Toasty Warm for Winter…

There’s been lots to going on in recent weeks, most notably, just in time for what is shaping up to be a long cold winter we have (cue trumpeting) central heating! The radiators are toasty warm, but oh…so ugly. Ronnie has banned covers (cue wittering about reduced efficiency) and assures me I’ll stop noticing them after a while. After months of bare brick, I’d got used to lovely freshly plastered bare walls and the radiators just..well..interupt my view with their big metal whiteness.

We just had one period style radiator…I love it. It resides in the bedroom, which is starting to look fractionally less car boot and more boutique…though from this photo, you may be forgiven for thinking otherwise!


We were able to work out our own BTUs (British Thermal Units, apparently) to calculate the most efficient size of radiator for each room. We then bickered quite a lot about positioning – aesthetic v’s practical. I lost. The fitting was surprisingly painless, though for a fortnight, most surfaces looked a little like this…

IMG_4409.JPGThe (super efficient condensing) boiler kicks out loads of (slightly too) hot water and fits nicely into the kitchen cupboard meaning we’ve not lost much storage AND we’ve gained back the bathroom cupboard where the water tank used to reside.

We’ve lagged all the water pipes to help insulation (thrifty!) though we’ll need to do a bit more boxing in around the pipes, it’s worked out ok.
We need the carpenter to box in the pipes near the kitchen window taking hot water from the boiler to the back of the house.

IMG_4407.JPG We couldn’t go through the ceiling due to the steel joists. Where sensibly possible, we’ve avoided any visible pipework, but there are a couple of compromises we’ve had to make, the Victorians were damn fine engineers, but their architecture neglects access for future generations heating requirements. The main problems were the lounge, library and hall as we didn’t want any pipes running upstairs in these rooms so we’ve run a vertical down the porch. We also decided to run the gas pipe externally, it was either that or excavate a channel through the kitchen floor…no thanks.

Cooking on gas…Nearly!

Today was spent digging a trench from the side gate to the road, what fun! This is in preparation for the gas line to be fitted, we’ve saved about £500 doing this, so as much as I moaned (and I really moaned) the saving was worth the effort. It was also quite nice to be out at the front of the house chatting to passers by, many of them are older folk who knew the previous occupants, they all want to know how we’re getting on and wish us well, which is super.

20140322-181603.jpg We’re slightly concerned that there doesn’t seem to have been any notification to our neighbours that the road will be closed, except a tiny sign on a lampost at the very end of the street, so there may be some drama this week!

I’ve also been on the case trying to mend the stool that the pesky electricians broke. Here is how it looked a few years ago when I first bought it…

20140322-182318.jpg After much stripping, waxing and upholstering it looked like this, shown in our last home…


And after the aforementioned electricians got at it, it looked like this…!

20140322-184107.jpg Not only has the poor old thing lost a leg and it’s mouldings, it’s having to lie on the vile carpet. After a bit of nailing, a lot of gluing and some serious clamping it was on it’s way back to health.

It’s now looking much better after a bit of filling, sanding and polishing, and will be going into the guest bedroom word of warning to friends and family that may stay in future….It might be wise not to sit on it for too long!

This weekend has finally seen an end to the hours, and hours, and hours of scraping and scrubbing of the exposed brick wall in the kitchen.

20140323-211724.jpg It looks a little patchy in this photo, it’s far from ‘perfect’ as each brick is different, but I’m super pleased with it, I can’t wait to get it sealed and hang my Thai mirror on it.;