5. Walls, insulation and ceilings…oh my!

It has been a few weeks since our last entry, things have been happening, but very slowly. This is partly because Steve can only work on the van when he’s not at proper work, and partly because he is doing an amazingly detailed and precise job…no bodge it and scarper here!

So, previously on A Van and a Plan…we had sound proofing and a floor. Next came walls, insulation and ceiling…

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The insulation is an eco one made from wool, from B&Q, it was not cheap, but better than polystyrene boards as it can be moulded around all the awkward shapes in this surprisingly curvy van! Another addition that can be seen in these photos is the network of electrical cables. These are for the lights and electrical sockets.

Next, before the ceiling could be fitted, we had to cut a hole in the roof!! Humans create a lot of moisture just by breathing, and we do not want this moisture staying in the van and making everything mouldy. So we bought a caravan roof vent, and, on one of the hottest days of the year, Steve was up on the roof, cutting a hole and trying to make a flat, square vent fit a ridged, curved roof…

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Then we could continue with the ceiling…sound proofing, insulation and board, plus the ceiling LED lights:

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It is amazing how quiet and cool it is inside now, and, I imagine it should be nice and warm in winter!

So, that was all the basic foundations complete…time consuming but SO worth doing properly and well. I cannot over-emphasize how much work Steve has put in, making sure that all the panels fit the curve of the van exactly…such a high standard! Having had a leaking, non-insulated van for many years, he is determined that this one is going to be better insulated and vented than our house!!

Coming up in the next episode..we talk interior furnishings (Yay!) and lots of boring but important and essential electric stuff (Yawn!)…I may have to refer to the resident electrician (AKA Stevie) for that bit…back soon!

4. We are finally floored!

Dull subject, but obviously necessary…this is the tale of a floored van…

Having de-rusted and painted the floor a fetching shade of green in our last installment, we (ie Stevie the carpenter) then made wooden struts to cross the floor in order to have something to attach the plywood to. These wooden struts were salvaged from some ex-park benches from the council that would otherwise have been burned:

They were both screwed and glued down. Next came the cutting out and squeezing in of some salvaged polystyrene insulation boards.

Then onto the sound proofing. This was done using a product called “PeaceMAT” and quite expensive (all costings will come in a later post), but so very necessary. Having previously owned a VERY noisy LDV Convoy minibus van when our children were young, where the only way to have a conversation whilst driving was at the top of your voice, we were determined to invest in the best sound proofing possible!

So, getting high on the glue fumes, both the floor and the walls were covered:

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The ceiling is yet to be done. But now, finally…..THE FLOOR!!! 5mm Chinese hard wood ply. This will also be used for the walls and ceiling, but for now…

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We are floored!! Hurrah!

This whole process took 2 very long days…lots of tedious measuring and re-measuring; but it is one of the most important stages, laying the foundations. Meanwhile we sit, and design, and dream of, the perfect interior…but that is MUCH later. Next will be insulation for the walls and ceiling and lining those with ply. Bet you can hardly wait…!!!