900mm shower tray and waste, 125 euro.

I also got the dry lining screws (35mm) for the Senco gun I got the loan of. They cost 22 euro per 1000. It is estimated to take up to 9000 screws to do ours.

I got the load of about 10k screws from my mate (32mm) which I will fill into catridges when I get time. But I want to use the 35mm on the ceiling slabs to give them extra strength.
Also picked up 2 good masks (3m brand) for 6 euro each as the ones we had were crap.

Decided to call it a day about about 7.30pm - Good progress

August 14, 2005

Split day

Arrived on site for 7.30, we have a match at 2.30 so I had to leave for a while.

The last place to rigid board was the landing but I had to setup a scaffold of sorts with planks to get up to it.
Again a very slow task and it took me up to 1pm before I go it finished.

We won the match 5-2 which was good, no goals for me today though!! shame!!

Got back on site a little worse for wear and my enthusism low but knew I still had to plod along.
At least no more rigid board to be done!

I put the plastic up in the dining room, I also had to drill down holes in the dividing walls for the cables.
The plastic was akward as there are bay windows which angle out, you also have to put fibre glass in the space in front of the dormers and roof space as you cannot get access to here from upstairs.

Left at 7.30, badly sore!

August 13, 2005

Good Progress

Today the pressure had to be stepped up and the intention was to try and get the upstairs completed! I wish!

I arrived on site for just after 7am, lovely day so easy to work in it, even though the temperature was not long rising!

I started to rip through the upstairs with the rigid board and completed the bedroom and landing before I got an SOS call from my da was running 2 hours late with his deliveries so I had to change my clothes and head off with him, was gone about 1.5 hrs.
Sean was there doing the bay windows when I arrived, it looks well now with the ridges on them.

The vapour barrier has to be also installed downstairs about 2m from the outside walls on the back and front.
I started this and got the back of the house done, a slow job again especially with recess light cables to be also cut out.
The barries is staples to the joists, I have a staple hammer and this makes life very easy.

Then you have to go upstairs and stuff 200mm fibre glass in the roof space behind the walls leaving room for air to get in at the eaves.
Again a cramped job! I managed to get the back completed.

My dad was there and he was tying up the loose ends of the rigid board and doing any strenghtening. His hip is still at him and I am not happy he is putting weight on it, only the landing to do with rigid board now.

When the fibre glass is installed you then have to install 100mm rockwoo the vertical wall space. Again this has to be stapled into position to avoid sagging in the future.

Headed off at 7pm after a long hot day, but things are going well now.

August 12, 2005

More Rigid board

This rigid board is getting to be a killer, taking much much long than expected. Have to keep going with it though.

Putting rockwool in the tight spots though as you would be all day trying to put rigid board in.

August 11, 2005

No Work - Match day

Had a match today so nothing done. Not a great result of 2-2 which killed any hopes of winning the league now.
But I scored from a kickout which was funny!

August 10, 2005

Rigid Board

The Rigid board arrived today, 12 sheets of 8*4.

To be honest this is taking way longer than I thought it would take, has to be cut correctly.

I was talking to my mate and he had a nice stone fireplace built with the same Lacken stone we are using on the front of ours.

Pic below

Also my roofer came back and tidied up the roof, just the ridge on the bay windows to do now.

August 09, 2005

Training day off, appliance, bills!

Training day today, did not go near the house as United were on the box also and the appliances arrived so I needed to check them out and move them out of the way into the shed.
Booked off next Monday, I have 2 matches this week so it will fragment the insulation and slabbing process so Monday will sort that out.
I think the Gothic front door must be near ready now, will not contact him until he rings me first! I don't want to see it yet.

Got the bills for the roof, slates, trim, ridges and lead, must be about 2k over what I expected, the price of ridge caps and lead are crazy high, but what you gain in some spots u lose in others!!

Have the guts of 15k euro to pay out now for the roof, plumbing and misc! The joy off!

August 08, 2005

Questions From SelfBuilders

I got a few emails from a couple of lads and ladies as regards what way I did or inteneded to setup different parts of the build.

I really should have this information up on the blogs but I sometimes forget to actually post up the questions I have to ask others myself!

So sin é!

1.The foundation , did you go with insulated slab or insulated over slab
Insulation is over the raft, will be put down when the final floor goes in expected to be min 50mm of kingspan.

