Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The Wooden Frame

Our friend Marian has now been employed as our building contractor and his team of carpenters, led by Rudolf, are putting together the wooden frame of the house. They started at the beginning of June and these photos were taken on 16 June. Everything is happening really quickly now, and the skeletal frame should be ready to mount on the foundations on 21/22 June.

We will then be able to get an official valuation of the house (the walls will be more than one metre high!), transfer our flat mortgage to the house, and sell our flat to raise the cash for the next stages. We have found buyers for the flat who (if they don't pull out!) have agreed to pay straight away and let us stay in the flat until the end of September, so the house will have to be ready by then!

By the way, we have now come back round to the idea of having a heat pump to provide heat and hot water, and not solar panels! The heat pump can be connected to the 'Sole Kollektor' and the 'Sole-Luft Wärmetauscher' (official English translation welcome!). 270m of 3cm-wide tubes have already been installed 2.5, 1.8 and 1.1m deep in an 80cm-wide and 45m-long trench under the garden. An anti-freeze fluid will run through these tubes. We went a bit overboard, as 160m would have been enough, but we can always choose to connect up only two of the 90m long tubes. Bjorn is negotiating a good deal on the heat pump with an Austrian company, as our house will be the 'pilot project' in Slovakia.

Check out: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geothermal_heat_pump for more info

The first walls of our house and Adam in the workshop.
Alex the carpenter says, "Mummy, how long did you say I had to finish this jigsaw puzzle?"

The pieces of wood with the gaps and mesh have come from Germany and the rest from Slovakia.

Various pieces of the frame ready to be put together.

Adam and Alex carry out a quality control. Cellulose (recycled newspaper) 360mm thick will be blown into the walls during the final stage to provide insullation.

Alex looking through the windows.

Foundations Finished - March 2007

We've had a bit of a break in postings due to technical reasons, as our home computer crashed with lots of photos on it and we haven't been able to recover the hard drive yet. Emma has also started a new job and has been very busy. Anyway, the foundations were finished in March 2007 and these photos were taken in April 2007. The West garden and base for SW terrace with pebbles. 270m of 3cm-wide tubes for the heating system have already been installed 2.5, 1.8 and 1.1m deep in an 80cm-wide and 45m-long trench under the garden.
The back garden and base for terrace with pebbles.

Most of the foundations with Adam, Emma and Alex and vineyards in the background. There is a good echo down the pipe!

Front garden, path and shed with detail of wall foundations.

The East garden and SE terrace (pebbled area). The mound of earth is where the carport will be and is being saved to make the clay 'plaster'. In front of it are the foundations for the main shed.

The East fence and garden from another angle. A cycle path runs under the row of trees in the background.