|We received the rest of the tiles
Finished the foundation of the heat pump
This week we finished the foundation for the heat pump. The tiles in the bathroom on the first floor have been mounted.
Monday 22 November
We had not heard from Gijs on Sunday. I do respect that people have their free time really booked as free, so I was not particularly worried about this. On Monday, I tried to contact Gijs to hear when he would come and start installing the heating system. This failed; I did not get in contact with Gijs.
My plumber asked me when the heating system would be installed, and I did not know. What I did know was that I had promised that Gijs would be able to install the system on Tuesday, tomorrow, if he so liked. The Tiler and the plumber installed a couple of tiles in the utility room where the big tank will be installed. That would cure until tomorrow, and from then on, Gijs could come whenever he liked.
The "conflict" here was that the Tiler preferred to work on the tiles from the living room doing all tiles from west to east, and now we jumped ahead and did a couple of tiles already, which was not something he liked so much. The good thing, though, is that now he has no rush; he can tile at any pace he likes. Well, albeit too slow, obviously. If the Tiler had done it at his pace, the way he preferred, we would get the heater installed in perhaps three weeks.
We ordered paint tonight, and we received a message that the seeds from Vreeken had been sent to us. We placed the seeds order on 29 October, and now they are sending the seeds to us. That is ultrafast compared to last season! Then it took half a year.
Tuesday 23 November
Gijs called us this tonight! He will come to us and start installing the heating system around Tuesday next week. He also explained how we could do with the platform for the outdoor unit. We will look into this and decide how to do it.
I don't get the reasoning of our electrician. The lamps in the house got switches everywhere except in the bathroom, where it is necessary to have light right now because of the tiling. Here there is a cable sticking out of the wall that needs to be connected with another cable. Not nice at all.
Wednesday 24 November
It is already Wednesday. We went to the new house after lunch, and we went via the hardware store. My wife bought a sanding device with a mesh that works better than sanding paper when sanding plaster.
On the way to the new house, I suggested we go to a local garden center. It is not a regular garden center; it is more like a paving specialist company. It was here that I bought the PVC downpipes on 8 January 2021. Back then, I was happy with the service, so I thought we would give them a try again.
The thing is that Gijs got his way of arranging the foundation for the outdoor unit, and I have my doubts. Besides, I have my own agenda with the construction; I want to place extra equipment besides the outdoor unit that Gijs is delivering. The platform could be a little bigger than what he needs.
My wife and I had little different views on how to deal with this. She wanted Gijs to do his thing, and then that would be good. I was more for doing this part myself, presenting Gijs with the platform the way I wanted it, and then he had to take it from there.
Gijs said that usually, he lays out a foundation by having it dug out about 50 cm deep. In the sand, two blocks of curbstones. They are called pavement ribbons in Dutch (Trottoirbanden).
We arrived and explained what we were looking for. We presented the plan as Gijs had told us. The man, the local pavement specialist, said that we could get that if we wanted, but he said that the ground here is not actually suitable for that solution. The two different stones will slide away, and over time the unit will be torn apart. This had to do with the thick layer of clay that we got here.
This resonated with my thinking about his subject. I totally agreed with what he was saying.
Then he presented alternatives that most people use in this area, a plate of concrete held together that the outdoor unit is mounted on. That plate is placed on a gravel foundation, the machine will follow the plate as a whole. Because it is one integral piece, it is more stable than two separate stones.
He showed us a second-hand plate that he had. It was not beautiful, but it fulfilled the requirements. We bought this concrete plate, it will be delivered the following Monday. He will bring with him gravel for the foundation.
The pallet on top of the plate was not included.
I was pleased that we got this solution. The plate is more extended and broader than strictly needed, which is good because I want to build a house around the machine. That the side is not "beautiful" does not matter because it will be hidden somehow.
I also want to have room for other things next to the machine of Gijs. I would like to have the air compressor here and a shop vac as well. I want these to be connected to my workshop through an underground line. This is all early planning, but I already got a place on the workshop floor where this can arrive. That place has no floor heating pipes.
Now I just had one little thing to worry about. The pallets with tiles are on our driveway blocking access to the place where the plate will be installed. This gives me an annoying feeling that there is something in the way, but we will see how that goes.
There is another little detail in this. I would prefer that Gijs is drilling holes through the plate to let the pipe arise within the plate. It might be too much to ask for. I hope not. That way, it will be a house around the machine inside the plate. That would be so much better.
The rest of the afternoon, my wife plastered in our bedroom, and I worked on the hay rack for the second time. The first time was on 3 November. This time I extended the rack so that it became higher with room for more hay. That way, it will take longer before they run out of hay.
It was not until Saturday I could take a photo of the new hay rack. Until then, we only came to the house in the evenings when it was already dark outside.
When we came home, Wednesday evening, we found two packages. One from the paint company. The other package was from Vreekens seeds. We noticed that the package did not contain the seeds of Greek oregano, Clover' Leo', and Field Scabious 'Red.' There was no package message?
In the evening, I sent Gijs an update on the plans for the concrete plate.
Thursday 25 November
Gijs called me this morning. He wanted to be sure that the concrete plate would work for him. We discussed it back and forth, and we both got satisfied.
There will be holes made in the plate for the pipes to come up through the plate. It will be necessary with a cavity under the plate where the pipes can come up through the holes. Gijs will need space to maneuver the pipes up through the holes. I will discuss this with the person delivering the plate to us.
I think I will build a sturdy construction, making room for the pipes. Then we can fill up gravel beside the construction, leaving the cavity open. When Gijs is done, we fill up from the cavity from the other side, covering the pipes.
It is damp in the house now. We would need to open the windows and let fresh air flow throughout, but we have no heating. The Tiler will now start working on the bathroom downstairs. If we just get a working toilet during the weekend, all is fine.
