Chris 'n' Steffie

Gaming, adventuring, DIY

Hello, Nest Hello


We installed our Nest Hello. It’s a fancy doorbell.

It can be powered by existing doorbell wiring, although we didn’t have one to start with. Transformers are easy enough to find though.

It was chosen because it integrates with our Google Home devices, phones, watches, etc… The facial recognition is a pretty cool feature, it will tell you who is at the door before they have even pushed the button.

Our WiFi signal isn’t very strong outside of our house, so we have to use it at a reduced bitrate, but the video quality is still pretty good. There is currently about a 2 second delay from button push to announcement inside – not too bad.

We hope to bury the wire when we get around to re-pointing the front of the house.


Sheeting is important

With all of the dust lately, sheeting things up is a must. I think you can tell where we did vs where we didn’t:


Water pipe compete – but dry

Hole all filled back in in the lounge!

Underneath the kitchen wall:

And here is the other end. Much bigger than our old 1/2″ pipe. Just tacked down with cement to hold it in place to (hopefully) where the sink should end up. It does mean we have a bit more with to do on the insulation installation.

Now we just need to get the meter hooked back up. Fingers crossed that it happens soon.

How are we getting by?

Our caravan was our stand in kitchen. Now it’s also our bathroom.

We do have water, just not enough to run any of the things inside the house. The onboard tank in the caravan is 40l, it takes about 16 minutes to fill up.

It doesn’t sound like a lot of water, but it’s enough for 2 showers, cooking, drinking, and washing up. There is even some to spare at the end of the day.

Trenches everywhere!

Well, it turns out the pipes in the previous post are our gas and electric. The water is still nowhere to be found. But that’s a problem for another day. In the long run, it works out better for us, as we can put the new, larger pipe all the way to the meter, instead of attaching it to the existing, smaller pipe. Hopefully, this will translate into better flow.

This is the current situation. Awaiting the final connection.

The trench goes right under the house, and into the lounge.

From there, it goes through another trench through the edge of our lounge, and straight into the kitchen.

The pipe is encased in a sleeve, to make future replacement easier.

By the end of the day, no more trench! Well, at least not on the outside!

You never can fit all of the soil back into a hole once dug – maybe next time we should dig deeper, to fit more in…

Now there are two of them…

Where is the water pipe?


Here it is!


Which one is the gas, and which one is the water? We think they are both water, as it was replaced long before we lived here.

Let’s find out…

Water leak – The Moat

Unlike some, we are lucky enough to enjoy a moat with our property:

WhatsApp Image 2018-06-07 at 18.41.38
The new water pipe is going straight from the meter to the living room floor!
Luckily, we still have the scaffolding planks to cross the gap.

Water leak – preparation

It’s a straight shot from the water meter to the stop cock in our house. But, as it’s a new line going in, we have the opportunity to change things for the better.

We don’t want to disturb the porch, as it’s just been (nearly) finished. We’d rather the new garage floor not be taken up (besides, we don’t know where the electricity and gas are, other than under the garage somewhere), so the best solution is to trench out the driveway, and take the new pipe through the lounge!

We have covered the furniture, and the kitchen things that were occupying the rest of the lounge.

Frustrating (and expensive) as it is, the upgrade from the leaky half inch pipe, to a 32mm one, should mean that we get a much better flow, as the diameter of the pipe is nearly three times the size.

The entry point of the pipe into the kitchen is where we were going to running pipes anyway for the plumbed in fridge anyway, so there isn’t really a change there. It means the stop-cock will be more accessible then it’s previous location of behind a kitchen unit. Another upside is that we no longer have to cut holes in the back of our new kitchen units!

Downstairs windows and doors

As we are ripping out most of the downstairs (we didn’t mean to, one thing lead to another), we thought we might as well get the exterior doors and windows replaced at the same time – any damage to the walls can be fixed a lot easier if the room isn’t ‘finished’.

The new bay windows. These are thicker double glazing, with extra layers of lamination to keep the road noise from intruding into the lounge. They are a little bit low, so they are also reinforced.

The new kitchen window is tinted. The evenings in the summer have direct sunlight, it gets far too hot! It’s an inwards tilt and turn, so no difficulties reaching over the worktops to open or close the window.

The patio door has been replaced with a 2 section opening bi-folding door. Like the glass in the kitchen window, it’s tinted triple glazed. It has a low profile design, do should minimise step height between the future patio and the inside. It really opens up the space we have.

The front door has also been replaced!

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