Sunday, 30 October 2011

Weeks 34 and 35 - A deadline looms

About 8 weeks ago we set ourselves the vague dealine of being in by end of October..... The carpets and Oak flooring are going to be laid this week so we've pretty much done it, no more decorating or messy work allowed inside after that, although there will be a snagging list to work our way through of course. We aim to move in on Friday the 4th, all being well.

We've been working extremely hard for the last two weeks getting lots of jobs done. Kai finished the kitchen, only the door handles need to be put on the cupboards now. We're over the moon with how the kitchen has turned out, it's a dream kitchen we thought we would only see in glossy magazines, and everything is laid out just as we want it so it should be a joy to cook in!

The boiler has been boxed into its own wall cupboard so that it blends in nicely with the rest of the kitchen units. It needed a bit of jiggery pokery with a filler strip as it stands a little pround from the other wall units but looks s good now. Kai covered and plastered in the pipes in the wall to get our seemless splashback with no horrible boxing, just needs a lick of paint now.
The patch on the ceiling is a repair to a section we had to cut out in a hurry to locate a water leak that the gas man left us as a gift! Sloppy soldering had left the joint dry which withstood pressure testing when cold but when the pipe heated up it sprung a leak! The water damage was minimal but still annoying, if you want something doing properly, do it yourself...
 Having grouted the travertine tiles, the floor looks fantastic. Skirting is on in the kitchen and just waiting for glossing and final colour on the walls (when we can decide what colour!)

Kai hung the glazed door to the kitchen, while I faffed about with preparing the stair ballustrading for the mind-numbing task of glossing...


Yet more glossing.

The sink for the wc in position. This will have a cupboard built underneath to hide the underfloor heating manifold and controls.


Kai's pleased with his efforts at plastering the side of the stair, a bit wobbly at first after nearly 2 years without touching a float but he's achieved a good finish that you can't tell apart from the professionally done wall opposite. It definitely reaffirmed that he doesn't like plastering, and it was money well spent to get someone in to do the majority of the work.  Just one more coat of gloss to go on the stair ballustrade...

Seeing as the weather's turned cold, we thought it's probably worth getting round to insulating the loft. Better to keep all that heat in than pump it all out the roof. 300mm of glass fibre insulation should do the trick. We're still getting to grips with the heating system, the undefloor heating seems to work really well and just gives off a gentle, constant heat throught the day, hopefully all this insulatuion will pay off and keep the bills down.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Weeks 32 and 33 - Kitchen, painting, joinery

Well another busy two weeks! We have cranked up the pace a bit and are generally putting in several hours an evening as well as working long hours on the weekends. All in aid of trying to get the house ready to move in by the end of October. We're still not yet sure if we'll manage it, but it's no big deal if we're in a couple of weeks after that. We may have to start wearing more jumpers while we're in the caravan though since the temperature has dropped a bit!

Thanks to Nans and Rob for coming and helping for a day, we managed to get a lot more painting done. Feels like the painting is never ending, but I'm getting there gradually. All the rooms have had a base coat, and the bedrooms have all now had a finish coat.


Kai managed to get all the radiators fixed onto the walls today, and he also did the skirting boards and architrave for the three bedrooms. I suppose I'd better start glossing soon, lots of calking and filling to do first though!


Kai spent most of last weekend tiling the kitchen floor, and did a fanstastic job of it. We're really glad we chose the Travertine tiles which are quite expensive but they look superb. And Colin's tile saw cut through them like butter, couldn't have done the job without it.


The range cooker, fridge freezer and cooker hood were delivered last week so the kitchen is starting to look more complete. The range cooker won't be put in place until the gas man has sorted out the gas pipe for it, and the floor tiles have been grouted and sealed. We're really looking forward to our first dinner using the range cooker!


We've gone for integrated appliances because the overall look of the kitchen will be more stunning.


Kai got the first section of worktop fitted in place. We've gone for a square edged laminate work top. We did consider using higher spec acrylic composite worktops which look like granite, but they cost about five times as much as laminate worktop and in the end they look quite similar!

For the splashback we sourced a sheet of stainless steel 2.5m x 1.25m x 0.9mm thick directly from Aalco wholesalers. Cost around £120, which is great considering you normally pay about £80 for a tiny 600mm x 600mm sheet. It's really tough stuff to cut, eats through cutting disks on the grinder and if you try and drill it with normal drills it just makes loads of heat, so we had to crack out the special Cobalt tipped drills normally kept sharp for really tough stuff!

Oh, and Kai managed to find time to install the shower enclosure! Can't wait till the boiler is commissioned and we can try out the new shower! The grouting is coming along bit by bit and once done we can get sealant on all the edges and corners.


Wales and West utilities finally got the gas line connected to the main, only took about 8 weeks in the end. To our dismay they turned up at 8am on a Sunday and started sawing up the road with big petrol saws and using a jack hammer on the digger; I'm very grateful we have such tolerant neighbours and I promise this is the last time we're going to have the road dug up......

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Week 31 - More painting, bathroom and kitchen

Yet another busy week has flown by. I gave the remaining bedroom a base coat which just leaves the hall and landing to be painted - a mammoth task I'm not looking forward to!

The kitchen units were delivered on Friday so I spent some time putting together the large corner units. Most of the other units come ready-assembled and are much higher quality than you'd get from B&Q.


Kai did a great job of tiling the bathroom and getting the suite and shower plumbed in, the shower controls are all embedded in the stud wall which makes it look really neat and stylish. We're really pleased with the way everything looks, we find it hard to imagine what the finished product might look like so it's always a bonus when it turns out good! We will grout the tiles this week and get the shower screen installed and with a dob of paint we will have the first room pretty much finished.