Ebay Addiction…

The week has mainly be spent doing evening trips up the scaffolding to check on chimney progress. This image shows the old chimney with it’s worrying right lean, and the rebuilt version, straight and crowned with the pot we bought a couple of weeks ago.
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I wonder what the chimney pot’s last view was like? It’s stuck with this one now.

20140629-172941-62981291.jpg The main chimney has been a nightmare for the builders to get back up complete with decorative brickwork, but they perservered and after a few false starts it’s up all but the last couple of courses.

20140629-173120-63080621.jpg We’ve had several compliments on our chimneys this week from passers by, people are obviously taking more notice of our project than I thought! After buying the chimney pot, and one or two other bits, We are it seems addicted to Ebay and possibly in need of therapy. Here is what we bought this week…

20140629-165436-60876462.jpg An antique toilet door lock, yes, we’ll soon be charging visitors to ‘spend a penny’, these renovations won’t pay for themselves you know! Our scheme will not commence until the cloakroom has been decorated, it’s a bit much charging in it’s current state. We also collected the bench we bought last weekend…

20140629-164059-60059592.jpg We collected it from a lovely couple who had bought it from an antique shop about 20 years ago, they were glad to know it would be going to a new home, which as they put it, would look after it for the next person. It will sit at the top of our stairs for a while, folk can sit on it while they wait for the bathroom, there won’t be a charge for the upstairs convenience. Inside the house Dennis has been cracking on with the plastering and we’ve been round the kitchen with a mist coat, it’s really starting to look different. This shows the alcove that used to be the vestibule at the top of the hall and is now the cubby at the bottom of the kitchen…

20140629-182030-66030695.jpgIt’s since had a wall knocked down, a window put in, plaster taken off, damp proofing put in, plaster putting back on and the mirror (that funnily enough I got from Ebay) hanging. We also got this huge champagne cork side table / stool type thing (which was not from Ebay, but would have been had A friend not appeared with it – thanks Lizzie!) Finally for this week, we enjoyed our first crop of home grown potatoes and finally got a doorbell, thanks Dad!

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Up On The Roof…

This weeks project has been getting the chimneys operational. The builder has been busy taking down the old chimneys and putting them back straight. Indoors, we had the chimney sweep come round and we busied away clearing the lounge fireplace… 20140621-214835-78515844.jpg
I’d hoped when we bought the house we’d find an amazing fireplace behind the boards blocking it off, it turned out to be empty, but the Library Fireplace made up for the disappointment. When we cleared the bricks blocking up the fireplace we found numerous pieces of tile that I assume would once of been part of the fireplace, it has a black printed design and is hand coloured (not very well to be honest!) but I love the deep pink and purple in the flowers, and the shades match perfectly the colours in the stained glass windows, those Victorians certainly weren’t afraid of a bit of colour…anyway, back to the job in hand… I knew the task wasn’t going to be as easy as anticipated when this sizeable delivery appeared on our driveway…

20140621-223339-81219370.jpg Once unwrapped, a chimney liner apparently looks like this, who knew?

20140621-223421-81261179.jpg This is the gas version, the solid fuel version is slightly smoother. These ten meter lengths were around £300 each, someone is making some serious profit margin on this stuff. So now we just had to get them down the chimney, simple hey? Firstly we dropped ropes down, which Ronnie weighted with the vintage kitchen weight I bought a few weeks ago, this was not it’s intended purpose! That said, it was the perfect tool for the job. Once we had the rope down, it was time to get the liners up to the roof via the scaffolding, straightening them out as they went…

20140622-163850-59930194.jpg Now the plan was essentially to tie the liner to the rope on the roof, one of us to feed it down the chimney and the other, to tug like hell from below, I chose my role wisely.

20140621-224302-81782260.jpg As the fitting instructions recommended, Ronnie wrapped tubes of insulation around the liner as it was fed down the chimney, (improves the draw of smoke apparently) but every time I pulled the rope below, the liner was getting lodged in the crook of the chimney, we tried about 20 times during the course of an exhausting few hours and eventually decided to get a nose cone from the local stove supplier, we had read this would make the process easier. Brettle Lane Stoves were out of cones, but the guy very kindly gave us some invaluable advice, firstly, hammer the end of the liner into a cone form which will be easier to guide, and secondly, put the insulation down after the liner. We did just that and the liner came down perfectly, along with a random brick, some tin foil and a boat-load of soot!

20140622-165112-60672272.jpgThe second one came down sweet as nut, we’re now feeling quite the flue-lining experts, and very pleased to have saved around £1500 by doing this ourselves. Need to start researching fires next!