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Hi,

We have been continuing to move at a reasonable pace – but with the same single issue holding us back.

Planning permission: Our plans went to the “va’ada”/planning meeting on Thursday. We have been told that we will receive the answer by mail either yesterday or today. It wasn’t in yesterday’s post, we will check when we get home tonight. If it is not there then the structural engineer has told us to contact him and he will see what he can do.

Lighting: We spent a couple of hours in a lighting warehouse selecting the main lights that we will be using. Tamar actually had two meetings with them. The first was in the morning where she dismissed all the options we had already said we didn’t like. She did forget some lights that we brought over from the UK – and she has removed these lights from the quote. We still need to go shopping for the more fancy lights (dining area).

Integrated sound system: We met up with the sound guy at the house on Friday. We discussed the exact placement of everything as well as what we wished to connect to the system. He was slightly perplexed to hear that we have neither yes / hot nor a satellite box (cable TV etc) which is normally used as a gathering point for the sound system. He will be adding a streamer box to compensate for this. Afterwards, he came back to our current house to look at our current “boxes” and found that he has no way of connecting them to the system – so we will need to add a new DVD (or Blu-ray) player which was not planned. We should at least be able to use this to play any CD’s that we haven’t converted to mp3 yet. We also had to pay a deposit so that he could cover his initial purchases.

Alarm: We were looking through the plans and realised that the alarm did not have any panic buttons. We know that a panic option is available through the alarm keypads but we have to decide whether or not to add physical buttons or not. We definitely need one by our bedroom (which leads on to a hidden garden) but not sure about the front door.

Air conditioning: All the copper pipes are now in place (this was actually completed last week) and four of the internal units have been put on the walls. They have not yet been connected to the piping.

Walls / Finishing: Plans for closing off the pipes in the attic/loft area have been given to the Kablan. We are just creating a “new” wall using plaster board/ sheetrock and they will then be finished properly. We are not putting in any niches as in this room it really isn’t necessary.

Electricity / Plumbing: The electricity conduits have now all been put into place and the plumbing (cold/hot water pipes – not the hot water tanks nor the underfloor heating) with the exception of 1 garden point that is still open.

Tiling: The loft area has now been tiled. We put the American walnut wood tiles in the play area and cheap/simple tiles in the storage area. The wood tiles are so good that friends of ours that looked at the house over Shabbat thought that we had put down real wood. Tamar has given an alternative tiling plan to the Kablan as the tile manufacture suggests not to use the fish-bone design we originally wanted due to “lippage”. We are awaiting a full explanation of lippage and then we will decide whether or not to listen to the tile manufacturers.

Concrete: we still haven’t managed to look at the concrete example that we were sent as we had to look at the Carpentry plans on Friday (more about this later).

Kablan: We have now finished a “stage” of the work – electrical conduits and basic plumbing so according to the contract we paid the Kablan 30% of the contract price. Actually, we were supposed to pay 30% – but only paid 20% as we were expecting him to be further through by now (he is held up by the planning permissions of course) and the payment went through late as the bank’s computer systems were down on the day that the payment was planned. The payment went through today to arrive tomorrow! We will pay the other 10% in about 2 weeks once the window spaces have been enlarged and the windows have been ordered.

Design: Tamar has been working hard on the designs This can be split into three main areas:
Carpentry : We had a 3 hour meeting with Tamar on Wednesday and looked over the designs that were created. We commented on the work and took it back home to look over in more detail. We have made some changes and sent this back to Tamar just over a day ago. This included clarification requests, measurements of items we wish to store, small changes to doors etc, additional pieces and the removal of a large piece as it was not what we wanted due to a small misunderstanding about what we meant when we said we wanted a bookcase on the stairs. Tamar also sent us additional queries that we will discuss tonight. We will be spending at least an hour tonight looking through door/cupboard handles. The delights of carpentry! Once all this is completed Tamar will update the plans, await our approval and then send everything off to companies to have it priced out.
Kitchen: This is actually part of the carpentry design but so large that it requires a section of its own here. During our meeting Wednesday we sat in a kitchen carpentry store and used the opportunity to look at all the different options available to us (inside the units) from this company. It helped us decide which options to incorporate into the design.
Glass: Tamar sent us the design work for the shower glass dividers and 4 of the mirrors. She got us quotes and we went for a cheaper option with someone who does very good work – but not the best. He was at least a third cheaper and this wasn’t a cheap purchase. There are still 2 glass doors and maybe some mirrors we require. These extras are not so urgent as they will not stop work continuing.
Tiling: Due to a manufacturer “requirement” Tamar had to create a new tiling plan for the main floor of the house as mentioned above under tiling. It is up to us to decide whether we listen to the manufacturer or not.

We are leaving this post on a planning cliff hanger. We couldn’t even make it more exciting if it was planned. OK, we could but today/tomorrow we will find out what is happening with the planning permission and how it affects the rest of the work.

Adam & Joelle

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