It will be interesting to see how it looks in daylight. Another thing is the green ceiling modifying the colors a little. When that is painted white, it will be different as well.
There will be classical plumber work here now, such as putting up the toilet, the glass wall. The showerhead and the basin.
Today I was called by a guy presenting him as delivery of Plieger. That was odd because we got no message that we had a delivery today. He wanted to deliver one water basin. I asked if he would deliver two, but no, he delivered one. I asked him if he would take the wrong with him, but he had no intention of doing that.
Then he asked me if he could deliver the thing because there was no one at home. I said that a Tiler is working in our house, so there is a person in the house. Then he countered that he could not see any car? I could tell him that the Tiler got no car, the door is open; "you can put the basin inside."
When we came to the house, the basin had been delivered, but the driver had also smashed one of the posts holding up the barrier tape at the dirt road. I restored that.
Now we got three basins. Two incorrect and one correct basin. It goes well.
The sheep were happy with their new augmented hay rack. The next time we modify the hey rack, we might put a bucket for hey at the bottom holding hay they dragged out of the rack. When it falls on the ground, they are not eating it anymore. Perhaps they will eat more of the hay and discard less of the hay that way.
Friday 26 November
Nothing happened at the new house today. The Tiler had a day off. We worked from our old home and gave our sheep more hay and food supplement in the afternoon.
Saturday 27 November
This morning my wife got pain in her neck. I got a backache when I would lift up a crate with things we bring to the new house. This was annoying because I had to work on the preparations of the heat pump, and my wife wanted to continue plastering in the new bedroom.
The plumber was busy mounting the basin and toilet in the bathroom on the first floor. He got them fastened but not connected. It will be exciting when there comes water out of the tap.
My wife made a bucket of plaster that she applied to our bedroom walls on the first floor. We are getting closer to the moment when we can paint the walls of the bedroom. That is also exciting.
There is a considerable amount of moisture in the house right now. The anhydrite floor was 9 and three-quarters cubic meters, and a considerable amount was water. We have not had the wood stove so we could only warm the house with our electric heaters and one broke. Both the Tiler and my wife use water in the plaster and the glue. We can see there is a lot of condensed water on the windows. It is necessary to get the heating in the house turned on.
I am looking forward to Gijs coming and installing the heating system. That is sometime next week.
To prepare for Gijs, my son and I extended the square of the concrete plate that we made last weekend. I don't have the precise measurement of the concrete plate, but it is approximately two and a half meters by one and 20 centimeters.
We dug out the extra foundation. Then we made the entry area for the pipes wider so that it is easier to get the pipes installed. I started building a barrier between the work area of Gijs and the rest of the foundation below the plate. That was not finished today. Tomorrow we will finish the barrier and remove things we got on the driveway so that when Erik, the pavement specialist, delivers the concrete plate, he can access the area from the driveway.
When my wife had finished one bucket of plaster, I drove her to our old home. My son and I continued working on the heating pump preparations. My back hurt; it was drizzly, cold, and moist clay.
Overall this was not emotionally a wonderful day, but we carried on and made progress. That was feeling good. In the evening, I started doing the belly muscle exercises that I usually do when back pain. I lie on my back and curl up to tension my belly muscles. When they get stronger, they can help the back muscles. I don't know how it works, but it is working. For me, it is working at least, and that is what counts.
On the way to the new house, we first went to the hardware store to pick up a painting roller, a bucket, and a stick for the roller. My son also bought a new tire for his bike. We were standing in the queue for the checkout when I politely asked the person behind me to back off so that we could have a one and a half meters distance. He told me he was already on a one and a half meter distance which was obviously wrong, but I gave him a chance, so I measured our distance by reaching out my hand, and indeed I could almost touch him – with my one and a half meters long arms.
Today there were no plumber nor Tiler in the house. We had our new house to ourselves. That is also nice. It is not that cozy without the woodstove and no heating and moisture in the house, but it sure is not as cold inside as outside.
My wife continued plastering the wall in the bedroom on the first floor, and I continued working on the barrier, making it possible for Gijs to install the pipes under the concrete plate. In the afternoon, I had finished the work.
I am curious how this construction will live up against the pressure from the rubble the will fill up the bottom of the platform. It is essential that the construction is getting rubble on both sides first and that the rest is filled up after that. I will explain it to Erik when he comes tomorrow.
It was even sunny today. I took a nice winter photo of the sheep. We need to move the sheep to the platform, but since we will get the heat pump installed and Erik, the pavement specialist needs access with his big tractor, they are still beside the platform, but it is getting sticky.
I do think that Gijs also need access to the platform because he will come with the heat pump, and it is also big and heavy.
We removed the trailer and the haystack from the platform to be completely free from obstacles. Now it is only the tiles in the way, but I think Erik will drive beside the driveway a little or move the tiles to the side.
Our son worked on his bike. He replaced the flat front tire with a new tire. Since the pandemic started, he has not biked, so it is about time to fix this bike and have it ready when he would like to bike somewhere.
This week my wife and I could work on two separate tracks. She plastered, and I prepared for the heat pump. The Tiler worked in the house as well, and that was about it. We still got a pandemic, so we cannot have too many people in the house simultaneously.
It has taken me a lot of thinking to get the foundation for the heat pump as solid as I wish it to be. It has been cold, wet, and most of all: Very sticky clay. It will be exciting to see if the wood construction will hold for the rubble poured into the base.
I was born 1967 in Stockholm, Sweden. I grew up in the small village Vågdalen in north Sweden. 1989 I moved to Umeå to study Computer Science at University of Umeå. 1995 I moved to the Netherlands where I live in Almere not far from Amsterdam.
Here on this site I let you see my creations.
I create, that is my hobby.