Sunday, 28 September 2008

Ready for the big push!

Whilst Steve sunned himself in Lesvos for a week, Liz was left at home to start packing up for the move and to oversee the last elements of no.4 ahead of the move.

The major and long-awaited event was Jon fitting the bespoke staircase he has made us. Hand crafted to our spec in maple, beech and oak, it is a work of art!

Once the stairs had gone in the carpets could go down. Jon also fitted the oak window sills throughout.One of three zebrano Jaga Knockonwood radiators in the living room.

For the next month or so we have a temporary kitchen installed in the living room.

And Steve arrived back on Thursday evening and from Friday (26 Sept) we spent three days switching from no.3 to no.4! We're knackered!! Once we have things resembling some order we can resume the decorating. Only the office got completed before the move. Here's a few photos of sorting to be done.

Above, Liz's end of the office; below, Steve's end of the office.

Sunday, 14 September 2008

Meet the builders #2 = Sean (Mr Good Looking)

Known as: good looking, gorgeous, any any other complimentary remark about his sheer good looks

Age: c.21

Job: general builder - chippy, bricky, etc (see Ging), and being simply too good looking to be real

Marital status: hooked up but talks a good single bloke's talk - well you do when you're so good looking

Likes: just being good looking, beer, women, mirrors - oh, and bike racing (presumably for good looking blokes only) and Ging

Dislikes: presumably dirty mirrors, bad hair days - he's a chippy bloke really and hasnt really expressed any major dislikes!

Heard to say: 'well, when you're as good looking as me Steve . . . '; 'its all brand new'; and my favourite banter moment with the good looking one -
Sean: you ever been to America Steve?
Steve: no
Sean: what never?! (he clearly thought I should have been being so well travelled and good looking myself)
Steve: no
Sean: I'd love to go
Steve: why?
Sean: (pause) . . . to 'do' all the women!
Steve: what all of them?
Sean: well, I'll have a good go!

Oh, and did I mention he is good looking? Not sure about the face furniture though.
Sean is so good looking I thought he deserved a second photo.

Slap and tickle

There is no such thing as a quiet week here and this week was no exception. The noise levels were ramped up when Sean and Ging returned to join and Matt and Kev on site, whilst Jon began a marathon stint in the workshop crafting our oak window sills, some cupboard doors and . . . our hand-built wood staircase! We cant wait to see all this wood added to the interior.

On site, more major steps forward. Below, Mat and Kev fitted the downstairs bathroom window and once in, we welcomed Dain to site to slap on some render the first section of the back back. And what a huge difference it has made unifying the back and hiding the mish-mash of brick and block work. The rest will get done in phase 2 and the new kitchen and bootroom have been done. We've ot decided on the colour yet, butthat can wait until the end of phase 2.
Once the render was done, Sean and Ging laid the slabs along the back, Ging on slab slicing and Sean on tickle duty. And don't they look nice. OK. We know. They are bog standard concrete slabs. But they were free. With our environmental ethos we are reusing as many of the slabs we already had around the house (four different sorts!). They looked a mess before we started work, but re-laid, they look great. It makes a big difference when even masic slabs are laid well.

Below, Ging (left) and Sean hard at it. Note the lack of builder's bum here. More a case of builer's boxers. . Not an ideal day to hang out your smalls with all that dust flying around!

Inside, we've been slogging away ourselves with the never-ending decorating. We got all the base coats slapped on and we began to slap on the top coats.

And here is what we are using - ECOS organic paint. Organic paint! Great stuff. And it don't cost the earth either, around 5% more than top end Dulux/Crown stuff and cheaper than your fancy dan Fired Earth or Farrow & Ball slap. We found them whilst searching fthe web or eco-paint and then found that they are also rated by my beloced Which? Top stuff! Below, Liz slaps on the 'citrica' in the bathroom which ties in with the orange in the border tiles. Wait til you see the other colours we've bought!

Like our new oak floor? Niiiiiiiice!

Sunday, 7 September 2008

Week 11 - shine on!

Its been another one of those bits and pieces weeks. Matt and Kev have been chipping away at finshing jobs on no.4 such as sealing the the new windows, a bit more guttering, removing the old bathroom window (but didn't quite get to fitting the new shower room window which replaces it), etc.

Liz and I have been plugging away at the decorating. We still can't get over just how much prep is involved when doing what is effectively a new house. We've got as far as getting the first of the top coats on with Liz glossing the skirts and doorways upstairs. We're just about managing to keep up by putting in the hours - I was in there at 05.30 on Friday, and we both put in 10+ hours on both Sat and Sun - we're knackered!

Three major items did get done though, the first being work on the ground floor shower room (part of no.3 but being started from this side now), the new back door was installed and we got second fix electrics!

Above, the smart new back door at the end of the covered approach. It will open into the new bot room which leads in to the new kitchen (both phase 2).

And below, second fix electrics meant leccy throughout the house inc. here in the office. Note the view through a rain-spattered window - it hasn't stoppped raining all week. but at least we aren't flooded like other parts of the country.