30 Jun 2014

1st fix begins!

Site is a crazy place at the moment with a huge amount of people and activity as our plumbers, Cotswold Green Energy,

 and electricians, Aspey Electrical, commence 1st fix. 

For novices, like me, this is all the wires and pipes that are hidden behind the plaster walls- the skeleton of the building. And there is a lot of work to be done!

There is lots of pressure on everyone as we have to get this all correct.  As it will be behind plaster we can't change things later (you can of course but at a huge amount of expense and time). 

Do you remember those lovely service plans that I did with Charlie a month or two ago? I thought that it had all been taken care of.  It turns out those were just the starting points. As a result I've spent a lot of time on site for the last couple of weeks.

Plumbing has been relatively straightforward as I had spent hours on detailing the bathrooms (see here), so I had all the specifications and details at hand.  I'd also made design choices which made the plumbing in these areas simpler e.g. a ply wall and shelf will conceal the pipework and cistern, rather than chasing them into the blockwork.  Charlie from Cotswold Green Energy has designed our heating system so I didn't need to get very involved in that side of things.

On the electrical front, plugs and switches have been relatively straightforward. There was only one plug position that had to be changed, Mat was extremely thorough and so everything else was really well positioned.  Lighting however has been a bit of a horror (see Lighting Re-re-design).  I was not prepared!

Making all these decisions and spending a lot of time in the house has meant that I am actively imagining living in spaces as they start to take shape.  Experiencing the spaces is so different from seeing them on plan.  Ideas inevitably change, but things also clarify and the simple solution is obvious.  This is what house-builders are strictly advised not to do, change things, due to the resultant uplift in costs but as we are not on a fixed price contract I do have more flexibility.  I'm just doing what everyone who has built before has advised me - "trust your instincts", and it's OK.  We're getting there!

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