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Another momentous week.
Let’s start with the fact that we have basically started the work (even though we wished to wait for the end of Ramadan). When I say start – the blocks for the interior walls turned up today – eventually. They were sent late and the truck sending them broke down on the way…. great start – but as we are paying a fixed price is doesn’t really matter to us.
So what work has been done. The builders have drawn out lines on the floor where the walls are going to be. We also had a structural engineer in the house. He has stated that almost everything we wanted to do will be fine – but there were a few changes that are needed. The biggest is that we will probably not be able to move the door in Mum’s apartment so we will need to re-think what will be happening with the kitchen. The second change is that there is a vertical supporting beam between two of the windows in the kitchen – so we cannot join them together to form one large window as wished. The engineer also stated that there are two vertical supporting beams between the corner and main windows of the lounge which looks out over the valley. We are hoping to extend the middle window to 3.2m wide (the largest standard size Anderson window of the type chosen). The only physical work that has been done is to check where these beams are. They opened one side to find the beam and from what I could see, extending the window should not be a problem.
The engineer also found a very small amount of supporting metal and concrete that needs to be replaced before it becomes an issue.

On top of this the only house related work has been in relation to contract and paying out money….
We are in the process of completing the contract with Yaniv (Contractor) all prices are agreed but we have to finalise exactly what we are doing – an example is that we decided not to build an “English” window in the store-room and we will be using electric ventilation running on a timer instead. This will save over 10,000NIS and will be better as we can’t accidentally forget to open the window for an hour during the week.
We are also looking through contracts for the hot water system and air conditioning. Having had plumbing training whilst between jobs in the UK, Adam was very specific about what he wanted. We are having under floor heating in the main floor and our bedroom. We are also using a closed water system (The water to be used is heated by water in a pipe running through the hot water tank – in Israel the standard is an open water system where the hot water in the tank is heated directly by the sun through collectors). We are still using solar energy as our main source of heating the hot water tank – but we are using a heat pump as the secondary source for the hot water tank as well as the only source of heat for the under floor heating. We have also designed the hot water to be pushed around the house in a full circle (circuit) both starting and finishing at the water tank. This will allow us to have instant hot water at the taps (without the normal 10-15 seconds of wasted water whilst waiting for hot water to arrive at the tap).
Air conditioning. Coming from the UK, we know less than nothing about air conditioning except that is expensive! In the main house we have gone with units built into both the ceiling and the carpentry units (in the dining area). For this system we are using a single Toshiba VRF system as the price has dramatically fallen for these units lately. For mum’s apartment we are using on wall Gree units which are supposedly the same sort of quality as Mitsubishi/Fujitsu without the same price tag.

That’s all for now.
That is apart from water apparatus. My wife had an offer at work for a Tami4 water dispenser – and as we do not like the shape of the filtered water taps we have bought one of these to be hidden in a kitchen cupboard. We have also finally had our Bosch Dishwasher installed – and it seems to be cleaning the dishes really well. We also now have a microwave.

Adam.

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