Heating / Plumbing First Fix

So…. Over the last couple of weeks the plumbing/heating chap has been doing his bit.  He seemed very slow, but has done what looks like a neat job, and as long as it works that’s all that we care about!

So first up the solar panel is up on the roof

All the tubing/piping etc runs through a shaft to the cellar room on the other side of the house thru a corner of the kitchen, in the following 2 photos you see the bundle in the cellar and also the kitchen.


The white pipe is the exhaust from the boiler

We will be having radiators in most rooms.   The piping for these runs along the floor, to some kind of distribution block and there are strange mount things plastered into the walls.  Never seen such a system before.



These last few pics are in the main bedroom upstairs.  In the bottom right photo you see the mount thing, although in this case it actually connects to something on the other side of the wall which you can see in the following photo.  That the basthroom upstairs;

This room has underfloor heating, and the radiator in this case will be a towel rail type thingy….

In the other plumbed rooms we have;

Ground floor WC

Sink/Basin connections closest to camera.  Shitter is furthest away.

Cellar Shower room;


Here the bog is mounted in the corner, to allow more room for the shower area.  The white placcy box is the macerator, which allows us to have such plumbing in the cellar.

Next up comes the Screed which should be being done this week!  We’ll see.


January 2012 Update – Putz

Wow, I just realised that I have not updated this blog since November, a disgraceful performance for which Iapologise, although to be fair not a great deal has changed in that time.

Firstly the underpart of the Rendering is done.  This has not got any further due to the weather, they needa couple of days of dry warmish weather really.



Also all the plastering inside is finished. They did all the outside and inside in less than a week.




Just before Christmas the difficult builder finally finished the garage foundations.  He was given instructionsto leave some holes on one part so that the utilities can pass thru them. It will be interesting to see if he has done that, you can imaginejust for the sake of being difficult he maybe has not….. We will see.


That’s pretty much it to be honest,progress is pretty slow.  The project manager is still as uselessas ever, he needs constant reminding to his job otherwise he does f*ckall.  Very annoying.  I have taken to send him an email everyweek listing his outstanding actions.

We met the chap who will be supplyingthe staircase last week.  An interesting experience, the standardspecification is not the most stylish to be honest, its metal supportedwith beech (prob laminate) steps.  He had a catalogue in which heshowed us some other options, one of them we quite liked, however he wantedan extra 1200 euro for that option!  A 50% increase on the standardcost.  We had to be sensible, knowing it would never add any valueto the house we decided not to bother.  So we then asked him how muchto change the standard steel handrail for a wooden one….. 700€, againsod that.  The wife has some ideas of how to beautify the stairs alittle so I guess we will do that.

At the moment the first installation of the heating stuff is being done.  That’s scheduled to be finishednext Monday.  I’ll try and get some photos up of that.  Theyhope to be able to put the solar panel on the roof too, but that will beweather dependant.

After that, the screed will be going down and the inside can start to be completed.  I think when thathappens we will feel like we are actually getting somewhere.  Ourapartment is cancelled as of the end of march, so they need to get theiract together.  We actually have it in our contract that the buildshould have only taken 6 months (meaning end of December 2011), I thinkit would be in our interests to speak to a lawyer to see if we can getsome kind of reimbursement from the building company.

We will feel much happier actually whenthe utilities are connected, the project manager has supposedly been workingon that, the truth is tho all he needs to do is make a phone call whichseems to be beyond him.  I may pass that responsibility on to a friend with better german language skills than me…..

First Fit Electrics + End of Rohrbau

Its been a while since the windows went in now and it feels like not much has happened.  The builder chap has been massively dragging his heels making pretty slow progress.  The main Building firm however have been working on this and promised us a financial solution will be made.  The problem however now is that our flat is cancelled from the end of January!  So they have to be finished by then in our opinion, if not we expect them to find accomodation for us!  We will see.

The builder chap sent a fantastic email to the project manager which I am tempted to translate and put up here….not sure tho.

Some of the work quality is not at the standard I would expect, check this out…..

A bit rough, I was clearly spotted photographing this though as it was repaired the next visit!

