The Second Fix stage of a build consists of the finishing touches. This is when you start to see your house becoming a home and when the move-in date looks a lot closer in sight. After Christmas and once our floors dried out we got our electrician Denis Lavery Electrical to come back to fit our light switches, plugs, fuse board, etc. You require an electrical certificate from your registered electrician before ESB will make the connection to your dwelling. It took approx. 2 weeks for this connection from the certificate lodgement date, however, there is an ESB connection application form that is required to be filled out and submitted and a connection fee paid prior to this stage and you should allow a couple of months time-frame for this.




While we were waiting on the electricity to be connected, our heating specialists NuTherm came back to install the horizontal collectors in the garden. This consisted of temporarily excavating 1-2 metres of ground to allow for the installation of the surface collectors that are laid at approx. 1.2 metres below ground level. These collectors absorb energy stored in the ground via plastic pipes distributed over a large area. The area required will be specifically designed by your specialist to suit the size of your dwelling and needs.



The above picture shows the geothermal hot water cylinder, which is basically the whole system fitted into the tall white unit, which is appox. the same size as a fridge. We have this unit located in our utility room on ground floor level, off the kitchen.


NuTherm also installed our Mechanical Heat Recovery Ventilation system, which is shown in the picture below and located in our hotpress on 1st floor level.



Our Main Contractor Seamus Friel & Sons carried out all our service connections at this time and they hired Patrick McDaid Plant Hire, Buncrana to clear and level the site. Patrick was very professional and created a top quality finish. We also contacted Vodafone to get a new connection for a telephone line and internet. Again you need to allow up to 1 month time-frame for this connection.





My childhood home is just to the rear of our site so we got Patrick to create a path up to mum's, which is so handy for us and the kids... 'Built-in sitters' up the hill ;)






To help keep the build moving while we were waiting on the heat to be turned on our main contractor, Seamus Friel & Sons, arranged for the painters to come in and undercoat the whole interior of the house. We used a very reputable award winning company called McCann Decor Ltd., Painting and Decorating Contractor, who are based in Derry, for our entire project. I had seen their quality of work over the past few years and wanted to ensure we used a top quality painter for our house. McCann Decor had recently been crowned Supreme Winner of Johnstone's Painter of the Year 2016 for their fantastic work on St. Columba's Church, Derry.



The first undercoat of paint made the house feel bigger and brighter instantly.



The next step was choosing a staircase. As our staircase is seen as soon as you come in the front door I wanted this space to stand out and have a different contemporary style. I researched high and low and spent many late nights trailing Pinterest and found an image of the style of stairs that was perfect and that I'd fallen in love with: