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Hi all,

Chanukah Sameach and all that jazz.

We haven’t written for a couple of weeks because just not that much had happened – but when we look over all the “little” movements in the project we actually realize that we have made a lot of progress. As the week’s theme is light we will start with the lighting:

Lighting – This is split into two sections, the lights we have and the lights that we need. The spotlights that go in the plaster board (dropped ceilings, niches and bases for carpentry) have been started. About 10 lights have been installed and other holes have been prepared. The second section of lighting was to find all the fittings that we needed. The first time that we went alone we found nothing – probably because we were not really sure what we were looking for. Then we went shopping with Tamar and somehow in the first small shop that we entered found everything that we needed/wanted – including the most amazing small light shade that we are using on wall fittings throughout the house. We paid a deposit and the whole order will be ready in 15-20 days. The order also includes a sample outdoor light which we want to see on the wall before we order all of them. There is also a problem that the light itself is not officially waterproof which could be a problem with the electricity rules when the electricity company comes to move our electricity meter. We will show it to the kablan when we get the sample.

Kablan – follows directly on from the lights. The kablan has now put in the most of the false ceilings. He collected all the lighting from Automat where we put in our first lighting order and as written above the kablan has started installing the spot lights. He was also looking for some grey stone for us to use in the garden. In Israel there isn’t any good natural grey stone and therefore he did not succeed in finding anything appropriate. He is now looking for other options that we can use in the garden. The kablan has also fitted most of the integrated metal brackets which will hold the glass shower doors and one barrier between the entrance and the lounge.

Tiling – The tiler has now almost completed the stairs (a half flight stairs left to do) and has completed the rest of the house. We have also chosen a medium-dark grey splashback for the kitchen and have chosen some tiles for the outside social areas (off the lounge and our bedroom). We have to decide on the pattern that we want for the tiling outside.

Underfloor heating – as we have finished tiling you can guess that the underfloor heating is now completed. Originally the heating expert put the underfloor heating under the piano space – despite us asking him not to (the Kablan had forgotten to tell him) – and so he changed it without issue. He also has added stop cocks between the air vents and the rest of the system as I did not like the air vents there. Supposedly the system is emptied by using the pump on the roof – so there is no drain cock. We have also decided (but not told the kablan yet) that we will be using the copper collectors on the roof – even without a warranty. The reason I am doing this is that the copper collectors are much more efficient and with us living in Ma’ale Adumim there is no issues with the water freezing. I will also include anti-freeze as an extra precaution. The hot water guy still needs to install the hot water tanks, collectors and heat pump.

Windows – The supports have now been added and checked by the structural engineer. All windows (except our bedroom) are now at their final size and shape and all have window ledges except the main window.

Stairwell railings – we started looking at designs that we like for this and have had some discussion with Tamar. We will be arranging a meeting with a stair guy that lives in Ma’ale Adumim just after Chanukah.

Colours – We went to a shop in the Design Centre (floor -1) and bought all the samples of the colours that we were interested in. The kablan painted these testers onto plaster board for us so we could look at them throughout the house. We made our final decisions. Supposedly it is very hard to find testers in Israel as most companies will not supply small amounts.

Carpentry – After meeting with us, Tamar finished off the carpentry plans. She has sent this off to two different carpenters. Supposedly the carpentry is going to be our second largest bill of the whole project. The carpenters will not be doing the kids or our wardrobes or the kitchen in the basement as the quality does not need to be so high – plus the wardrobe companies have more options easily available.

Wardrobes – The wardrobe designs have been sent to a wardrobe company in Talpiot and we will try to meet with the person tomorrow afternoon.

Natanel’s bed – Natanel’s room is the smallest bedroom – but he does have access to a large balcony. There are always pros and cons to every design. As Natanel’s room is small we wish to give him a raised bed with a desk underneath. Yaakov is going to receive Natanel’s old pine bed – but we are going to paint it white to match the room.

Smoker – I have been trying to contact Lang’s in the States as I am thinking of buying their smallest hybrid smoker/bbq (only 2 metres long…) but my emails have failed. I sent them a query by the internet but had no response. I will be phoning them on Monday evening Israeli time.

Shopping – We have also started looking into what we need to replace when we move as well. This week I ordered a new milky set of Denby dinnerware to be used for Pesach and then moved on to everyday use. When we made Aliya we left our milky set in the UK – we bought a small set of cheap everyday crockery from Ikea. This didn’t last very well and is not easy to replace. Therefore the need to upgrade. We have been using our meaty Denby for 15 years now and it still looks like new. Sometimes you do get value for money!

That’s enough for now,

Adam & Joelle