The oak floor has now been installed on the lower ground floor. We use a local sanding specialist to both sand and oil the floor. At time of writing this post, the floor has only one coat of oil, but it looks really good. In the past I have hired floor sanders and got on with it myself, and was a bit sceptical on the advice that it should be done by a ‘professional’, but I was wrong. Knowing that the sanding company was doing the lower ground floor, I thought I would get them to do the hall on the ground floor too – a mixture of old flooring and new. The results were were astounding!
First the hall floor was installed by the carpenters. We had the existing oak floor (made in early 1960s) re-profiled so that the extension in the hall matched. We were never sure how the old and new were going to blend in – until it was sanded…
The top half of the photo is the new floor, the bottom part of the photo is the existing floor – I thought it would look different, a little darker, but it is pretty much identical. It needs to be oiled next – that will be the acid test, I guess. I think I might get these guys to do the other floor boards in the house!
When the rendering was done, the house looked clean and new. However, as we are keeping the existing roof, the original concrete barge caps made it all look a little drab at roof level. We came up with a solution to encapsulate the entire edge with a timber barge board that would fix into the existing concrete roof. It seems to have done the trick. The new barge boards tie-in with the new fascias for the guttering along the eaves and all of this timber edging to the roof will be painted the same colour as the windows.
Our utility room on the lower ground floor is the only part of the original floor slab that we didn’t lower as we didn’t see the benefit of all the disruption involved with such an intervention. The disadvantage though is that we have less opportunity to insulate it to the high standard that we have for the new floor (see earlier post). We are at least able to increase the floor by a maximum of 40mm in order to meet the level of the new (higher section) floor and have specified spacetherm. This is a very thin insulation blanket, which is bonded to chipboard. We opt for 20mm thickness of spacetherm (+18mm chipboard), which gives us the make-up we need. The spacetherm is highly efficient, with an exceptionally low conductivity of 0.013 W/m.K, which impoves the U-value of the floor from the original 0.72 W/m².K down to an acceptable 0.26 W/m².K (approximately the standard required for houses built to 2010 Part L Building Regulations)
To facilitate the future energy monitoring of the house, I asked our electrician to install sub-meters on all our circuits, e.g. lighting, general sockets, kitchen sockets, cooker, immersion, etc. These have now been installed and will be connected to the data logging equipment when that gets delivered in a few weeks time.
I also intend to connect the incoming gas and electricity meters to the logging equipment, but we need to upgrade our existing meters to modern ones with a pulsed output. Trying to explain this to the utilities companies is a bit like trying to explain the mere concept of climate change to George W. Bush. Even when I am prepared to pay for a meter upgrade, they won’t do it. I am investigating ways of doing this still (by speaking to the right meter operator), but if it comes to it I will fit my own meters on the customer side of the existing meter – seems crazy though. More on this topic will follow…