Monday, 9 August 2010

Nearly there

I know it's been ages since I put up any posts so time to say it's almost finished bar the shouting ( and the kitchen floor which the builders are sorting out). Just to say we love the new kitchen and find it hard to remember the old one. Worth all that trouble in the end!

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Nearly there

Well, it must be near the end of the job because Steve, the man in charge, hasn't been here for a couple of days! Les the carpenter has fitted the oak floor in the kitchen which looks lovely and John the painter has made a good start. All the paints have been chosen and it just shows how useful the sample pots are - a colour I had picked for the kitchen looked really wrong when it dried out. It's still a novelty to have a working bath and the new shower is bliss. The bath screen just didn't work - wouldn't straighten out or seal on the bath and the handle was missing. So I prepared myself for a debate with the internet company we ordered it from and then they were very helpful and took the screen back without a murmur. A different model is now here and waiting to be fitted. And the latest good news is that the worktops are coming next Tuesday - hooray! So then the hob can go in and the sink be plumbed in properly.

Jsut a few more pictures showing bits of the different rooms. If you want to see the finished product, you'll have to wait until you visit us.

Waiting for the flat screen tv to be added ....................

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Still dusty but getting there

Sorry it's been so long since the last entry. Just so much going on. One day last week there were seven different people with at least 4 trades and I just had to go to Linda's house to have a bath and wash clothes. The plumber has been a bit here and there and when he disappeared on Wednesday and was not coming back until Saturday, I decided enough was enough so made a phone call. So he did get here on Friday for 5 hours and gave us a connected bathroom and washing machine - bliss! Everything has moved on quite a lot since these pictures and I'll upload some more this week. Worksurface has been made but is 'curing' so probably won't get here until next week. Just had a day of cleaning and tidying as I COULDN'T STAND THE MESS ANY LONGER. However I know the dust will be back.

The painter has started to put the mist coat on the walls so now we're picking paint colours and tomorrow we're probably picking up the oak floor for the kitchen. So we are definitely getting there. I reckon about 10 days should see it done, we will see ....

Monday, 22 February 2010

Getting on and getting better (the house and me)

Sorry there's been a bit of a break. Sadly I got more ill while away with Phil and Shelagh and we ended up coming back a bit early for me to go to the doctor and get pills for my bronchitis. Anyway, on the road to recovery after some time in bed and not doing much for a while.

As you will see from the photos, things have moved on quite a bit with the kitchen units installed in the kitchen and utility and we have a cloakroom with working toilet and running water - luxury even if the water isn't hot yet (the boiler says it should be but it's not so that's got to be sorted out). Tomorrow Mike the plumber moves to the bathroom and shower room so hopefully progress there soon.

We also have the new door from the lounge to the kitchen and the new radiators fitted in the kitchen making the house feel a bit warmer. Still no working radiators in the lounge so we are gobbling up electricity with the fan heater. In the meantime, I have come to realise that there is only one thing that makes more mess than taking down walls .... plastering (and that's not finished yet).

Saturday, 13 February 2010

On y va (aka time out)

Well, a break away in France has just come at the right time. We lost another wall this week when Darren suggested rebuilding one which wasn't very straight. So yet more brick dust. As the photos show, the shower room and bathroom are one with a bath and basin, just not yet plumbed in! Also part of the floor is up again but one day, hopefully soon, they will be 2 beautiful rooms.

Then on Friday morning, Steve (the man in charge) had a call to say that the kitchen units had been dispatched. This was an error as we are not yet ready for them but nevertheless we took them so, as you will see above, we have a kitchen but it's still in boxes in the lounge. This has reduced our living space to a very cramped, extremely dusty dining room. So it is with great relief that I am sitting in Phil and Shelagh's lovely house in Boissy, nursing a sore throat and a hacking cough. But it's lovely - no dust, no work going on, hot water, central heating, a lovely view of the garden with a dusting of snow and peace. Don't get me wrong, I am delighted to be getting all the work done in the house and the builders are a great team of nice people. It's just lovely to be having a break away from it all.

Back home, everything is under sheets, hopefully the plasterers will be in soon and the door from the kitchen to the lounge will get knocked through while we are not there to experience yet more dust. In the meantime - Vive La France!

Sunday, 7 February 2010

Minimalist living

Well, the bathroom and shower room got taken out last week. We probably reached our nadir (big word) on the day we had a bathroom with no floor and no door and the cold tap (see above) which didn't always have water in it! However things are moving along with lots of studwork and platerboard going up. Most of the first fix is done and there's been quite a lot of discussion about the position of stuff.

