Day 6: Laying the floor

With just two days left before we leave Romania the focus is now very much on prioritising the work that is left so that we can get the house as close to being habitable as possible.

This is the first time that plasterboard has been used for the ceiling in one of these house builds. To reduce costs, the joists that it is attached to are further apart than they would normally be in the UK and we had some concerns about it sagging in between. To solve this, Nick, AJ and I started the day by fixing lengths of wood along the joins to give it extra support, and coincidentally provide a nice rustic feature ceiling!

For most of the afternoon it was all hands on deck to render the internal walls, which involves attaching a 1cm layer of sand and cement (affectionately called ‘muck’) to give a smooth finish. A group of local people had joined us to help out today, so at one point there were 17 people on site – most of us crammed inside the house working on the walls.  The English and Romanians have very different rendering techniques! While we tend to use a hawk (a square plate that can hold a pile of muck) and trowel to push it into the wall, the Romanians use a small bowl to literally throw it. Both techniques have their advantages, though the latter tends to make a lot more mess! Meanwhile, Simon and Richard were putting the final layer of plaster in the bedroom that was rendered a few days ago to leave a smooth, paintable surface.

By about 4pm all of the walls had been rendered and it was time to start work on the floor. A layer of stones had been laid a couple of days ago so all we needed to do was add a layer of muck to provide a smooth finish. The aim was to get it all finished today so that it can set overnight and not delay any work tomorrow. Other than Nick and AJ who were finishing off the floorboards in the loft, the whole team were working on the floor. We got into quite a good rhythm of Ady mixing gallons of cement, Sam wheeling it into the house, me shovelling and Richard, Stuart and Simon laying. By 7:30 all three rooms had been finished and we were on our way back to the hotel for dinner and bed.