The walls have now been put up on the ground floor, and the concrete flooring has been poured (this was delayed a few times because of rain). Now it really is starting to look like a house. You can go inside (the concrete dries in just a few hours, so you can walk on it surprisingly soon) and wander around, pretending to wash dishes at the sink or sit on a sofa. And the view, though of course it has always been there, looks different now that it's framed by a window (here is Stef looking through the window of the smaller suite bedroom).
I still haven't seen Ricardo's team actually at work. I imagine there must be a thousand small elves to make it all happen so quickly. Every time we swing by the site in the evening Ricardo is there with his wife, swinging a hammer or knocking out a bit of cement. I'm not sure why. Perhaps he has too much work on at the moment so has to work nights.
The concrete floor was poured over two days. On Tuesday they poured the bit in the suite. But because the forecast called for rain, Stef asked them to delay pouring in the garage. This is because the rain can ruin the 'fine finish' (if concrete can be thought to have a fine finish) on the surface of the concrete. This doesn't matter for the suite, where we'll be putting cheap flooring on top of the concrete anyway. But it matters for the garage, where the concrete is the floor, period. Stef says that practically everyone on the street has cracks in their garage floor, so he's trying hard to prevent that (not that it really matters) by compacting the gravel underneath "like a crazy person". Turns out that the pour is slightly thin at the back end of the garage, where Stef's workshop will be. It's still level, so I didn't understand why 'thin' was a problem -- turns out that thin concrete is more likely to crack. I'll keep you posted if any cracks appear.
A truck also came and delivered some huge, scary looking metal beams, of the sort you see in office-block construction. These will hold up the next two floors, and could be installed within a week or two.
Meanwhile the interior walls of the ground floor still need to be put in. When they poured the concrete foundations, they stuck metal screws in the concrete, so the wood for the walls slots onto that and gets bolted on. That's how it all hangs together. Just like meccano.