After the email to the project manager it was clear that they could no-longer work together, so our case has now been taken over the the chief project manager of the main builder company.  Very good from our side, he doesnt take any shite from the builder and there actually seemed to be some respect towards him! 

Anyway, we think his work is pretty much finished now, all the interior walls are in place, the windows in the cellar have been fitted and externally the waterproofing is completed and the installation of the light-shafts (is that the name?) is complete.  The cellar is actually pretty bright, so we are happy with that.

Here are some outside pics.



It seems odd that on the street side they have taken away the safety fence!  Hopefully that’s not going to be a problem, it was done without informing us.

You can spot in a few of those pics wires poking through the walls.  This is where we will have outside lights and also a plug socket on the terrace.  They are there of course because the first fit of the elctrics has been done in the last week.

Some more pics so you can see how its done here;

This one shows what we have on the wall typically.  The left most one I have added myself over the weekend as the quote from the electrician was ridiculously high tbh!

From left to right we have here,

Twin LAN (network) / Twin Sat TV / Plug socket / Plug Socker

We have added LAN & TV in both bedrooms on the top floor, the living room, the bedroom in cellar and also the hobby room in the cellar.  Of course they wont all be used but its much better than having to add them later.

The cables from these sockets are run along the floor;

These will be covered by the screed when it goes down eventually.  You can see where I have added cables, as neat as I could manage, but not ideal.

Where there is a light fitting planned we have this coming from the ceiling;

All the cables then run through a hole in the floor to the cellar;

These all finish in the utility room down there, here we will also position the Sat TV distributor and the network hardware.

Next stage is that both under coat of the render is being done this week (week 46) as is the internal plastering.

That difficult builder only has the Garage foundations left to do.


Windows in and potential progress……

This last week we have had a bit of progress in that the windows (mostly) have been fitted. 

These are a nice quality unit, all tilt and swing open (inwards which is a bit odd to us english but helps cleaning).  The big french windows on the back of the house all open which will be nice.  The big windows in the cellar let in loads of light, we were pleasantly surprised by that.  The smaller windows in the cellar are yet to be fitted, the rohrbau firm will fit those apparently.




The front door is just a temp one as its likely to get damaged during the build.

There is some progress regarding the ongoing discussion with the Rohrbau chappie.  In the last week I have been on copy of lots of emails between the proj manager and him.  Frankly after a while they both ended up looking like a pair of children and couldn’t even agree on when and where to meet.

Yesterday morning the builder contacted me directly asking if we could meet.  No problem, so I met him last night.  Seems he has no enthusiasm at all to have any more contact with the proj manager, not good.  Anyway, we went together through his bill with me pointing out what problems I had with certain things on the bill and what I accepted.  He seemed to accept some things but not others, I hope he will get back to me soon with a new proposal so we can see how it goes from there….

If we agree quickly he will work friday and saturday this week finishing the building off so we can continue with the rest.  We need to get the electrics roughly installed as the next stage.  The reason for that is that a few things will go outside, a couple of outside lights aswell as a plug socket for the terrace.  These need to be in place before the render can be applied.  We want to get that done v.quickly because the scaffolding contract means that after the end of OCT we have to start paying!

Roof On + Some Interior pics

Nothing much has happened about the issues mentioned in the last post.  I think it will be worth our while getting some advice from a Lawyer before too long tho.

We popped up this morning to see what’s been going on.

Here are some interior pics, first the upstairs.





Some pics of the views from the upstairs windows there too.

Now the Ground Floor




Cellar Level

   Stairs + Shower Room

  Smaller Room – This will be a guest bedroom, its big enough for a double.

   Technic room, boiler washer etc.

    Big room, this will be our hobby/games room.

A couple of outside pics with the roof on, looks pretty good I think.


We met one of the new neighbours also, a really nice guy, an architect who lives in one of the flats in that horrible looking building.  He was giving us some good advice about dealing with the builder issues and gave us the contact details of a good lawyer.  So that’s a bonus!

Good Progress combined with a massive kick in the Nads !!

I’ll start with the good stuff.