2.I think you said you are putting down your UFH yourself, will this work ok with Climate control Heatpump which operates at 35 degrees c
Yes, I talked to Climate Control and to UnderfloorDirect and we have worked the pipes closer together so that the temp operates lower than "standard" UFH.

3.How are you heating up stairs , is it UFH or over sized rads
UFH - 50mm battens laid at 12 inches apart (might reconsider this), there is 25mm of insulation, the pipes laid on top of this, then screed in the hall and bathroom and ensuite, not screeding the rooms due to them be very warm and also this would turn the concrete into a slab and would leave heating and cooling responses very slow.

4.How much room have you left for the 500l thank and the heatpump in the utility room and is this going to be your hot press as well
2m footprint for the tank and geo, not going to be a hotpress but will be a possible storage area, will definately be closed in when all installed.

5.and finally the screed for the floor's , how are you putting this into each room . I'm thinking the UFH has not gone down yet ,so is it pumped in to each room or is it hard labor with a wheel barrow .
I will be doing the molly malone on this one!!

6.How are you regulating the temperature in each room
I have thermostats in the sitting room and bedrooms, the main living areas as far as I see it.

7.Trissa said...
Hi Aidan-
Great site. We're putting in radiant floor heating during our renovation- are you putting tubing in with concrete? Are you doing the entire system yourself? It would be great to see some pictures-

Trissa, thanks, we are putting the single under floor heating, we will be doing ourselves, I would say it will be at least 5-6 weeks before I start.

Sian, "what are soap,why do need to use then? how build getting on "

Sian, things are going well thanks, Soap , are soap bars, these I have used to attach the sole plate to using express nails so that the timber frame can be nailed down onto the sole plate.
Soap bars are like mini-blocks, where a 4" solid block is 9" wide and 4" deep, the soap bars can be got in 4" * 4" and 6" * 6"/.
Have a look at for a product guid.

if there are any questions please post a comment or email me on and I will do my best to answer and post up the q/a here

Lagging the house!

Appliances due tomorrow, on a side note almost sealed a deal on a lovely 01 Audi A4 TDI, a nice car but it was sold over the weekend, will probably wait until end of year and sell the Focus, petrol too dear now and with the 80 odd miles a day I am doing it is costing me!

Dad arrived over, still badly effected with his ankle and hip, it is definately ligaments he has done.
We completed the bathroom, landing, hotpress, ensuite and walk-in wardrobe but ran out of light at 10.15pm so had to pack it in, the heat upstairs is a killer even with the windows open, I think I will be sleeping in the garden!!
Bought surgical gloves so this will saves the prickly hands, killer with the rockwool even!!
Have to get an idea of the glass blocks for the single wall in the ensuite, I want to stream sun from the velux straight in front of the glass blocks into the bedroom using the blocks.

August 07, 2005

Early Mornings

Couple of GAA matches on today, including Mayo V Kerry so I decided to head to the site again for 7.30am. I was going to finish off putting in the boxes in the studding but decided against hammering at 7.30am!
I then said I would start the insulation, so off I set. Progress again is slower than I expected, 150mm rockwool on the external walls and 100mm on the internal walls, all insulation has then to be stapled onto the studding to stop it from sagging in the future.
All studs do not have all the same widths between them and the windows, noggings and sockets make it akward to insulate.
The heat was a killer and even with long sleeves I was still itching, forgot my face mask so that did not help but periodically stuck my head out the windows to breath air!
It makes the rooms more like rooms now with the insulation in, if that makes sense!!!
Progress was good, spent 5 hours at it and got 2 rooms completed and one wall of the bathroom done.
The roof space and ceiling has yet to be completed, waiting for the rigid board to arrive, all the areas have to be covered with plastic also.

August 06, 2005

Good Progress

Nice sunny morning so the trawl of getting out of the cot at 7am was not too bad, was on site for 7.30 and decided to finish the corner pieces over the landing. I then started work on the bookshelf in our bedroom.
Siobhan wanted a bookshelf built into the dormer roof space beside the bed, it will make good use of the free space.
There are also boxes to go into the walls in the bathroom (3) and one in the ensuite. These are just a backless box which will be slabbed and plastered and can be used to store maybe toothbrush holders or god knows what else, again uses the space.
You cannot put any of these boxes on external walls though as there will be no insulation behind them.

