The main news is that I have finally settled on the kitchen. I have spent weeks agonising. Yes, really agonising about worktops, sinks and taps. It was my last thought at night and my first thought in the morning. Obviously, I have lost all sense of perspective. The trouble is I found a kitchen I love but couldn't afford so I bought it and compromised by selecting cheapo worktop, sink and tap. The kitchen doors are white-painted timber shaker-style with modern long handles. I wanted to put on a black quartz worktop but I couldn't afford it. At long last I have decided to go for an oak worktop, belfast sink and beautiful tap. This way I can marry the modern with the traditional, create a heart of the home kitchen and be comfortable that I am using natural materials. Wood is the most environmentally friendly choice as it is a renewable source. I feel happy. Just have to squeeze the budget a bit.
We are trying to be as green as we can with the build. It is timber frame, well-insulated, high-performance timber doors and windows. We will have a wood-burning stove and we have installed underfloor heating. The heating system is an air source heat pump. It is expensive but should pay for itself within a few years. Basically, the fuel source is the outside air. The air is compressed which makes it hotter and it then heats the water for our water tank and the water that flows in the pipes of our underfloor heating. As there is an infinite supply of air we will always have fuel and we won't have to worry about not being able to afford to fill an oil tank.