Saturday 21 December 2013

A Spate of Problems

We had been off site for some time when we returned it was clear that something had gone wrong on the most recently rendered walls. The walls were very patchy and had much larger cracks than any of the hairline cracks we had before. The walls were also not as smooth and in parts almost looked pitted. Having put so much work into every aspect of the house I cannot leave those walls as they are, even if it means putting another coat of render on them myself. The only cause I can think of is that the render had too much water in it. As the weather has got warmer the render has been getting more and more water in it and it may have come to a tipping point where this has caused a significant difference in how it has dried and the finished result. We will have to go back and do an area using a less wet mix and see if the finish goes back to that of the earlier walls that were done. The flow on effect is that the rendering of the internal walls will not be finished before Christmas, so the floor will not be able to be completed and we will not be able to live inside. I am disappointed by this, but would much rather a well finished house than some patchy cracked walls just for the sake of a bit of time. 
Patchy render finish
Big cracks and pitted texture to render

Our neighbours are building a large shed and needed to run stormwater from there to the front of their block. They suggested that we connect the overflow from our water tank through their block to the street rather than having to do a pit in the backyard for the stormwater as, due to the slope of the land and that we are a battle axe block, we cannot run our stormwater to the street through our block. I advised our plumber of this and because we did not need to get a pit in the backyard any more I arranged for the excavators to come in and level the block. Our neighbours were advised by Council that they could not just allow the stormwater to go through their block without an easement. This was not an option so now we need to do pit in the backyard again and I have now got my sequencing all wrong by getting the excavators in to do the levels before the plumber put in the stormwater pit. We will also have to try and keep the tank half full so we don’t end up with an overly soggy patch in the backyard every time we get a downpour. 

The first rangehood we bought was larger than the size described in the brochure, so we had to return it, frustratingly the appliance store would only give us an exchange voucher and not a refund. Limited to what was on offer at the appliance store we bought another rangehood. It fitted the cupboard but was slightly higher than the previous one. Cutting out the hemp with a cold chisel to make room for the exhaust for the rangehood was easy until I found that I hit a stud and a noggin. The noggin had been put in so that I was able to hang the kitchen cupboards from the frame. 

I am making the the ducting for the exhaust from the rangehood from 150mm plumbing pipe since I need a 90 degree elbow and otherwise it is a very short run straight out the wall. The pipe just hit the bottom part of the noggin and once side of the stud. Not wanting to reduce the strength of the stud too much I decided to angle the ducting so that I just had to take off the corner of the stud. This was not as easy as it first seemed.

To add to my woes or perhaps because my thinking had been clouded by my woes, in trying to put in the exhaust for the rangehood I drilled through an electrical cable. An electrical cable that ran straight through a stud, with the cable cut halfway through the stud. The cable was for the power point for the rangehood and thankfully the power point circuit was turned off. In my defence the cable looked like it went through lower than it did, but I should have been more careful and consulted the photographs of the frame and wiring like I did when choosing how and where to attach the kitchen cupboards. I went through the now usual method of problem solving: tears, anger, then solution.  I moved the power point. I chipped out a bit more wall until the cut cable was long enough to attach to a power point. I then chased in the longer part of the cable so that it too came out at the same place. A beautiful solution, except that the power point is now on the opposite side of the rangehood to the power cord, but it will all be inside a cupboard so no one will see this. 
Cut power cord

Duct hole and moved power point

The upset and disappointment of all these disasters was washed away by the hot water of a long shower; the first in the house where the hot water came out of a tap and not a kettle. While we had been off site the plumbers came around and installed the regulator for the gas bottles. We hooked up a barbecue LPG bottle temporarily while we waited for delivery of the full size bottles. The power points for the house are not yet functional so we put an extension cord from the meter box to the instantaneous gas hot water unit and with gas and power connected finally had that true sign of an advanced civilisation – hot water on tap. The Methven Satinjet water saving shower head gave such a luxurious evenly spread flow of water it served to confirm the severe shortcomings of the water saving shower heads we have put up with for the last 10 years. 

No comments:

Post a Comment