When hop along daddily arrived we decided to put up the 2 dividing walls between the hall and sitting room and hall and dining room. Thought it would take us about 2 hours, took us the guts of 3.5, one wall was too long so I had to get the circular saw out, set the dept, cut the extra plywood off the face of the stud and move back the upright so make the wall fit,
Then you have to plumb and screw/nail in each wall. Pain in the head!!

There was also a strip of timber to be put in over the landing so that the plasterboard on the ceiling and on the vertical wall would meet at a strong point, one of those hidden jobs!

My mate Vinny called out this evening to give me his staple hammer, he also noted that I should have been sent rigid board insulation for the roof space and was not delivered so he said he would deal with it on Monday.

Headed off at about 8pm, long day!

August 05, 2005


Today was a dead day, we had training so I called out to check out what the roofers had done before I went training, the capping is now completed, the house looks well with the roof done!

August 04, 2005

Stunt Man On Site

Our new neighbours have started a kitchen company in Claremorris so I decided that I would drop in my plans, we have a great quote from WoodStyle in Donegal and I could not see it been beat so I said it would only be fair to give them a chance to quote us.

Went up to Milltown to pick up the 32mm slabbing screws off my mate Gibbo, he had 10k to spare, should do a bit!
I was up there about 10 minutes when I got a call from my Dad, he had fell off a ladder inside the house, with the brutal weather and traffic it was going to be at least 50 minutes until I was at the house, so he decided to hobble in next door, so much for not doing anything risky, he was up on a ladder, about 15 foot, grabbed a piece of timber which he thought was screwed in, it was not so he came down on his back, catching the stairs on the way down and the piece of timber landing on his face.
He busted his ankle, his hip caught his back and busted his nose, to say he was lucky would be an understatement.

I sent him home when I got to the house, he reluctantly went!

Regina from Alpha Kitchens called over with the plans and a price, to be honest I was delighted with their design and price, both to be confirmed, we have to go to their showroom and view the doors and confirm the price but if all stays the same we will definately be going with them. An the IROKO worktop.

I also rang the plumber to tell him about the lack of lagging, how there was electrical cables running over the hot pipes and that some of the drilling in the joists left a lot to be desired. He came out again today to "relag!"

Appliances + Ebay

As you may not know I work in IT, programmer in a software house to be precise, so I know my way around the net,

I have been trying a lot of on-line appliances, some ship to Ireland, some do not. But to be honest they were all better than anything I could find here.

I stumbled across a shop on Ebay, SecondTec who sell "seconds" appliances, these seconds have scratches, when you are putting in integrated products this is not an issue,

As of today I have now won, all baumatic gear, the good stuff!!
Double Oven, Washing machine, dishwasher, under counter fridge and glass island hood. The hood alone, I got a price here for 799, on ebay I paid 490 odd. Some saving!!

I am getting 2 pallets of gear delivered, costing me 240 euro for shipping.

All in all we have saved for sure, especially with the brands we have!!

Off to find a larder frigde, 5 ring gas hob and dryer.

August 03, 2005

Another clean up!

This evening we inteneded to put the boxes into the walls but we looked at the mess in the rooms and reckoned we would sweep it up, clear up the bits of wood, slate, cardboard, piping etc!! Some bleeding messing goes on!!

The roofers will be finshed tomorrow, plumbers not sure, have to get back on them, too many wires touching the pipes and feck all laging, not very happy with the work.

Roofers are also messing a bit, there are some edge trims not meeting up, will have to get this sorted.

August 02, 2005

Roofers + plumbers

The roofers have returned, excellent, have the back and dormers totally finsihed, it looks well!

Plumbers were also in, to be honest looking at their pipes runs in the joists they are as rough as hell.

I also got a price for the Shower/Bath with 12 whirlpool jets, 1500 euro, may have to rethink ourselves!!

August 01, 2005

Bit of sore head

Think I enjoyed the pints too much last nite, only had about 5 and I still felt the effects this morn!

So I arrived on site for about 9am, started in to completed the strips along the walls for the platerboard and also the straps to hold down the roof on both gables.

The 3 access doors into the area between the rooms and the roof needed doors made, we did the frames for them, will finish them again
The list of things to do before we insulate is rapidly dying!