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Evolution Of The Man Cave

Posted by slidersx200 , 17 June 2015 · 1,230 views

The last few weeks have been hectic as I've doubled my own work load and been fulfilling the duties of playing best man at my cousin's wedding in Northern France. This has meant that the second ebuild get together I'd hoped to arrange fell by the wayside, but I'll aim to reschedule that for some time in July. Thankfully, work on site has been able to continue pretty smoothly in my absence and the electrician has now finished his first fix, the exterior of the house has been scratch coated and the garage block is catching up well.

A tipper lorry driver has been bringing us loads of dry clay to fill up some hollows so I now have a new vantage point for taking photographs where once we had a soggy marsh:

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The block layers have built the corner stone detail I had been excited to add for some time. Traditionally, buildings on a farm would have had a large stone sticking out at the corner of walls prone to being clipped by cartwheels to protect the wall finish. Sometimes it could have been a cast iron piece in place of the stone, but as ours will be in the same finish as the walls it is made of scrap pieces of blocks. The finished ground level will be just above the square base. To get the right look, the render will appear to go right down to the ground level, but there will be a 300mm deep trench with clean gravel in it around the perimeter to prevent staining from damp.

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Major progress on the garage in the last few weeks mean the walls are finished, roof is felted, windows are in and the upstairs is floored and studded, voila!

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We've ordered the corrugated tin for the roof and it should be with us in about a week and we're just waiting on a couple of prices coming back for the doors.

Back inside the house, the joiners are ready to fit the door frames and close the cavity at the external door and window openings:

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By close of play today I'm hoping that two major headaches will be off the to do list; choosing French doors and the purchase of the bagged render mix. The latter was actually delivered last Friday, but I'm still waiting for the Southern Irish VAT to be refunded after the company made a blunder. This transaction has been a real test of patience, but once the refund is processed the materials will have cost just under £400 more than we had allowed for exterior painting.

The French doors have been a lesson in compromise as I just could not find anyone who could make what we wanted aesthetically also with the performance we're aiming for. I'm signing the contract today and with a bit of luck we'll finally close the two largest openings in the house in a few weeks' time.

Next week I'm hoping to begin the first fix installation of the ventilation system and once that is finished we can start to fit plasterboard upstairs. We have gone for a radial ducting system with a mixture of Airflow and Quietvent manifolds depending on which fitted best in the spaces we have to work with.

The NHBC inspector has requested that we fit battens perpendicular to the web joists to support the plasterboard as he thinks the span is too great on 600mm centres and that the ceilings could sag. This is the lesser of two evils as his other suggestion was 20mm plasterboard, which would be both costly and a brute to work with.

That's enough sitting down for now; back to work I go...



Could you suggest to your NHBC man that you fit resilient bars to the joists instead @400mm c/c to hang the plasterboard off, will be cheaper and you won't lose as much height as battens. Much better acoustic performance as well.
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Like the corner stone detail. It's little things like this that give a house character.
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What's wrong with fixing plasterboard ceilings at 600mm centres? That's what most houses have, including my present one, and that's what my new one will have.

The only time I have known such a ceiling to sag is when it got very wet due to a leaking roof (in a 1970's ex council house)
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slidersx200
17 Jun 2015 08:32 PM
The info regarding the plasterboard was relayed to me through the joiners so I didn't get to quiz the inspector about his concerns. I think the joiners were talking about bridging the distance between the joists with something like 2"x2", kept flush with the bottom of the joists so it shouldn't cost any head height, but I'll ask about the resilient bar in case it could save some money and/or help to reduce sound transfer.

@stones - Glad you like it, I hope there will be a few subtle things that visitors enjoy. The little "doors" to the garage loft space have already had the main block layer reminiscing about summer days in his childhood and bringing in the hay.
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shell820810
18 Jun 2015 11:20 AM
when you hoping to be finished Michael. We are pretty much at same stage as you.
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slidersx200
18 Jun 2015 08:27 PM
I think we could be done around October if there are no major snags, but move in day will probably depend on when the electricity connection is made. It would be possible to work with a generator for a while, but I'd prefer to take our time and get as much finished before moving in.

What about yourselves?
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Once your first fix is done get the Nie form filled out and posted in. Takes about a month and then they get back to you with regards a date. They work on a month to month schedule so you can say the digger won't be onsite till next month and they move you on but it means your in the system so when your ready you give them a bell. Guy on my site for about 2 hrs connecting you up then they come back after 2nd fix and fit your meter.
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