Building the Toilet

Now that the services are all done and the garden is back to normal(ish) it’s time to get started on the inside properly.  Todays job is to build the toilet.  I know, this is normally done BEFORE the plastering but as it is a such a small space I figured it would cost me less time & money to build it after the first round of plastering/painting.  I think that turned out to be true.

The first task of this job is to get the horse & cart out of the stable to move all the materials up to the workshop…

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Where would that project be without that!  Now to work out how big the toilet needs to be by rough laying some timber…

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Yep, that works.  Don’t worry about the blue pipe, I’m going to cut that short later and run it under the tiles.  Sorry, no pictures of me pretending to sit on a virtual toilet, unravelling pretend bog roll!  Lol!  Time to put a wall up I think…

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Done! Now the ‘head plate’…

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No, I don’t have a wonky spirit level, they are just holding up the headplate while I fix it.  I was on working on my own with this as it’s not a 2 man job, more of a 1 and a bit man job.  Next it’s the first part of the wall…

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And then the door frame which is trickier than it looks.  It needs to be the right size for the door, door frame & paint (yes paint! which can be up to 10mm thick)…

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Now the rest of the wall, door frame & sink support.  I tried really hard to make sure the frame was level & square so that the door would fit nicely…

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Ready to plasterboard the inside of the first wall…

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And insulate, then move on to the next wall…

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Until the inside and insulation are complete…

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Then it’s the outside plasterboarding…

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Plasterboard finished, a quick skim of plaster, coat of paint and hang the door & trim and the royal throne is complete room!

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Connecting the services

This week Karma is not going to be happy, FACT!  After promising that the garden will be back to normal before the spring it’s now time to make the biggest mess yet!

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Yep, that’s our garden, Oops!  On the plus side if she does complain too much I have an interesting idea…

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And all this mess is so that we can run the water, electric, internet, phones & waste pipes…

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But at least the supervisor shows up now and again to check we are on track!

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In some places the digger wouldn’t reach so some manual labour was called for and manual labour runs on Biscuits!

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After (several) tea and biscuits (and 5 days!) it was time to put the garden back together again.

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Job done and I promise it will all grow back honest.  PS, Anyone seen Karma lately?!


With the floor now strong enough to support weight we can start plastering the walls.  I decided to plasterboard & skim the walls because the dust coming off the uncovered bricks may cause problems with building/painting the plane.

First job, dot and dab the walls and cover all the block work with plasterboard…

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Dot and dab finished…

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Now time to skim the ceiling…

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Then the walls…

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Followed by the all important inspection visit…

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Once that’s dried a quick coat of paint or 3 and the walls are finished.

Liquid Floor Screed

This week we are ready to pour the floor screed.  I have chosen to go with a liquid Anyhdrite screed mainly because I don’t fancy shifting another 4 tonne of sand & cement up to the site again!!!  Also liquid screed is much stronger than regular screed so it shouldn’t crack.  Finally it doesn’t need to be so thick which means more headroom in the building.

Having carefully read the instructions supplied by it doesn’t look to difficult to do all the prep work ourselves.  I’ve alloted 2 whole days just in case so let’s get cracking…

Day 1: Clean the sub floor of all debris and mess and roll out the DPM as flat as possible…

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Problem… The DPM sheet would NOT lay flat.  We stomped on it, jumped on it, even flippin’ belly flopped it!!!  No dice!!!  I have to say I don’t understand why the DPM manufacturers have to fold the sheet 6 TIMES!!!  It was like origami rolled up.  Consequently the plastic sheeting was creased in every imaginable direction.  In the end we decided there was nothing we could do so carried on and laid the 75mm insulation on top…

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Not as flat as I’d have liked because of the stupid DPM but at least it’s down.  After slicing my hand with the Stanley knife, twice, I decided that was enough work for one day.  Now there’s only 1 day left until they arrive to pour the floor!

Day 2: Tanking the floor

Today my plan is to seal the floor so that the liquid screed doesn’t get under the insulation.  To do this means that we need to first tape the joints of the insulation…

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Then it’s time to install the edge insulation.  This stuff is rarer than a Golden Unicorn.  I had ordered some for delivery but the couriers decided yesterday was a great day to lose my order!!!  So a quick 60 minute (!) ring round all the plumbers merchants in Aylesbury and find the last roll in town, yay!

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Done!  The edge insulation is nicely installed all the way round and in a single piece.  Next job is to lay the plastic sheet, cut it to size, attach it to the edge strip and seal it with duct tape on all joints.

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This being my first time with liquid screed I have no idea how well tanked this needs to be.  So I tape every little joint, split, gap and crease to within an inch of its life!  Fingers crossed it’s good enough for the screed guys tomorrow.

Day 3: The pour…

Today the guys from ELS turn up to pour the floor.  They take one look at the garden and proclaim… ‘We don’t have enough pipe mate!’.  Say WHAT!  I’m like ‘yeah but…  I emailed… but… AAAARRRRGGGGHHH’.  They don’t seem so fussed though.  James says don’t worry he’ll handle it!  Meanwhile they start setting up the level tripods and check over my work.  I’ve done a good job, apparently, yay!

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I decide that I will tackle the rainwater drains while they deal with the floor as that way I’m around but out of their way.  Dad arrives and we both go to Wickes to get some materials.  When we return ELS are nowhere to be seen.  Uh oh, was it that bad they’ve legged it?  Maybe not, all their tools are still on site.  Oh well, time for lunch anyway.  Shortly after lunch they return having been to High Wycombe and bought the pipe they needed.

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That’s it! They’re ready to pour.  Floor levels have been checked, pipe work sorted, pump readied and concrete company called.  Quick as a flash the concrete arrives and the pouring starts…

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This screed is like runny porridge and before long it’s being poured in to the building.

