Thursday, 3 December 2015

Plumbing, Ventilation, and Some Issues

Another couple of weeks have past and there has been lots of activity at the house.

The main work has been the installation of the ventilation unit, plumbing in of the heating and all the pipework for water and drainage. This was started on Monday 23rd November and finished on Wednesday 2nd December.

The start of the work immediately highlighted a problem as the radiators that were delivered would not fit under the windows once the screed is in. New, smaller radiators were ordered but this made us look more closely at the hight of the windows upstairs and it looks like they will be just 70cm high once the screed is in, which is very low. Looking at the plans from the architect, the windows do appear to be planned this low on the blueprints, although there is no actual measurement in the plans showing the hight.  It seems unbelievable to us that an architect could plan such low windows without mentioning this. After a bit of Googling it looks like windows under 80cm require extra safety bars so we really hope they are at least 80cm high once the flooring is in.

The new radiators needed to be hung extremely high up, right under the windowsill,  in order to be far enough from the floor to allow for circulation of air.



As you can see, this looks a little odd and the windowsill itself is blocking the airflow from the top of the radiator.

After discussing the radiator issue with our Allkauf contact and their sub-contractor they agreed to allow us to upgrade the windowsills (that were damaged during the installation) to stone ones that are not as deep so they won't hang over the radiators. We also made it clear we were very unhappy that we were not made aware that there were other windowsills available at the sampling day.

We only have to pay for the difference in price to the original ones.  This will hopefully resolve the circulation issue and look less odd. We haven't yet addressed the 70cm high windows as we want to wait for the screed to see just how high they are and how this looks before we decide what to do about this.

The rest of the plumbing seems to have gone fairly smoothly. There was an issue that the plumbers built in the frame to hold the bathroom sink too close to the toilet but we spotted this and asked them to move it (not easy as none of them spoke German or English, just Bulgarian. - quite frustrating), which they did.

Here's how the work progressed:

1. They started by hanging the boiler and ventilation unit in the cellar, then laid the water and heating pipes.


Ventilation unit:

Boiler and water tank:


Pipes in the kitchen:


Pipes in Sophies room:


2. They then laid the pipes for the ventilation unit that will pump in fresh air to every room.










3. Next were the frames for the bathroom suite

(Before they widened the gap between the sink and toilet)


And in the downstairs bathroom:


4. The radiators were hung. Annoyingly the pipes are outside of the wall and bright red. We assumed these would have been in the wall considering the walls are hollow. We can probably paint them but is seems like a simple thing to do and makes a big difference to the end quality.



5. Finally three layers of polystyrene were laid on the ground floor and the pipes for the floor heating then tacked to the top layer in spiral patterns.



We had never thought that there would be such a thick layer of polystyrene under the screed, making the roof of the cellar to the floor of the ground floor around 50cm and very well insulated!



The plumbers tell us they have tested the pipes for leaks and will return to finish connecting things up and hanging the solar panels once the screed has been laid.

This will be poured next week on Tuesday and Wednesday and will make such a difference to the look and feel of the house, hiding all the workings and finally making it feel more like a home.



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