Friday, 26 July 2013

Biomass Part 5 + Garden

A few hiccups here and there but things move on.

The rocket is installed.

The plinth for the base which will hold the boiler and store is underway.

We are having the patio relaid properly, with proper foundations. When the builder dug down we thought it made the jungle look far more impressive, looking up. We asked if a lower patio could be done, but because of the lay of the land we would probably have ended up with a swimming pool.

Looking back up the patio, the brick wall is fading already, it did look rather orange when it first went up. It has already helped my 'micro climate' as it is now warmer on the patio than it has ever been before.

Due to a miscommunication, the coal bunkers will have to be moved (again) as apparently the boiler has a side door to access the ash removal!!!!

This clematis used to climb an arch I had here years ago, I thought it was dead but it has come back better than ever this year, climbing through the bamboo like a good un!

Gloriosa clambering through the trachy.


Indian Bean tree, which once I have space will be dug out!

The tree ferns, which I am hoping I can actually plant once all the work is done.

Lacy hosta's! They are coming out very soon!

Looking back up the garden

I am relieved that the garden is not open this year as this bed is looking very sad!

Something is happening here

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Bio Mass Part 5

The buiders are being held up, having dug me a lovely 'moat' well it is after the rain last night, we need the special pipe that will connect the house to the Woodpecker, Cosyman, Biomass boiler. Then all the muck that was dug up can be backfilled.

As they where stood around leaning on their spades we decided to get the patio relaid (properly) so thats whats happening at the moment. The slabs have been lifted and offered on Freecycle. The scalpings have been ordered and so they have started digging out.

The front looks like this. Thats our 2nds skip. Slabs are stacked and ready to be collected. Nobody seems to want the old coal bunkers so they will go in the next skip. The bricks will be edging the concrete pads for the boiler and hopper. Beyond that is the gravel & sand for the concrete, then the scalpings.  Just round the corner on my neighbours drive is the sand for packing around the pipe in the trench.

I am so lucky to have such good neighbours.

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Bio Mass Part 4

I do feel sorry for the builders, the weather has been unbelievably hot, I have gone through litre bottles of squash, ice cubes, and bottles of water in the fridge to keep them well hydrated. Anyway it was a bit quieter on the plumbing front but should re start Monday.
I have the most awful cold!!! For goodness sake where on earth did I get that!!!!
So the latest:
Clanger  and Alien are thrilled that a rocket has come to take them home!!!

This was the wall on Thursday

Yesterday 2 guys came to take the Rayburn

This is now a very empty space. I am very sad, as much as I cursed the dust and dirt, I loved it. It has been the heart of our home for 21 years. We now have a very empty space to fill, we do eventually plan to buy an Everhot cooker. But do need to save up for it, which could be a couple of years. So what to do with this space till then???

In the meantime the wall was finished Friday, looks so much better than the old grey one,

The trench for the cabling from the exterior boiler to inside the house has now been dug.

We have had alot of problems with disease in the pond over winter, because of the treatments I think this affected the balance in the pond. We have had masses of blanket weed and green yuk etc and I have tried just about everything to clear it. After a major internet search I found Hydra Crystal plus Aquatic Bacteria Boost and we can now see the bottom of the pond. It was that bad we needed to do two treatments.

As you can see we can now see to the bottom.

My beautiful Indian Bean Tree, Catalpa Bignonioides has got Verticillium Wilt disease, it is in the soil and there is nothing we can do about it. According to instructions we have to chop it down and grass it over for 15 years!!!!

which could prove difficult as I have no grass in this area. Really not sure what to do as once this is chopped down my garden will be unbalanced. Needs some thought. ..........

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Bio Mass Part 3

Actually today is day 4, we have had a bit of a hitch as our eldest daughter K has a stomach upset. The immersion heater was due to come out today and we would have been with out water all day so we had to put the plumbers off. They have toddled off to do another job and will return Monday.

In the meantime work continues.

Flushing out the radiator system.

pipes in the corner which we want them to move.

Where the pipes will come through

The trench being dug to the boiler.

Skip, bricks, sand and cement.

New wall being built to replace old brieze  block one.

More to follow.

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Bio Mass Part 2

Chaos reigns......
end of the first day, another exceptionally hot day and the wall was demolished

the flue was taken down

which left a big hole all the way to the roof! We have come up with a cunning plan for this.

looks odd without the flue,

the wall nearly down

the flue totally gone,

the wall also gone

Tomorrow trenches, and sand and cement and flushing and lots of other exciting things lol!

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Bio Mass Part 1

Been offline for rather a long while, mum has been very poorly in hospital and as you may or may not know she lives over 300 miles away. So we have been up and down like yoyo's. Problem is, now hubby has semi retired, we don't have the budget that we used too. Normally my sister and I visit alternate months, so one of us sees her each month, so far we have been up 4 times in 5 weeks!

Anyway mum came out of hospital and we stayed till she was settled and all was well, then had to come home as we have alot of work to do.

We are getting rid of our Solid Fuel Rayburn!

In fact when we made the decision it was sold in May and is awaiting removal, when it will be going up to Scotland. I will be very sad to see this go as we have had 22 years of good service from it. In someways I am in two minds about whether we are doing the right thing but we are not getting any younger!

So how this came about........

the power kept tripping in the kitchen and it got so bad we had one electrician in, who tried to solve the problem, which then got worse. Then I managed to get hold of  WEC's top guy who has done alot of electrical work here over the years and he knows are old quirky house. Anyway to cut a long story short, he found the problem and sorted it, during which we got chatting about heating our hot water in the summer. Darren suggested we visited there showroom, where he could explain how things worked.
We did, where all his technical jargon whizzed over my head, but hubby got the gyst.

In the corner of the showroom I saw a bag of wood-pellets and asked about them. About 10 years ago we tried to get more info on this as we are very conscious our carbon footprint is ENORMOUS with the fossil fuel we use. So we had the blurb, they sent us a quote, we went back with loads of questions, got more blurb and then decided to go for it.

Basically the main reasons for going ahead with this for us are:
1 More environmentally friendly
2 Easier to manage as we get older
3 Cheaper to run
4 We can load it and it will stay in for 2 weeks!
5 Less ash
6 Flick a switch for instant heat
Plus a few more which don't come to mind at the mo!

So we had to organise a builder to come and sort out the exterior work and obviously WEC for the boiler. The start date was due to be August which gave us 3 weeks to prepare ourselves. Last thursday we had a phone call asking if they could start Monday. 3 days definitely focuses the mind!

So having started to organise the inside, with the help of K's boyfriend we chose the hottest day of the year, to start dismantling the coal bunkers.

This is how it looked when we started, we need to move the first 3 bunkers as this is where the biomass boiler and hopper will be going.

I know it looked better with the 2 small ones furthest away but we needed a bigger one for the 'cat house' to stand on. Especially as my cats love it so much and they are 15 years old.

The middle, double bunker is proving to be the most difficult, hopefully we should finish it today. We are having the wall rebuilt between ourselves and our neighbours rebuilt as the old one is made of horrible grey breize blocks and has an almighty crack through the middle.

This is the boiler that is to be installed outside

with a flue and then a hopper next to it in a purpose built shed!

Next instalment very soon!