Thursday, 30 June 2011

one step forward, two steps back

 This week the basement has started to take shape. Basement Builders were proceeding on schedule, due to Emil's brilliant management of the project.
 However, the unexpected always happens. Due to the quantity of recent rainfall, leaking drains and a sandy base that had been laid during the original works we undertook, the soil on the last remaining section caved in, and the builders have had to put up a temporary retaining wall before the build the final section of cellar wall.
 Another setback was the withdrawal of the company that was going to deliver the second phase of the contract. So we have to find another company to carry out this work.
I am begining to doubt whether we will be finished by Christmas after all.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Eco weekend

This weekend was North London Eco-House weekend. We visited about 6 houses which was probably a bit too much to absorb. Quite a variety of projects, some very professional, some quite DIY.  It was interesting to see how successful some of the DIY insulation had been - and no cold-spotting either. 

It was useful to hear about the benefits of solar thermal heating from a neutral source and about the design problems of earlier double glazing.
Only one house we visited was doing any water recycling and they were recycling grey water rather than harvesting. Interesting too to see too how  people are putting in place fixtures for further development.
Meanwhile the basement is starting to take shape. we now have footbridge across to the garden, and at long last I have trained our cat Mille, to cross it (she suffers from vertigo and get panicky when crossing).