Ordering of various items continues. The internet is a wonderful think but it gives you almost limitless choice. When we did our lounge extension in the mid 90s, I don't think I gave any thought to the style of radiator or the design of the windows and doors. This time it's a case of deciding a style, looking at suppliers, comparing prices and delivery times ... then ordering. And talkng about choice, we finally settled on the work surface at the third sample stage. Again, a huge range of choices and a custom made sample which needed tweaking - just a sigh of relief that we've got there in the end.

Today I think Steve intends to knock out the door between the kitchen and the lounge so there are sheets everywhere and I'm probably going to have to take the curtains down. Did I mention the dust ......?

Monday, 1 February 2010


That's how far out two of the new walls were! It doesn't seem a lot but in the small cloakroom it makes quite a difference. However, it didn't take Steve and Sean long to shift everything into the right position.

Still making lots of decisions, particularly with all the electrics, and we are now on our 3rd sample for the worktops. These are coming from a firm near Biggin Hill and are made with recycled glass and shell set in coloured resin. There are so many variables that it's proving quite a job to get exactly what we want.

Oh, and there's still vast quantities of dust!

Friday, 29 January 2010

Beams and walls .. and more dust!

Well, I did some dusting on Saturday (not a lot) and then we went down to Bill's Mum in Devon for a couple of nights. So we weren't here when the new beams went in on Monday with a crew of about 6 getting them into place. Then the acroprops came out and, as you can see, the space has really opened up. I have now realised that dusting is pointless as the layer was thicker than ever when we got home - the phrase about omelettes and breaking eggs springs to mind.

The building inspector has been around and asked some questions and requested a trial trench to look at the main house foundations. A bit of a debate about a couple of changes but we're hoping for a good outcome. Sam the electrician has now been here a couple of days so the mass of wires dropping from the ceiling and walls is getting sorted - and yet more decisions for the lighting plan and cookers and switches and sockets.....

Thanks to all who have fed us or let us use their kitchens this week - eating or cooking or typing or just sitting without dust is such a luxury!

The stud walls are going up so we are getting a real sense of the shape of the new rooms. Just think I'll take my tape and have a little check of the measurements ...

Friday, 22 January 2010

Let there be .....

..... light! So they started putting the veluxes in . That's Steve standing in the middle of one and Chase up the ladder. They make a huge difference to the light that is coming into the new kitchen area so we're really pleased with them.

The enormous steels that are going to support the back of the house arrived a day early yesterday and are now sitting immovable in the front and back gardens. It was a quiet day today as Steve was cutting out parts of the joists where the new beams will go. This should happen on Monday when everyone is being called in to lift them into place - fingers crossed.

Lots of ordering has been going on by us and now we have some stuff in odd places like a bath in the lounge, a shower tray and radiators in the hall and 18 boxes of tiles outside the front door. Hopefully the bathroom and shower room work will start soon.

Wednesday, 20 January 2010


Then there were no walls at all! I just hope that the acroprops continue to take the strain. Steve and the helpers seem to know what they're doing. Skip number two arrived yesterday and the remains of our last supporting wall are now in it. One thing of which we certainly have a lot is dust as you really can't keep it out of everywhere. It's probably filtering into our drinks and food but never mind.

We are still in ordering mode and decision making continues. I keep thinking that we have already made a lot of choices but they just keep on coming.

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

And then there were ...

... a lot fewer walls and ceilings, as you can see. And that revealed the wasps nest that we knew had been building up all summer. The skip was completely filled yesterday and taken away this morning. And in the midst of all the ripping up and throwing out, there was a small memento from previous workmen! So we are currently very open plan indeed.

Monday, 18 January 2010

Just so that you can see the way things were

Well, we're only a little bit late starting..

It's taken us a while for the building work to start to update the house. Our original plans were drawn up in 2008 and it's only today that the builders have moved in. The last 2 weeks have been spent packing the kitchen into the shed, putting the bathroom, shower room and airing cupboard bits into various bedrooms and sorting, storing and tipping a lot of stuff from the family room.

Last night saw me up in the loft as I realised that the builders were going to need some space to move a loft hatch and put in new lights. So then there was more stuff for the tip. And now there are units being stripped out, walls and ceilings coming down and a skip on the drive. Oh yes, and the first round of tea and coffee.

If you are wondering about the title of the blog, have you ever noticed the name of our house? I'm a great Tolkien fan and Rivendell was the last friendly house of the elves in the Lord of the Rings before Frodo began the real adventure. How very apt ....