Chris 'n' Steffie

Gaming, adventuring, DIY





The ceiling and various boxing-ins are now boarded and ready to be plastered!


Boxing in

Just before plastering, we wanted to make sure that we covered up as much pipework as we could. Our house has lots of exposed pipework as it is, but for the kitchen, we really wanted a clean look. So, we decided to box them in.

The pipes here: supply the boiler with gas from the meter; the flow and return for the underfloor heating; and the cold supply for the plumbed in fridge (need to remember where that is for later!)


The wood was attached to the wall, this will give the plasterboard something to attach to. The same will need to be done to the underside of the stairs to make sure that they can be covered in a similar way.

Even more holes!

The next task was to tackle part of the extractor fan installation. It’s going to look something like this once complete:neff_i89eh52n0b_ssg_01_l

It’s an island type, which means it hangs from the ceiling. Unfortunately, our entire kitchen all appliances arrive all at the same time. This is a problem, because we have to put the support structure in without really knowing exactly how or even where it attaches. We managed to find a copy of the installation manual online, but it’s not quite the same as being able to see it firsthand. Plus, it’s a bit of a guess where to even mount it in the first place – without the units in place, we are heavily relying on our measurements from the kitchen diagram being accurate. Although, that being said, we are at the mercy of our joists – they ultimately decide where the ducting will go.

We decided to hire the core drill bit for this task. We already have a drill that will handle it, and it should give a much cleaner hole than we could make with a hammer and chisel. Here’s the hole setup, a 150mm core drill:


Slow and steady was the pace for the hole, after drilling a pilot hole for the auger, the core drill eventually pushed through the other side (after drilling through the interior and exterior brickwork):

We were worried about blowout to begin with, but it turns out that we didn’t need to. We did have to remove a drainpipe, but it was a simple cut and join back together job.

Externally, we had to get a vent cover without draught covers:


This was because a waste pipe from the bathroom is almost touching the vent as it is. We are going to install an internal draught flap, hopefully this will still prevent cool air from the outside blowing in.

Attached to the vent cover is a piece of pipe to clear the exterior wall, cavity, and interior wall. In the future, the draught flap and pipework will be added Рthis will be completed from the room above. Due to the extractor and pipework not arriving until the rest of the kitchen, there is nothing more we can do to it at this time Рbut we must have the ceiling installed and plastered before everything arrives, as it will be impossible to plaster around it.

The support structure was also added to the joists, it is oversized to compensate for any movement that we might need to make to ensure that it lines up with the hob when it’s time for installation. More can be added from above if needed.


Fingers crossed!

Making more holes

With the floor in place and (mostly) set, we can get back to work! First job was adding a couple of holes. The stubby wood bits were really useful here, as was the laser level.


Next, we added some channels into the walls. We were lucky enough to borrow a wall chaser for this – it’s kind of like two disc-cutters joined together. It was dusty though…

very dusty!


We had covered doorways inside our house, opened exterior doors, and placed our fans in them to help remove dust quickly.

There was still a small amount of chiseling work to be done, but the chaser made it a bit easier at least:


Whilst we had the marking tools out, we used them to mark where our new sockets were going to be installed. Again, the laser level was really useful for this – we could line them up across the entire room. There was an element of guesswork involved – as detailed as our kitchen plans are, we expect everything will fit a bit differently when we do the final installation!


This is the original flue from the old, freestanding boiler, and next to it is was the old wall between the kitchen and dining room. There was a bit of a step which we needed to tackle before the plasterer arrives. All that needed doing was knocking off some of the existing material.


The hole will be filled at the same time as the room is plastered.

And a screed!

It took a long time to get this bit done. But, finally, we have a floor!

IMG_20180831_090352.jpgEarly morning concrete drop – a fairly dry mix. Left over sheet underneath to avoid contamination.

First, the sides were made level to the hallway and lounge. This means that when we put the tiles down, the floor will be level throughout.

But, the biggest change here is this:

After 6 long months, we can temporarily reinstate we dishwasher and washing machine! That’ll certainly save some time!

Underfloor heating

Well, the pipes at least:

Floor insulation is down!

After the mix up with the insulation thickness (managed to get it swapped out, even after 4 months, very lucky!), we finally put it down.

The foam insulation is super easy to work with. Lightweight, easy to handle. We essentially made our own jigsaw.

The new water pipe complicated the design, but we got it fitted in the end. The joints all get taped with foil tape to maintain the barrier, and it keeps it locked in place a bit better.

The edges get filled with a dry mixture of sand and cement. It packs the sheets in tightly and leaves no gaps for the screed to sit on.

We have one of the above paint mixers, mostly for mixing paint. Sometimes polyfiller, etc… it slots into the drill, and does its thing. In the 30degree heat, mixing by hand wasn’t very appealing, so, we hooked in the paint mixer to mix our sand & cement mix – all 300kg of it. This is what happened to it:

Not good!

Hopefully this week, we’ll get the underfloor heating pipes, and the liquid screed done!

Skip and more DPM!

Usually, we would hire a grab truck to get rid of rubble waste, but we didn’t really have enough to warrant it (although, in hind-sight, our backs would hurt a lot less!), plus we had some other rubbish in the trailer waiting to go to the tip, so we had a skip delivered!


Then we got down to putting down our next layer of DPM, after giving the floor a final clean:


Unfortunately, the oversight came in a little bit too high for our 100mm insulation, so we are going to swap it out for 75mm – hopefully that means that we can have the liquid screed be level with the rest of the house!


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.

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