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Hi all,

With the planning permission sorted we have started moving a lot faster – we will start with the windows.

Windows – The playroom and the lounge windows have now been enlarged. We now have a 3.2m wide hole in our lounge overlooking a large tree (which is blocking our view of the wadi and desert). We will be talking to the Iriya to see if we can reduce the size of this tree to give us a nicer view. The Kablan while opening up the big window found a support which wasn’t found previously and so he spoke to the engineer….

Structural engineer – The structural engineer is insisting on a support beam plus special preparations (some sort of metal tiles and drivers into the wall) for the lounge window. We were expecting this – but it hadn’t been priced just in case it wasn’t needed – oh well. He has also requested additional support for the french doors in our bedroom. This wasn’t expected or planned at all as there was already a door there (but a lot smaller – and put in without permission).

Underfloor heating and hot water – The underfloor heating has now been completed in the dining area, kitchen, hall and our bedroom. It has not been done in the lounge as the window and support have to be completed first. We have requested that this heating will not be near the piano (it damages the wood and destroys the instrument) and also not immediately next to the fish tank as it may make the fish tank temperature more complex to control.
We asked for the interior pipes for the hot water heat collectors to be copper rather than the steel that is normally used in Jerusalem. The installer has said that this is the same price but he will not give us a warranty on it. When we asked why – we were told that it was due to the fact that water freezes in Jerusalem and copper pipes burst. We told the Kablan that copper is used as standard in England where the temperature regularly drops to below freezing in the winter. It never gets down to freezing in Ma’ale Aldumim and anyway the installer can put antifreeze into the pipes as we have requested a closed system. They will get back to us! By the way, the reason that we want copper is because it is more efficient and the water gets hotter quicker.

Plumbing – The pipework in our bathroom for the sink had sunken whilst the concrete was setting. I walked in during the week to see the poor plumber drilling out the pipes (through and around the underwater heating pipes) in order to re-set them. It was noticed when they were about to get to the tiling.

Tiling – the tiler has now almost completed our bedroom, bathroom, cupboard area, downstairs entrance, dining room and kitchen. He has also carried on with the stairs. Nothing has been completed to the edges as the walls have not been finished and they wish to get a perfect edge.

Kablan – the kablan is looking for grey outside tiles for us to use for the flooring. This may take a while as the natural Israeli grey tiles are of poor quality. Israel mainly does good quality beige colours. He will also be collecting the lights slowly as required from our supplier when he is ready to install them.

Hifi – I made a mistake in last weeks blog. I mentioned some lighting that the electrician had put in the ceiling of the lounge. I was wrong – these are the cables for the speakers. All the cables for the speakers appear to have been installed now.

Basement bathroom – Looks great! This has now been cleaned up and a temporary toilet and hand washing facilities have been installed for the workers (after 3 months!). The doorway has also had a plastic sheet attached to help keep it clean (and I assume for some privacy as well).

Carpentry – The design has now been fully completed and sent off for quotes. We are waiting in dread to hear back as this is likely to be the second most expensive bill (after the Kablan).

That’s all for now. Shavua Tov.

Adam & Joelle.