The more we looked at the beautiful job that the builder has done on the inside of the house, the more worried we became that we wouldn't do justice to it when we laid the flooring. The downstairs rooms have stone walls (no smooth plaster) which posed a challenge in terms of edging the flooring. The builder offered to lay the flooring for us at a reasonable cost so we have taken him up on it. And this has proved to be a good decision. First, he cut a groove all along the stone wall, into which he inserted the flooring, allowing half a centimetre for expansion in summer. This is something we definitely wouldn't have thought of or been able to do. Once the lounge room was finished, he moved on to the dining room. And that's where things got a little difficult. Most of you will know that we have been constantly challenged by our pipes. Pipes carry everything into and out of the house including water, gas, electricity, heating, sewerage. When we purchased the house in 2009 the pipes and cement slab had already been laid and no schematic was available. So we have been "discovering" our pipes ever since. This week the builder discovered another one by jackhammering through it. Suddenly, a fountain of hot steamy water flowed into the dining room. The builder gaped at me silently before thrusting his trowel into the hole to stem the flow. I yelled at Stu to turn the water off. Stu ran around the back of the house and turned everything off, including the well pump, the radiator pumps, the caldaia, etc. There followed a phone call to our long suffering plumber who came quickly to view the problem, then promptly went to lunch (well, this IS Italy after all...). He returned after lunch to fix it but the builder's day had been ruined by the wet floor which put a stop to his flooring activities. He will return this week to finish the job.
Above: the dust created in the lounge by cutting the groove along the base of the stone walls (note: the kitchen bench is reflected in the glass of the door through which this photo was taken!)
Above: the flooring cutting workshop
Above: the beginning of the floor in the lounge room
Above: the floor in the lounge room finished (background) and our plumber fixing the pipe in the dining room