Laying the ground rules…

Hi all,

I know it’s been ages since my last post and we’ve gone so far beyond the last few photos in terms of what is now finished, but I’m not going to apologise as usual for my tardiness. It’s been a crazy few months. We’re just about keeping our heads above water with the house, work, The Belgian’s 8-date tour of Belgium, trying to see family, side projects, and, and, and… Finding time to post photos is a luxury!
So! Here’s a short post with some updates that we made in May and June!
The main wall structure was in place, with the huge long trois pieces en filade divided into two separate rooms and the floorboards roughly sanded. We had taken the door that opened from the kitchen into the dark back room, to put in the middle, so now that open wall in the kitchen had to be sealed, but not before we filled it with pipes and built the structure for the hanging toilet on the opposite side.

Kitchen wall sealed

The small window on top came from the back room

Kitchen plastered

And plastered!

But there was the unusable back room to divide into two spaces – a bathroom and the sleeping section of a kids room. Before doing this we had to put down the false floor in that back room. This was for a few reasons – firstly, all of the plumbing would now go across that floor, and the granito over concrete made it impossible to dig in that space for underfloor pipes. We were forced to lay the pipes on top of the floor. Secondly, we wanted decent insulation in the whole house, and we wouldn’t have had that with the existing granito & concrete.

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False floor in

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SuperJo laying the insulation with The Belgian

So, with my awesome father-in-law and his family, we put down joists to raise the floor by about 15cm. The heating pipes, bathroom discharge pipes and the wiring all snaked between these joists and out under the wooden floor. Then we piled in more of that fluffy insulation and finished off with the soft card and MDF boards. As soon as the division wall went into the back room, we could finally see our mad plans come to light. And they worked!! We have a reasonable sized bathroom (2metres x 3.5 metres) and the back sleeping area is a cosy little nook for the future kids.

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Snaking pipes! Before floors or walls went in!

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Same view in the opposite direction after!

The kitchen floor had to wait until we got the (awkward, see last post!) units in. They were really messy. The walls are not at right angles (of course, that would be way too easy!) so we had to choose which wall to line them with! And then my uncle-in-law cut the worktop to measure so it would fit in, and included the pipes in the casing.

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Basic structure finally in!

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Manipulating the units!

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One of many calls to my Mum-in-law to assure her he was alive and well!

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Finished floor taken late at night!

When it went in my father-in-law (I’ll now start referring to him as SuperJo!) and I got to work on the floor. SuperJo and I started together but it was pretty late in the day and we were only halfway through when he had to take the road home. When he left I was staring the floor, and was so frustrated to not finish the same day. So I sucked all my courage and got cracking on finishing it myself. I cut the first board wrong and started to panic! SuperJo was going to kill me for wasting a board and we got them on discount in a leftovers shop so there are no more left when these are gone!! But I tried again and got it right, wahey! I finished the whole floor on my own and was super proud of myself! I’m actually loving all of the physical work – using a jigsaw on my own for the first time, punching the boards into place with my now-permanently bruised fist – there’s something so satisfying about it all! Photos of the finished product above!
The energy levels were still pretty good at that stage, but we were tiring easily. Even SuperJo who has boundless energy supplies was starting to flag a little. I have to hand it to everyone who helped us, they’re an extraordinary bunch of people. We’re spoiled to be surrounded by great friends and family here in Brussels, and lots of support in Ireland too. Already my family have made trips over to do work for us on the house, and I’m overwhelmed with all of this incredible support. We still manage to have a life in and around Brussels thanks to all of this support!

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Shep on his holidays all this time. He’s only delighted.

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This guy was singing Irish songs on La Feile Bride in Place de Jeu du Balle. Sweet!

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Can’t resist buying some of the smaller features already – these guys will go in the bathroom!

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Beautiful light through our (filthy!) new bedroom windows.

Next post won’t take so long, I promise!!
a x
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