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Jonty arrives and the cement floor

Shortly after mum and dad left, Chris’ cousin Jonty arrived for the best part of a month to help out. We had enticed him away from Bradford with the offer of cake and hard work!! He works like a trooper so we got a lot more done with him around than if there was just the two of us.

Our first major works at the house was to lay a solid floor in what will be Chris’ workshop so that he can start to work immediately and so that we can store our things safely whilst working on the rest of the house. It is a 110m2 mainly earth floor. So we set about clearing all the junk from it, and boy did they leave us a lot or rubbish. We also cleared the room next to it. This will eventually be our kitchen and dining room. Just clearing the rubbish took two days!

We then got 9.4 tonnes of concassé delivered which had to be barrowed from the top of the drive into the workshop. Three hours later with arms hanging round my knees like a gorilla and aching back, we were done! The day the cement guy came we were 6; us 3 plus Dom (our builder friend, his work experience lad Oliver and Olaf our German friend). Concrete was the only choice for the floor sadly, it goes against our eco principles, but we had to have a strong and solid floor. It was quite a complicated system to install as we had to level the floor with the concassé, divide it into lengths so that the concrete can expand and contract and then get 2 trucks, one with a 13m pump and the other with 11m3 of concrete!

Whilst they pumped the concrete, Ol and I raked it into place and Olaf smoothed it to perfection. It took 2 lorries of concrete to complete, but it was walkable within 5 hours, which was pretty amazing as it was very liquid when it came in. Unfortunately the timings weren’t great as we still had to polish the floor to protect the surface. The ideal time to do this would have been at 3am but the machine is very loud and we were worried about waking the neighbours. So we waited until 6am and decided that they should be about to get up around then anyhow!

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