Seems in the past couple of weeks we have been making some really good progress on the build, so here are some pics which I think I was too bone idle to upload.

With the land filled in around the cellar;


After that the scaffolding was lobbed up and since then the brickwork for the 1st floor has been built.




Then we popped back along yesterday and they have started with the roof which will be finished this week !

All good, putting us ahead of the timing plan.  We will actually be doing something ourselves on the roof.  The overhang wood is not treated or painted as part of the standard service.  They wanted an extra 830€ to do that, so we will do it ourselves!

Anyway, the massive kick in the gonads I mentioned.  The subcontractor who carries out the building of the walls etc. billed us on sunday for what he described as non-contracted work.  Some of these things were expected, however some where not.  We had guessed and budgetted for approx 5000€, however he has invoiced us for 13000€ worth!  I think its going to be a tricky discussion actually, he had no authorisation from us to do any of the tasks mentioned and hence no contract to do this work.  Some of the values mentioned on the invoice are clearly inflated (maybe he expects people to barter him down).

Luckily one of the commenters from this blog and his wife have been very helpful in giving us advice in this matter so we have a good idea how to proceed, so thanks A & S !

We have told him we will be questioning and appealing against the bill which I am sure he is delighted with.  At the same time we have asked for support and feedback from the main building contractor pointing out that this way of working goes clearly against their terms and conditions.  I think the whole thing is going to drag on for a while unfortunately, meaning lots of stress for us.

The contractor in question’s work is almost finished, so I am hopeful it is not going to cause us a delay.

Timing Plan

So, we finally received the timing plan for the build, here’s how its supposed to go…..

Nr Item Start End
1 Building Begin 11/07/2011 11/07/2011
2 Rough Work (Walls/Floors etc.) 11/07/2011 12/09/2011
3 Scaffolding 08/08/2011 08/08/2011
4 Roof Carpentery 12/09/2011 14/09/2011
5 Roof Tiling / Slating 15/09/2011 20/09/2011
6 Window Installation 21/09/2011 21/09/2011
7 Electrical Installation 22/09/2011 28/09/2011
8 Heating – Plumbing Rough Installation 29/09/2011 05/10/2011
9 Under Rendering (outside) 22/09/2011 26/09/2011
10 Interior Plastering 06/10/2011 11/10/2011
11 Damproofing 1 22/09/2011 23/09/2011
12 Outer (Final) Rendering 11/10/2011 12/10/2011
13 Scaffolding removal 13/10/2011 13/10/2011
14 Underfloor heating and screeding 06/10/2011 12/10/2011
15 Damproofing 2 17/10/2011 19/10/2011
16 Heating System Installation 20/10/2011 21/10/2011
17 Final Electrical Installation 24/10/2011 26/10/2011
18 Screed drying time 24/10/2011 21/11/2011
19 Wall Tile Installation 20/10/2011 26/10/2011
20 Floor Tile Installation 22/11/2011 28/11/2011
21 Interior Painting 29/11/2011 12/12/2011
22 Interior Door Installation 13/12/2011 13/12/2011
23 Stairwell Rail Installation 20/10/2011 21/10/2011
24 House Hand Over 03/02/2012 03/02/2012

If everything goes to plan we should be able to be moving in in January.  We’ll see

Ground Floor Complete-ish




Ceiling is in place as are basement stairs.

Horrid black stuff is damp-proofing.

Retaining Wall

As mentioned in the last post we have asked them to look at a retaining wall in the garden.

This will be important to maximise the space we have available at the end, so I went back to the CAD to get some  rough sizes after discussing what they think is possible and realistic.  I wasn’t happy with the original model I made as it didn’t seem to match up with the reality of the build, so I have restarted and it seems much more accurate now.







We will see what they come back with!

Ground floor





Headed up to the plot at the weekend to see how its going. Looking pretty good now.  They are just waiting for the cases for the roller shutters to be delivered (today) then they can fit the ceiling to the ground floor.

We have slowed things down a little by asking the company building the current walls to look at building a retaining wall in the garden area. I fear this could be pricey….