Let there be light… And no plaster dust.

And on the hundredth day (approximately, give or take a dozen) there was light. Yes, the electricians have left the building, woo hoooo! I am not missing the mess they created, or the odd things that were happening before completion of the new circuits, like switches controlling lights in other rooms, or the epic failure of the new remote control bedroom lights to work… Oh, except when any of the neighbours locked their cars or we turned over the tv, then the lights came on full beam! Pleased with our bedroom wall lights, a step closer to the coveted hotel-feel, though currently not the standard of hotel room one would actually choose to occupy.

20140209-204902.jpg It’s also great to have proper lighting in the kitchen (though we’re about 10 bulbs short – Who knew it was so difficult to get a bulb these days?!) and at last get rid of the old electrics clinging onto beams meaning we can fully open the room now.

20140209-205128.jpg The lights outside look good too, it’s great to be able to light the courtyard at last.

20140209-205232.jpg The clutter you see in the foreground is what 7 (yes 7) Economy Heaters look like once they’ve been opened up, stripped of their refractory bricks and strewn into the yard. That was a fun afternoon.

20140209-205847.jpg Also this week our poor little house got stitched together, but on the plus side, it shouldn’t crack anymore. I thought I’d be putting up photos of this process, but the guys got through the work so quickly and efficiently, there was actually nothing to see. I seriously need to find out what vacuum cleaner they have…not a trace of plaster dust! The electricians could learn a lot from these dudes! This is the hallway with the addition of the Helifix bars.

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The bars are fitted neatly between the bricks then covered over again.

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These will solve our higgeldy-piggeldy bricks. We’ve had the same process on the gable end of the house as it was bowing outward. There’s hardly a trace of the work which is great as the brickwork is so intricate I was worried it would be spoiled. Most exciting news of the week is that my radio’s extreme-makeover is complete… Ta-da!

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Windows, Wires & Webbing…

The old (ish) windows at the back of the house are now gone, I thought I’d be quite sad, as aesthetically they were ok, but in terms of energy efficiency and security were rock bottom. We chose Georgian style replacements, though we’ve no idea what would have been there originally.

20140126-184830.jpg I’m really quite pleased with the results. Much lighter than I was expecting and due to a few little suggestions from the fitters, they open really easily, the deep bay in the kitchen had been impossible to reach previously. We also had the old breakfast room door replaced. Our neighbours told us when they moved in they had the original door there, which was a stunning stained glass piece. We however, had a horrid, rotting, wooden door. We decided to replace it with skinny French doors, the fitters warned us against this as they were worried about seeing more frame than glass, but they actually look really good. They will work really well as we wanted to be able to leave the doors open onto the courtyard in Summer, but a regular door would have opened onto the library window. I’m not very fond of the Georgian detail in the top pane, I’d assumed it would be clear. Lesson learned… Spec EVERYTHING!

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I did take the time to do a full design for the front door, as I wasn’t confident the guys had grasped quite what I wanted, seems this paid off as we’ve got pretty much what we asked for, with the added advantage of a handle, which I left off plan!

20140126-190419.jpg The neighbours popped round to say they love it, hopefully our house won’t be the ugly duckling of the street for too much longer!

Also this week the rewire has begun, there are floorboards and holes all over the place, and every floor, wall and ceiling is strewn with wires like gigantic grey spaghetti.

20140126-190717.jpg The cat seems to think she is living in some sort of feline theme park, her current party trick is burrowing down from the craft room floor and emerging in the top pantry cupboard, I’ve given up worrying what she gets up to, as there’s little we can do to prevent it!

Every evening we’ve been marking out switch and socket positions, it feels luxurious to be able to have everything exactly where we want it. Also great to get back from work and see there’s been progress in our absence as there are now plenty of people on site. We’ve marked out the kitchen too, though I got told off by Ronnie for drawing on the cupboards as apparently text would have sufficed and my pictures are neither professional or necessary… They make me snigger though.

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We’ve met a couple a few houses down who have a similar level of work to do as us. We actually viewed their (beautiful) house before we bought this ours, at the time we were scared off by the amount of work required, though a year or so later we jumped in with both feet into a similar wreck! It’s going to be good to potter down and see what they are up to, and I’m sure they will be pottering to ours too.

Finally for this week, a quick update on my upholstery project, aka ‘The Damn Chair’. There was a class locally yesterday, so I had a few hours off renovation, at least of the bricks and mortar variety. I’ll post more about this project at some point as it’s a long, long story, but here he is at close of play yesterday:

20140126-191819.jpg After several years and more money than I dare think about, it’s very nearly there!