Well, its an odd thing, but each time I see the site, the rooms seem to change size. When Pat first marked out the outline with a few blocks, I was slightly disappointed as the main living room looked smaller than I had imagined it. Then when the first layer of blocks showed where the interior walls would be, the whole thing seemed much bigger. Pat says these differences of perception are quite normal and can mostly be put down to tricks of the light. Anyway, I hadn’t looked in on the site again while John was away so quite a lot of progress had been made in the interim. It wont be long before we have to start thinking about plumbing, so we sat down on Sunday night and designed our new kitchen. Now when I go to the site, it is easier to visualise how the furniture and kitchen units will fit.
The most obvious change was the ground level. The foundations are now mostly buried and the walls have been filled in with gravel. You can no longer see the difference in height between the eastern and western ends of the plot. The radon sump has been installed, and the next step will be to lay a gas-proof barrier over the whole foundations before installing the damp-proof course and finishing with a final layer of smooth concrete. Finished floor level will be approximately 7″ above what you see here. This picture hints at the magnificent view we will have from our living room, towards The Burren.
When we saw Pat yesterday, his main concern was how to compensate for the height of the new building above the original rock bed. A steep slope now exists between the main house and where we are to site our new garage and we need to find the most cost-effective way of dealing with it. We could bring in more stones – a lot more – and bring the garage up to the same level as the house, but this would require some sort of retaining wall and would result in a sharp drop off the other side, perhaps not ideal for John’s and Mike’s grandchildren, should they (please God) come to visit. So, instead, we will borrow back a section of the hagget and build up a gentler slope towards the house. It will probably make a great skateboard park, though we’ll have to keep a good supply of sticking plasters in the medicine cabinet for all those grazed knees.