Our much-promised summer sunshine was at best sporadic this month, so as soon as we got a clear weekend we dashed outside the link to finally get some stain on the doors and frame. We also soaked some oil into the new patio flagstones, and gave the rapidly growing grapevine some support in a general outdoors tidy up session. Just as it was all looking done the rain came down again, and it has continued to alternate between sunshine and thunderstorms for the rest of the month.






Continuing from our painting efforts in June, we finished the undercoat of watery emulsion in the master bedroom this month. We then moved on to the upper hallway, which again features exposed beams and trusses that make painting around the edges very slow going.



Next we moved into the ensuite, where the first job was to install all the plumbing which in turn required us to buy all the shower fixings. We chose a concealed mixer and fixed head similar to the main bathroom, with an additional remote head for serious soaking. That's all a long way in the future though... this month we've been working on battening the outside wall and fitting the mixer and pipework. We also built a timber frame base for the shower tray, then installed the waste pipework through the base and along the floor.



Next the insulation was fitted between battens on the wall, and just before fixing all the plasterboard we pressure-tested the whole shower system to ensure there were no leaks trickling inside the walls. Once signed off as all dry we tacked the plasterboard on, screwed down the shower-tray's plywood base, then got to work fitting insulation on the floor.



After insulating we dropped a sheet of steel mesh down and laid out the underfloor heating pipes. This is our last floor construction, hence the last underfloor heating almost three years after our first experience. We didn't contemplate this significant moment for long before mixing up a ton of screed to cover it all up.



As this was the last flagstone floor we decided to lay it ourselves; it's also the room least likely to be seen by anyone else so we figure any mistakes may go unnoticed...




Happily the flags went down rather well, including a centrepiece featuring a spectacular fossil "growth". After three coats of oil we covered them up with boards to protect the surface during the rest of the ensuite building work. Installing the shower tray was the next task: it's pretty big and heavy and awkward to move, especially as it is exactly the width of the room so manoeuvring it onto the mortar bed on top of the timber frame was pretty tricky work. Eventually we got it in place and levelled off, so it's almost ready for water testing.



The final task this month was to prepare no fewer than 75 slate tiles for the shower walls. Just getting them all in the car at the tile shop was a big job, then we covered the dining room floor with tarps and laid them all out to be doused in a few coats of sealant before they go on the walls. That job can wait until next month.