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Once the pour is finished they use a dappler to create a wave effect which levels the floor almost perfectly.

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That’s it!  Quick as that it’s all done.  Unbelievable.  Now the building must be kept sealed with the windows and doors shut tight for 48 hours or so.  This ensures that the floor doesn’t dry out too quickly and crack.  So there is nothing left to do but wait.

Day 6: Ventilation day…

Today is the day that we can first walk and the floor.  The building is so condensated that I can’t see inside so I carefully open the door and see the shimmering floor smiling up at me.  It so smooth in fact that I test it with my hand first to make sure it has set and will take my weight.  It seems good so in I go.  As I open the windows I notice cracks in the floor.  CRACKS!!!  Nooooooooooo…..

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What’s occurring?!  Liquid Screed Floor should not crack!  What’s gone wrong?  Was it that DPM, damn you DPM!  Or was it the sunshine curing the floor too fast?!

As I fall to the floor crying I noticed my knees rub the cracks and reveal that the floor hasn’t cracked at all.  It’s just the top layer of ‘skin’ that’s cracking.  So I rub the cracks in a few other places and notice the same, there are no cracks under the surface.  It transpires that this ‘skin’ is called Laitance and is perfectly normal. Phew!

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And the floor is done, well apart from sanding and priming of course!

Windows and Doors!

The final step to make the building water tight is to fit the windows and doors and, luckily enough, they have arrived today, thank you Vevo Windows.  Perfect timing some might say! 😉

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I’ll be fitting the windows myself so no time to waste, let’s get started fitting the windows casements…

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Well that took longer than expected!  Mainly because the electricity supply stopped working, I didn’t have the right length drill bits and a few other technical issues.  Oh well, at least all 4 windows are fitted.  Glazing the windows tomorrow…

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Yay, glazing done all round and the doors are in and working too!  The building is officially draft proof.

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Final task is to fit pvc trim to cover up the fixings and expanding foam.  Then seal with frame sealant everywhere and the windows & doors are done!

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and the outside is all but finished!  Hoorah!

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Covering the Roof

So now the brickwork has been completed it’s time to cover the roof and start making the building waterproof.  The first job is to decide on how much joist to cut back.  This is a bit trickier than I had first planned as it will have a big impact on the quantity of roof tiles, placement of the guttering and the overall look of the building.  Eventually I settle on a figure and layout a string line and start cutting.  Once all the cuts are complete I add hangers to fix the soffit to.

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Next job is to fit the soffit.

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And then the fascia…

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Next task is to finish the box-end and fit the 3-in-1 support tray, vent & bird grill.

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And the rafter roll which prevents the insulation blocking the air flow.

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That’s enough for one, er two days.  Tomorrows job is to felt and batten the roof…


Then it’s time to load the tiles on to the roof.  A huge, special, thank you to my favourite brothers Jason & Lawrence who helped heave over 720 tiles up on to the roof and made it look easy!

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Finally it’s time to install the ridge tiles and bed them in.  Problem is I’ve never even laid a brick before let alone ridge tiles 4m in the air!!!  Oh well, ‘he who dares Rodney’!

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Not bad for a first attempt, let’s see if they survive the night!  Tomorrows job is to close the verges, with Lawrences help of course.

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Final job is to fit the guttering…

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And the roof is COMPLETE!!! Hoorah!  Just over a week is not bad for my first attempt, I think.  Next job, windows & doors.

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Roof Trusses

It’s Wednesday morning and a very exciting delivery has arrived, the roof trusses are here!

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They have arrived just in time as Barrie needs to be able to brick up to the top of the gables so will need to know the roof pitch.  No time to waste we best get started fitting the trusses immediately.

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These puppies get heavier and heavier.  I’m sure each one is 10 Kgs heavier than the last!

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Finally, they are all loaded on to the wall plates ready for spacing and bracing.

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And Barrie has already set to the block work.

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While Barrie is working tirelessly on the brick work I decide to finish the bracing and nogging.

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That’s it, Barrie has finished the gables and the brickwork is officially finished!!!  Yay!

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Lintels and wall plate fitted!

The lintels have been delivered just in the nick of time.

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Barrie needed them now to carry on the block work above the windows.

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And same again on the back wall…

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Now to set the steel in place over the doorway…

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Lastly all that’s left to prepare for the roof trusses is to bed the wooden wall plate on to the front and back walls.

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That’s it we are ready to receive the roof Trusses when they’re delivered on Wednesday.

Brickwork to Scaffold height

I know there’s not been any updates recently and that’s mostly because there hasn’t been much to say.  Barrie has been relentlessly laying the 4,500 bricks and slowly working his way up the courses.

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And more bricks…

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And more bricks!

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And finally up to Scaffolding height ready for the scaffolders!

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Lucky that as the Scaffolders arrived today and put all the scaffolding up!

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Great, it’s really taking shape now!  Next step is to run 3 courses of block work and then start planning the roof levels.  Woohoo!


Inner skin to window cills

Very pleased with progress this week.  We needed to lay out the DPC  and set out the corners of the block work again on top the DPC to hold it in place.

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Once that was done the inner walls started going up very quickly and Barrie and I set out the window locations on the front and back walls.

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While Barrie continued with the side walls Jason and I tackled a few jobs that were due around the site like covering up the Gas meter and fixing the cracked drain cover.

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By the end of the week the side walls had been finished and the outside brick work has been started too.  We now have the measurements we need to order the roof trusses.

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Next week will probably be spent lifting the outside brick work to the same level as the blocks inside, oh and Enjoying Christmas too!  😉