Well I apologize it has been some time since my last update. A combination of the build, work and life has left me with very little time to update the blog. Despite works best efforts the build has been creeping along. While I have not been able to spend as much time on the build some aspects are easier than the earlier stages. There are still many decisions to make but they seem easier. I don’t think they are I have just become more accustomed to making them!
As you may remember from my last blog the socket plan, coaxial positions and network plans proved quite a challenge. I was able to do these myself however without the help of a professional. Even if the odd socket or television outlet ends up in the wrong place it is far from a disaster. Lighting though was a different story. Lighting used to be very easy. The choice in the not too distant past was where you would like the pendant to hang or the wall light to illuminate. Lighting options for domestic scale have progressed massively in recent times particularly since the explosion of mainstream LED use.
Oddly I remember my father showing me LED’s 25 years ago one Christmas. He had some left over from a project at work and made a decoration with them. The red and green LED’s were fascinating and made an appealing decorative light. My father explained the principles behind them and hinted that they might have a bright future. Roll on 25 years and the LED has come of age.
Oak framed and wooden clad houses are wonderful things and create a unique atmosphere but they can be swallowed by the night to be more ordinary. I wanted my house to be extraordinary by day and by night. I knew what could be achieved from the examples of others but the complexity and bewildering array of options meant I needed professional help.
I contacted several different lighting design companies to explore what they had to offer. Eventually I chose Lightmaster Direct Ltd to pen the lighting design for my project. I very much liked their previous work with oak frames and found them to be competitively priced. My personal preference is for subtle lighting that highlights the buildings features.
An initial design was drawn up and then following a site visit by the Lightmaster team updated further. Then gradually the lighting design was enhanced and refined to reach the final version. I must thank Alison my designer at Lightmaster Direct for being so patient with me and putting up with all my questions.
Lighting control is another area I researched. Given modern lighting systems often include large numbers of small fittings you can end up with banks of light switches. Lightmaster were able to offer an elegant and simple to use lighting control system. Unfortunately I could not afford this within my budget. Instead I opted for a sensibly controlled system limiting excess switching where possible. Lighting control would have been ideal but I had to compromise.
Currently all of the first fix lighting cabling has been installed and some of the outside lighting has been fitted. Internally the house needs to be lime rendered before the light fittings can be installed. So I will reserve my final conclusions on the lighting until then but I think it will look very special indeed.
Other aspects of the house continue to progress. As you can see from the pictures the cladding is very nearly complete. The large external areas to clad and the complexity of junctions and angles have meant it has taken far longer than expected. In my view the end result is stunning and well worth the time and effort taken over the fine details.