Living room

This is where the TV will go. We have 2 double sockets and a Cat 6 outlet for a better TV internet signal.

The kitchen lies behind this wall - you can see the kitchen window and door to the terrace in the background.

The small balcony on the left is where we (will) have the hot water boiler which also feeds the underfloor heating which we have throughout the apartment.

I hope it all works!


Spaghetti Junction

We’ve finally had the consumer unit fitted in the wall behind the front door. It was a job made more difficult because it need to be recessed into the wall due to the front door frame being right up against the wall. We still needed to leave a bit sticking out otherwise there was a danger of knocking a hole right through to the apartment next door, but we can fit a door stop to prevent the door from hitting it. The door should still open about 90 degrees, even with the door stop in place.

The panel should have been screwed in, really, but the recess was a real honeycomb once we’d made it - with nothing to get a good fix to - so it’s basically been plastered in place… but it seems pretty solidly fixed in there.

Now all we need to do is fit all the breakers and connect it to the mains when we the electrician is free to come back to the house (he’s busy on another job for the time being) but we can feed all those cables through the top of the panel now, and get the ceiling and the wall finished and painted.

The ceiling will be coffered which will make it easier to hide the cables where they go from the ceiling down the wall - there’ll be a 250mm lowered ceiling height border around the entrance lobby.

Consumer Unit

Double socket outlet for the kitchen

We’re installing one of these MK Aspect K24343 double socket outlets in the kitchen, instead of a regular socket.

Compare to a normal socket they’re very expensive (approximately £60-£70 so we’ve only bought the one) but it’ll be good to be able to charge up a couple of mobiles/tablets using this instead of tying up sockets with chargers.

Click for more information on the MK websiteMaybe we’ll buy a couple more and fit them in the bedrooms too, later on. They fit in a 35mm deep back box (which we have fitted everywhere) so we could just swap the standard ones out with these whenever we want.

Here are some detailed photos - sorry about the quality of some of the photos of the reverse side.

This is the front of the socket showing what it looks like before and after the included cover plate is fitted. I didn’t press it fully on but you can see how snugly it fits on the right hand side of the photo. Nice to see no screws showing which is not the case with the regular moulded double sockets.

MK K24343 Front MK K24343 front with cover plate installed

As you can see it’s quite well engineered. You can see there are two earth terminals in case you want to make doubly sure that you have a solid connection to ground, though the two earths are linked (as they are in the regular MK K2747 sockets, where there is just a central earth terminal) so you can just connect the earth wire to one of these if you want.

MK K24343 Rear MK K24343 Bottom

The big block in the middle contains the circuitry for the USB charging units. This will output 5VDC at up to 2 Amps on either socket and it will detect how much current the device you plug in needs for optimal charging, so it should work with any device no matter how particular they are about having the correct charger. This isn’t the case with many of the cheaper units I’ve seen on the internet, such as this one where the output is very unstable and iPads in particular turn their noses up at them. It’s also worth noting that the unit being examined in that video also had twin earth terminals BUT there was no interconnection between the earths so unless you were fitting this inside a metal back box AND making a good connection to it with the screw holes then you would have one earthed socket and one which wasn’t earthed at all, so it’s important when you do an earth test to test both sockets and not just one, and be especially careful that both sockets are connected to earth if you have the socket mounted on a plastic surface box.

The rear of the socket is very deep but MK advise that it will fit into one of their 35mm deep back boxes and the angled top-connection Live & Neutral terminals should make it a bit easier to squeeze this in, though in future I’d definitely plan where I would be fitting these and put a deeper back box in. It’s possible, of course, to add a pattress and have the socket sticking out from the wall instead of being flush mounted

MK K24343 Top MK K24343 Profile

This is the leaflet which comes in the box - it was in English on one side and Arabic on the other. Click for a very big (1200 x 800 pixels) version of this.

Instruction leaflet for MK K24343

The ceilings are going up

The supports for the plasterboard ceilings started going up a couple of days ago…

Living Room

Living room coffered ceiling supports installed This shows the raised (coffered) level of the ceiling. The plasterboard will cover this area then supports will be added to drop the ceiling down in a border around the room. The border will be 90cm on the left hand side of the picture and 70cm on the other three sides of the room. The reason for the wider dimension on the left is due to the wider beam there - we could have made all of the other sides the same size as this but it would’ve made the coffer start to look too small. However this is also the entrance to the bedrooms so the extra width will help to set those doors back into the general darkness at the back of the room because the downlights will be slightly further from that wall than they will be for the other three.

The long cables you can see dangling around the edge of the room are roughly where downlights will be positioned in the lower level ceiling (they’ll all be the same distance (35cm) back from the coffer, all the way around the room, and there will be a main room light centered in the coffered area - you can see the cable for that in the middle of the room. The central light will be on one switch and all the downlights on another.

The TV will go against the wall on the right so we may simply add a couple of table lamps in the room for a bit more subdued lighting when we’re watching the telly. It’s unlikely we’ll have all the lights on at the same time very often.


Kitchen ceiling supports partially installed

It was for a fan! The hole will need patching up - we decided to drop the ceiling all the way from that beam near the terrace door to the entrance of the kitchen. Unfortunately this was at the same level as the hole they’d made for the fan (the main building vent pipe is behind that wall) but extraction will be provided by the cooker hood so the duct from that will feed through the ceiling void and come around that corner and be connected to the vent pipe inside the hole.

You can see the cables dangling there for two of the downlights - actually THREE (there’s one right in the foreground). These lights will form an “L” shape centered on the entrance doorway and also on the width of the ceiling between the far side of the beam and the window-facing of the wall with the hole in it. This should also centre it on the kitchen units - two downlights might have been better but we’ll have concealed lighting under the wall cupboards which will light the countertop, in addition to the light in the cooking hood, so it should be ok.

There will also be two downlights in the small raised area of ceiling between the beam and the door.

Another view of the revised kitchen design

We received another picture of the revised kitchen design - this one is looking back from the terrace door back towards the entrance.

Kitchen - looking from the terrace door towards the entrance

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