House Extension

We’ve finally got around to building the extension to our house that we’ve always talked about. This extension must be about 12 years in coming. The back of the house was always a mess with quite a pokey kitchen, a rather terrible leaky conservatory and as it happens a rat corpse and faeces infested utility room.

No messing about

The bit where the pink wall is was the utility room. I was in the garage when I heard a bunch of burly builders screaming like girls and gagging. Turns out there were a couple of rat corpses in the roof space and loads and loads of rat poo. It was pretty disgusting. It always did smell a bit funky in that room now that I think of it.

Doing their best to wreck my garden

So now the Steele family must eat their dinner in the garage, or on the living room floor. It’s only temporary…it’s only temporary…it’s only temporary.

Because the kitchen has been wrecked we’ve had to move essential stuff into the wooden floor room. The fridge and microwave are in there. We still have a tiny bit of kitchen left so we still kind of have a cooker and dishwasher and a washing machine. But that’ll be gone soon too…then it will definitely be takeaways!

To cheer ourselves up [ well, me and Oli anyway ] we bought a drone to play with…ahem to document the progress of the build.

It’s a bit over exposed, we didn’t quite have the hang of the camera at this point

So we’ve now got the drains in, poured the concrete, built some walls and got some steel in.

It’s really quite a big chunk on the back of the house!

Hopefully this week some more steel will go in and the roof beams will be put in. Weather permitting we may even have a roof on this week!

Rubiks Cube

I’ve been able to solve the Rubik’s Cube for quite a few years and do it every now and then to keep the formula/algorithm/moves/whatever fresh in my head. But recently I happened to be in the room when Emma and Oli were watching Arrow and Felicity Smoak talked about a cube within a cube and then did it on the TV. It was pretty cool. So I looked it up and …

The obligatory wine glass in the background of all my pictures!

Can’t remember how to do it without looking it up – but I’ll get there

Sudoku

I did it – I finally did it. I solved a Sudoku. I was up early on a Sunday morning. The house was quiet and the news was looping so I decided to have a crack at solving the Sudoku. I tried a few in the past and just got frustrated/stuck/bored but this time I persevered.

The 9 letter word is “Reputedly”

So now I can do them quite regularly. Still takes me ages though – even with Emma helping. So now we regularly solve the Guardian crossword, 9 letter word and Sudoku. Getting old!

Tilly Belle and Sammi

No idea if I’m spelling names correctly – but we went to Manchester to celebrate the birthday of our ummmmm second cousin once removed, or something.

The Thai food was amazing. My Thai, John Dalton St. Well worth a visit

Fire

As a result of all the building work we’re having done I decided to have a massive fire and get rid of some of the crap. When I say massive…it’s been the biggest one yet. It managed to melt the drainpipe on the back of my office. So I’ll have to replace that in the spring time then 🙁

Sailing In Croatia

For the first time in an awfully long time I boarded a plane, flew to Croatia and hopped on a 40ft catamaran for a week of “sailing” around the islands of Croatia

The good ship Scirocco

I went with Michal and Josh along with a bunch of crazy guys that Michal knew. Much fun was had…

Many beautiful sunsets were observed…

Many crazy things were done…

We were jumping off these cliffs into an inland salty lake formed when the land collapsed…or something

and many beautiful towns visited

Zadar

Netflix fun

What could be more fun than going into a family member’s Netflix profile and messing with their name and profile pic?

The final push

It’s been quite the journey. Laying concrete, getting drunk, building stud walls, getting drunk, putting on a roof, getting drunk. So finally it came to the time to stop drinking [ it helped that Charlie stopped coming around since he now lives in Manchester ] and finish the job.

So I enlisted the services of mini me and did a bit of slave labouring

He quite took to the nail gun

Some people, cough Dan cough, mock me for my Ryobi tools fetish. But if they’re good enough for the god that is Colin Furze then they’re good enough for me…and apparently Oli.

We made a bit of a shoddy job in places [ this is rather a recurring theme right ] when putting the tongue and groove cladding on. You can see this in the back wall where there is light coming through the planks – you shouldn’t really have light coming through the planks but hey ho – it’s only a shed.

Added a bit of guttering…

Then came the time to make and mount some doors. I went through a few versions of doors and this bit could be a blog post all of its own, but I’m getting a bit bored of blogging about my shed so I’m going to skip over it. I had some 16mm or 18mm [ can’t remember which ] ply laying around so I made use of it. I really should have used something much less thick as these doors weigh a tonne! Especially after putting on my fancy shmancy outsidey bits

First door finished
Both doors up. Ridiculously insecure though.

If any burglars are considering coming nicking my paint cans and hammock then please don’t smash through my walls / crowbar my doors – you can just unscrew the hinges and you’re in!

Aaron came and hooked me up with electricity for lights and plug sockets and stuff.

I also added a lovely green door handle that had been lying about in my garage for about a decade

And finally we come to the end of the odyssey that has been the shed building mission. I’ve got stuff in there, I’ve added the fascia boards to the front to make it all pretty and I even sealed the end caps onto the guttering, although you can’t see that in this photo.

C’est fini

There’ll be one more blog post on this matter and it will be the costs. Really quite nervous about adding up how much the concrete/timber/electrics have cost in total – especially given that timber shortages have pushed up the prices of everything and I used far too much wood for the job – but we’ll see! It’s still probably cheaper than buying one off the shelf which wouldn’t be anywhere near as sturdy.

My final note….right angles….RIGHT ANGLES!!!

Shed roof

Central beam

With the stud walls in place I reckon it’s time to put the roof on. I’m taking a central beam with rafters approach. Kinda wish I hadn’t, but ho hum

The rafters are all wonkily in place – seriously, it’s a right mess, but it’s keeping the water out. I ran out of 2×6 so went and bought some more but bought it in brown…because I’m an idiot.

You could drive a bus through that gap

Because way way way back at the beginning I made a mistake and my bricks weren’t laid at exact 90 degree angles everything has been kinda thrown out. This is why there are gaps in my roof. It’s not the end of the world since it’s being felted but if there’s one thing I’ve learned from this whole experience it’s that 90 degrees is really really really important.

Too damned hot

Usually the sail shade will suffice when it comes to keeping cool and snoozing in the back garden, but sometimes one needs a little extra shade for when the sun is starting to go down and the rays dip beneath the shade and start cooking you. Enter, the side shade

I knew all that haggling on the beach in Thailand would come in useful one day