Monday, 25 June 2012

Pretty piping!

Hours and hours in the rain but the underfloor heating pipes are in and all connected up! Thousands of tag ties and a lot of piping under heating engineer John Cantor's watchful eye and it looks pretty good.

This is where Rob'll be working - and John is connecting up at the manifold which, fingers crossed, will appear in a cupboard:

Two pipes interweaved:

The whole ground floor - it looks like a circuit board ... or a 70s string painting. It was great to be able to balance in between the pipes and on the mesh and imagine being in the office, on the couch, or looking out the kitchen window...

I have just been told, however, that we need to go down after work and add another thousand tie tags as there aren't enough to stop the pipes moving when the concrete moves in...just hope it isn't raining at the time!

Thursday, 21 June 2012


We're a bit disappointed that the membrane covering the EPS has been punctured quite a lot. It looks like the surface wasn't flattened properly so to even out the height the mesh and a-frames have been manipulated a bit and have damaged the pink layer:

The membrane is supposed to protect us from the slightly high radon levels caused by the mines in the area ('Romans' and Bwlch arian) in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries...

The height of the breezeblock is where the concrete will reach and it varies a little around the slab:

And there are a few gaps to fill in - if cold air gets into the EPS and through the membrane we'll have cold feet!

bottom layer

Here's the first layer of our slab - apparently the bricks lining the retaining wall are being laid at the moment...

And here's the EPS - our 'floating' slab that should protect us from the cold coming up from the ground - though I don't know that anyone believes us at the moment!

Breeze blocks will then frame the EPS and make the boat/bowl for the concrete to fill and form our floor; we're having a polished concrete floor downstairs to make life easier with animals etc but it doesn't make things easy for the pour...

Tuesday, 19 June 2012


We've had about a day and a half without rain - if you add up the bits here and there - and the ground is pretty wet. The floods in Talybont, Dolybont, Aberystwyth and the A487 cut us off for a bit but the houses, roads and caravan sites are going to take a lot longer to recover. Lots of people are looking for places to rent as insurers have told them it'll take 5-6 months to repair the houses.

This is from the road towards Cors Fochno/Borth Bog:

Debris brought down the hill onto the A487:

Trying to get to the station in Borth via Ynys Las:

The stream by our house went from dribble to torrent overnight:

Even Springwatch at Ynys hir got a soaking! So not a lot of work done for a few days - the foundation builder's office was flooded - but the site drained ok, considering it's a bowl nearly ready for filling.

No surprise no concrete then.

Thursday, 7 June 2012


This is what is happening today, tomorrow - not Saturday, a bit Sunday, and then again on Monday... we're awash! Things got so bad yesterday the guys on site rushing to get ready for us to put in the underfloor heating pipes were cursing eco builds and we've found a lot of measurements are out so some salvaging to be done. When weather permits. So, no concrete for a bit.

In contrast, here are some pics of the Sarn Sabrina walk my brother, his brother-in-law, and I did a couple of weeks ago in insane heat. 

A few miles in...

Above Clywedog...getting hot... 

At the source of the Severn, shattered but glad of the wind...

No photos of the last 8 miles or so but burnt shins and very sore feet were in evidence. And there were some rumours that 2 thirds of the group might have something on the day of the Rotary Across Wales Walk but we shall see!