Self-build diary: second fix plumbing and electrics

Written by Charlie and Helen – Plot 1 (Church Cottage) homeowners


This was a very exciting time in our self-build journey. Our walls were painted but we still had wires and pipes ungracefully hanging out which needed to be connected to the mains. Unfortunately, we discovered that Western Power don’t fit metres and we had T-minus 11 days to resolve this… Thankfully Eon came to the rescue with a seven-day turnaround for our meter which was fantastic, as others were quoting up to a month: phew!

We used one company to install our plumbing and electrics so there was a seamless connection between the two services, and as they work closely together, I (Charlie) felt this was a good move. As our light fittings, plugs and switches were going in, so were our taps, sinks, showers and bath from Burlington Bathrooms: our new cottage was evolving before our eyes by the second. An opportunity arose when our plumber, who was of an average height, initially felt the height of the shower over our family bath was suitable, however, as I got in to test this out, it was clear it was not going to work! The resolution was to drop the bath to gain more height which involved some tiling amendments, but it was for the best!

Craig and LB handpicked these beautiful tiles and their plumbers fitted the sanitaryware

Written by Craig and LB – Plot 2 (Manuka Cottage) homeowners


Once we had finished plastering and mist coating, it was time for second fix plumbing and electrics. The majority of our bathroom fittings came from Burlington Bathrooms; we benefitted hugely from their annual sale which enabled us to get the best we could afford. We tiled the bathrooms and then our plumbers were brought back in to fit the sanitaryware.

Second fix electrics was fairly straight forward in terms of logistics. We went back and forth on whether to go for white plastic switches or brushed satin. The cost saving by going with white plastic was huge, which did make me a little sad. We met halfway and decided to go for a mix downstairs, brushed satin for all the light switches and sockets that are on show (such as in our kitchen) and white sockets where they will be hidden by furniture. We asked our families for John Lewis vouchers for Christmas and managed to get most of our light fittings in the Christmas sales, which certainly helped with our budget.


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