self-build spot light

Time to start installing things in our self-build

It’s all getting very exciting now, our self-build is coming along. We can see that it won’t be long before we move into Horatio. This week Nik has been installing the big things.

It has been a week of frustrations for Nik also as he’s been doing the plumbing and working on installing the electrics. He has come to the conclusion that an electrician may well be the answer as far as the electric are concerned as at the moment, it’s all a bit gobbledygook for him. Some things in a self-build still need a professional. For now, he has fitted the power control unit into its position and has left to get on with other jobs.

The leisure batteries are under the settee. They have been earthed and connected. Nik has placed them in the middle of the van for even weight distribution. This position is also easy to get to from the side, should he need to. In front of that, but under the first step is the freshwater tank, again in the middle for even weight distribution, and easy to get at from under the step for cleaning and such. We wanted the water inside as we don’t want it freezing in the winter. Nik has installed the water boiler and pump. We’ve opted for a boiler that uses gas and electric so we can save gas when on electric. Nik has installed this under the parrot cage, next to the bathroom, I believe the reason had something to do with balancing the weights around the van.  

The bathroom is complete, with a small shower area; separate from the sink and toilet, so that we can hang wet clothes in it. Nik has used plastic sheets to seal the three walls, which will hopefully keep that area nice and waterproof. The toilet swivels sideways. This gives extra space for washing. The sink unit is above the toilet. The tap is installed between the shower and sink so that it can be used for both, saves on the extra fittings. This picture isn’t so good as I did it quickly and missed half the things out.

Moving on to the kitchen, We now have a sink with draining board. Something I haven’t had the pleasure of for two years. In Daisy, we have to use a bulky plastic trainer, which sits on the hob. Which is a brilliant extra addition to our lives because before that it was a tea towel.

Under the sink, Nik has installed the LPG gas bottle. Near to that, we have our spanking new oven and hob. An exciting addition to this for us is an extra gas ring so we don’t have to juggle pots all the time. Rarely need more than three. There is space for storage beside this. Nik can’t add this until the gas man has been and connected the cooker and boiler. He’s booked for next Wednesday.

At the end of the kitchen is the fridge. It did take us a while to decide on the fridge and the cooker as there are a lot of choices, but in the end, our choices came from the experience of living in Daisy for two years. We have realised that with only two of us living in this space we don’t need a big cooker or fridge as we like to shop every few days anyway. This is a good thing because it gives us more space and less weight.

The work surface is thick wood, which Nik will oil once he’s finished using it for his tools. I would have picked a lesser quality unit, but as a chef, this was a no compromise for Nik. Fair enough. As you will see it is fairly long, as I think I mentioned in the previous post this is a must if you are going to cook from scratch. And was a no compromise area for both of us.

So Nik has finished the shelves with lips, to stop things falling off. We decided to go for this rather than cupboards because in the winter when the windows aren’t often opened, the lack of air circulation causes damp and we are trying to avoid that if we can. Fingers crossed this works to hold on the baskets we will be using to store things in as I like them. For extra stability, Nik has added decorative, metal corners which I’m loving because yes they look nice, but also I have many hanging decorations that these will be good for.

There is a bookshelf in the space beside the side door. Very much needed because as hard as we try not to collect books, it happens and then we have no place to put them. Last, Nik has put in all the electrical fittings; they just need connecting. Last for now, I have made a start on the cushion covers. One down four to go.

I’m going to finish on a disappointing note. Nik has at last sourced a door. It didn’t arrive as expected on Monday. Unfortunately, it didn’t. At the present, we have no idea what is going on with it. The company we bought it from is slow to answer emails. So we ‘ve left it in the hands of the people we bought it from and are hoping for answers as to when we can expect it soon. Hopefully, it will arrive before we’re ready to move in.

For more posts about Project Horatio click here

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