DIY week…

Some good progress on the renovation of the utility room (which was the ground floor bathroom at the back of the house) and the hallway, stairs and landing (HSL) area.

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The wall paper has been stripped from most of the walls in the HSL and any holes filled in. Some of the hallway plaster had blown, mostly around where a long radiator used to be – the plaster had dried out too much. So, handy Matt knocked out a few places and filled it back in, mostly in a way approaching smooth and flat!

New skirting was also fitted on both sides and there were a few tricky padding out operations to be done. I made sure the skirting was raised off the tiled floor by about 15mm, to allow for new carpet which will go in the hallway once all the decorating has been done. We’re thinking something like sea grass matting or similar, which will be hard wearing right by the front door area.

The coving on the landing ceiling took a whole day in the end, due mainly to the really awkward angle on the new bathroom wall. Because of the 45 degree angle, the angle of the coving had to be 22.5 degrees, which was a total pain in the arse.

Claire was working on the utility and has painted everything, tiled and grouted and just a bit of boarding and skirting below the tiles to do, but a huge improvement. Tiling is very straight and it’s provided a much better area – final photos on the blog once it’s done.

We’re at the painting stage in the HSL so there will be some big visual improvements soon(ish) : )


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Pre-Winter house / life organising…

This year we are going to be sorted out before winter hits, around the end of September.

We’ve already had the external insulated¬†render done and I finished chopping our firewood at the end of April (giving a good 6 months seasoning time). We’ve started the allotment and aim to do the major rotavating in the autumn. We’ve painted the stairs fun colours and applied the first coat of paint to the newly plastered upstairs hallway/landing areas.

So, we’re now onto the next phase, which will include getting the wardrobes back onto the landing and out of both the boy’s room and our room, shifting the bed and chest of drawers (which our lovely friends have just given us!) around in our bedroom, buying some tall Ikea storage shelves for the under stairs cupboard, putting all the random boxes and toys in these new shelves, finishing off the last piece of skirting behind the sofa, finishing painting the skirting, re-painting the walls and fire place area, ordering a single stone piece for the hearth (probably Forest of Dean stone), fixing edging around the hearth, painting the shelves to the right of the fireplace, stacking logs under these shelves, finding a battered old armchair to go in front of the logs,¬†fitting the new kitchen worktops and hobb, building the new electric meter box cupboard, cutting the new mixing table to size and building a wooden cover which slides over it all.

I’m sure there’s something i’ve missed out but those are the main things! This will make the winter much more bearable and mean less stress all round.


Boys dado DIY & games…

After the activity packed Monday, we had a more chilled out day. The main things were some DIY work and trains!

We’re taking the opportunity to get the hallway, stairs and landing sorted out, at the same time as the render work is happening, so part of this was to remove the dado rails. These are thicker than either the skirting or architrave around the doors, so stuck out slightly. We’ve been wanting to get these off since we moved in!

So, the boys helped me get them all off, plus the length of skirting in the hallway, which we suspected was rotten in parts. They loved helping with this and seemed to really enjoy being useful and helping daddy. They did a good job and we got all the rails off. That didn’t take too long but cleaning up did!

There’s going to be some re-plastering to do in places (particularly where there was a large radiator in the hallway which has dried out the plaster behind it), and the painting. Once this is done, we’ll carpet the stairs and hallway/landing.


Winter insulation jobs…

We’ve been thinking more and more about insulation and how to protect ourselves for the fast approaching winter season.

We’ve put together a list of jobs to do in the next 2 months, which will make a real difference over the cold months.

– Get maybe 3 quotes for external insulated render (nearly got 2)

– Research and fit loft insulation (done)

– Install new loft hatch to stop cold air getting into house (got quote – linked with external render)

– Fit living room skirting boards

– Draft sheets over kitchen window + draft excluder under door

– Fit up heavy curtains in doorway into kitchen

– Fill in & re-point external & internal holes through brick work

– Re-block up second decorative fireplace

– Finish off window storage area with insulation

– Fix up 2nd electric heater

Ok, we might not get all of that done, but we’ll defo do the priority ones, such as the loft hatch, kitchen window and curtains. The render would be ideal, but we still have to get the 2nd quote back and the 3rd one which is for wood fibre boarding, rather than phenolic sheets.


Bathroom progress…

It’s been a good weekend for the house…it’s getting towards the final bathroom details and it’s starting to look how we want it.

We’re still waiting for the shower pole fixing to arrive and hopefully that’ll get here soon. Once it does, we can start using the bathroom for real! The blind has been fixed up and looks good and creates a nice softer light which works well with the wall colours.

Claire also cut a piece of opaque film for the lower part of the window – still lets light in but cuts views!

I also cut and nailed up the arcitrave around bathroom side of the door frame which helps to finish off that area. Just have to varnish the door and paint the arcitrave and skirting.

10 pieces of the skirting were cut yesterday, with 3 left, which I finished today. These were also fixed onto the walls with No More Nails and wood glue for the corner joins. Pretty tight fit and the angle tool worked well.

Since 15 plasterboards fell on me while I was doing the front bedroom (!!), and since we all fell onto the angle saw, it hasn’t been the same (my leg is fine now though)! So, i’ve gone back to basics and cut everything like this by hand.