Monday, May 5, 2014

Progress Report...

Well, the typical equinoxual weather has arrived and the autumnal rains have started back home. At least it is still warm enough that the grass will start to recover from the drought before the cold of winter stops it in its track. The build is cracking along with colonnades being started 2 weeks ago. The carriage house floor is waiting to be poured as there is a hold up with the building consent, but that should be through next week and the concrete should be able to be completed before it gets really wet.

After the colour was chosen, we received a sample of the actual exterior finish of the house. The plaster, shown below, will be just under 1 inch thick as shown in this slab, and it is flecked with sandstone / silica (which glints only when viewed into the sun not away from it as in this shot). The actual finish will be finer / smoother than that shown below, but not flat. Beside the slab of plaster is one of the carved stone corbels which run all around the eaves of the house.

As well as starting on the corbels they have started to manufacture the over-sized balusters needed for the lower terrace...

Meanwhile on the inside of the house they have started to frame and gib the rooms and place heat insulation in the roof space and sound insulation in the wooden walls...
Above: Atrium ceiling with 'Pink Bats'

Below: Same ceiling gibbed. The wire hanging down is where the large chandelier will hang. They have yet to fashion the dome for it.

They have also started framing up the bath cradles. This one is in the Blenheim Ensuite...
Below: the same cradle, but with the water proof concrete board ready to be tiled, in this case with Carrara marble.

Below: Spa bath sitting in the corner of Brideshead Suite waiting to be installed.

Below: View of the Brideshead bathroom bath cradle.

Below: Rough plastering in kitchen prior to finishing layer.

View from Salon through to foyer.

The blue cables seen above and below are the data cables to each room, the white ones are standard lighting cables. Below: View from Salon through Music Room into Ballroom...

Below: Plan of the wooden flooring for the Music Room and Ballroom.

One of the more practical aspects of the build was the waste water system. As one is in the countryside without access to town sewage, there are two choices - 1. putting in a large septic tank which needs to be emptied every few years or 2. installing a waste treatment system. We chose the latter. So all our waste is processed and turned into safe gray water, and then pumped out into a field. We decided not to waste the waste water, and installed the dripper pipes in Badger's Wood, which will provide good irrigation to those trees over summer...

Meanwhile Peter and Noel have almost finished the potting shed. The only things which remain are the door, the steps, and the top coat of paint (the white undercoat shown  below will be painted over with an off white).

The door has a Gothic ogee arch at the top, which Peter is having fashioned by the builders. Til then it is half boarded-up. Eventually the wisteria in the pots will grow up stakes as tall as the eaves and form large standardised features.


  1. Must be so exciting to have so much progress -it's a real house now!

  2. I applaud you on your choice of installing such an ecologically sound waste water treatment. Many years ago I read of Prince Charles' reed bed system at Highgrove and said to myself if I am ever in a position to decide on such matters, this would be the way to go. Bravo!


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