Jonathan: Working at Carrick on the wiring a couple of days ago, I saw a once-familar figure along the road a little – the building inspector. I suddenly remembered that we hadn’t yet applied for a building completion certificate – it had been forgotten about what with certain items unfinished and me being away from home. I had a word with him about this and he said he could come and inspect now and I – unthinkingly – said ‘Great – strike whilst the iron is hot, as it were’. That has proved to be a big mistake: it was apparent that I was making changes to the wiring and additional heating had been installed, and so today I’ve had a letter from the Comhairle (local council) requiring new SAP calculations, electrical certificate etc etc, that will cost hundreds of pounds. What I should have done was get the completion certificate done and then made the changes. What’s worse is that I can’t go back to the original engineers/architects, as I dismissed both and demanded return of fees mostly because the heating system as originally designed was woefully inadequate and indeed fundamentally unsuitable. This build has cost us very dearly indeed, and there’s still no end in sight!
Jonathan: I have on my desk here a bent nail – a nail which may not have been the cause of losing a kingdom, but certainly wasted more than half of this morning. The electrician who did the work on Carrick back in 2008-2009 clearly had a problem with a length of wiring conduit which kept slipping down, so before the plasterboard was fitted he supported the end of the conduit with a bent nail, driven into the edge of an adjacent length of 40×25 strapping. At the time, the cable he’d installed passed by the nail neatly: but trying to feed in a new cable this morning, I just kept encontering the same hard unyielding point – no amount of jigging and poking I did worked. So I had no choice but to start cutting small holes in the plasterboard to find the obstruction, which eventually I did. Which is why I now have this very expensive bent nail on my desk. And there’s more work yet – I’ve got to repair the holes cut in plaster!
Jonathan: This morning I started in earnest a job at Carrick I’ve been dreading. Back in May 2009, as the building of Carrick was virtually complete, we realized the architect’s air-heating system was never going to be adequate, and so we had no choice but to install wall-mounted heaters. At that late stage – the first guest would soon be there! – all we could do was plug them into the normal power circuits. During the course of 2009 and 2010 I progressively installed heaters as money was available, but all on the same make-shift basis. Now, with the house being empty until Christmas, I need to re-arrange the wiring so that the installed heating is all on a dedicated circuit, relieving the loading on the socket ring-mains. So this morning I’ve been setting out materials where they will be required, and tomorrow morning I have to go up into the roof space and start the wiring proper. Oh dear ;~(
We’ve talked it over many times – each time coming to a firm conclusion the opposite or at least diffent to the last time. But now we are definitely and finally decided. More or less as soon as Jonathan is home for good in a week or so’s time, he’ll start work on a new studio/shop for the Hebridean Woolshed. The scandinavian log-style garden cabin we put up (it cost us about £1250 all told!) back in 2003 as a general-purpose garden shop really just isn’t up to the job: not big enough, no enough protection from the weather, from damp and insects; and above all it just looks NAFF!
The new shop will still be in the style of a shed, but more like a traditional Hebridean outbuilding (no I don’t mean falling down and surrounded by old cars!), but solidly built, and at least 50% bigger than the existing shed. It will be positioned so that its outline will be softened with with trees and shrubs.