Ceilings, Floors and Something For The Wall…

There’s been quite a lot going on this week, we finally have the central heating installation booked to commence a week tomorrow. In preparation we collected our beautiful school style radiator for our bedroom from Coventry Demolition. It’s amazing…Given the choice I’d have these everywhere, but Ronnie (aka the budget police) has put his foot down and we’ll be having ‘normal’ radiators throughout the rest of the house…boo!

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The main job this week has been replacing the kitchen ceiling after we took it down to run electrics and insulation through. This was a job we’d put off as we thought it would be a nightmare, in truth, it was fairly painless. The plasterer has finished phase one, and left his tower with us until we’re ready to complete the library & attic conversion, so that bit of kit came in handy, he also recommended getting some props, we’d thought these would make the job easier, but dismissed the idea expecting them to be really expensive, they are actually only around £20, so if they are never used again, we’ve had great value from them! First task was to mark, measure and cut the boards, inc. apertures for spot lights.

IMG_3650.JPG Once these were cut, they were manoeuvred into position by Dad and I, held by the props, while Ronnie tacked them to the joists.

IMG_3651.JPG We had to make a few additional cuts here and there, but the whole job only took a morning. Last job for now was to scrim tape the joints and put on some plaster. We need to repeat this a couple of times until we’re ready for mist coat.

IMG_3653.JPG Ta da! It’s made a huge difference and the room already feels brighter and warmer.
In the cloakroom and lobby, we’ve got the ceilings ready to take pipework during the forthcoming heating installation. I’ve spent this afternoon stuffing in more insulation to any gaps.

IMG_3657.JPG We’ve received the beautiful stone for our kitchen floor, it’s currently sitting outside, we were planning on having this fitted professionally, but as we (I) blew the budget on the stone, we’re thinking of fitting it ourselves. You’ll notice there are a few of the stones broken…we don’t talk about that, it wasn’t me is all I’m saying!

IMG_3656.JPGIn the lounge and hallway we’ve been beavering away working on the cracks in the ceiling and preparing the coving and plasterwork for painting, it’s looking good! More on that next week. Finally for this week I bought a gorgeous kiko frame which I’ve been trying to find for a while, strangely enough I found one on Ebay. Mine was from Indico-Wendy and I love it.

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What a Difference a Day Makes…

Yesterday started bright and early as Dennis the plasterer was arriving at 8am, so our usual Saturday morning lie in followed by lazy breakfast was sacrificed…boo! The day went in a bit of a whirlwind, and I didn’t take any ‘before’ photos, but here, in a nutshell, is what we did:

1. We DPC’d the garden. Doesn’t everyone?. We pulled out all the pesky weeds (for the third time) and then covered the ground in a layer of DPC, which will stay down until Christmas (probably longer truth be told, I intend to be sitting snuggled by a wood burner by then!) blocking out light should (we are assured) will kill the weeds once and for all and leave us with lovely healthy soil.

20140601-201508-72908077.jpg 2. I nailed fairy lights along the top of the garden wall, I got told off as apparently this was not a priority. Whatever. Dennis sided with me, that I should do it if it made me happy. We like Dennis.

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3. We harvested our first Lansdowne produce: 4 dinky potatoes (and 2 quite big ones, which it took me several hours to work out were the seeds.) We ate them before I had chance to take a photo.

4. We visited an African themed garden centre, Akamba, they had some great animal sculptures made from recycled metal and incredible exotic palms. A slightly surreal oasis, Akamba has a great restaurant where we enjoyed delicious a Caribbean lunch in the sun – bliss. Akamba (and the weather) bought back memories of holidays, and gave us a good dose of garden inspiration, we need an exotic hut in our lives for starters!

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4.I spent a couple of hours trying to strip stools we purchased last week. It may take a ‘couple’ more to get them looking ship shape.

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5. I finally built the Abbeville bench I purchased a few weeks back from The Great Little Trading Co which sits between the garden and cloakroom doors, couldn’t fit better had it been made to measure! Needs painting and a cushion making, but that’s waaaay down the list. It’s really going to transform a dead space into useful storage.

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6. THE PLASTERING STARTED!!! I’m so upset I didn’t take any pictures yesterday morning when the walls were mainly brick, but here is how it looked at the end of day one, and today, end of day two.

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Finally for this week, a few people have asked where we found our garden bench, it was The Barn At Studley, where you’ll find some beautiful home and garden wares, we’ll be back there for more garden features, once those weeds are dealt with!

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Extreme Weather Warning…

In contrast to last weeks glorious sun, this week has been rain, rain and yet more rain. Worse still, there’s been a blizzard in the kitchen, not actual snow you understand, but off-cuts of foam insulation floating down from the ceiling, sticking to every-single-surface possible on their journey. The insulation will though, really help on our energy efficiency and is quite a big tick on our to do list.

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The plumbers will need access to the beams to run the central heating pipes through, but once that’s done, we can have our ceiling back, won’t that be a luxury! While Ronnie was beavering away in the kitchen, I set about trying to smarten up the corbels in the hallway. Whilst ridding the hall of the last traces of wallpaper last week, I noticed the steam seemed to be affecting the paint on the plaster corbels, this, was a complete bonus as the steam technique I’d read about failed miserably on the ceiling roses. This picture shows how the steam melted the paint and allowed me to peel back decades of paint.

20140525-211434-76474865.jpg The left hand corbel has suffered a few knocks over the years, but they are both in quite good condition all things considered.

20140525-211545-76545550.jpg This before and after shows how much crisper the corbels are now, especially noticeable on the top frieze and the ‘grapes’ – hurrah!
In other news, we have confirmed a plasterer, who will start bright and early next Saturday, (and as he’s someone Ronnie has worked with, I think he’ll actually arrive!) first up will be the lounge, so we’ve moved most of the furniture out to the library, which now resembles a bring & buy sale. The chimney rebuilding quotes are in, the first was 80% over budget, the second? 30% under budget, go figure! However, after a bit of a deal we’ve done on separate scaffolding, we should be able to get this job priced right down. Last but not least, we’ve put a bucket in the attic under a hole in the roof, so hopefully that’s the last of blizzards in the kitchen and rain on the landing for a while!