Thursday, 30 October 2008

Week 19

Well, our original 18 week schedule came to an end last Friday, but, as you can see from these photos, things arent quite finished!

To be fair to Jon and the guys they would have been off site last week had we not ended up with additional unforeseens and extra jobs we undertook whilst we had the house back to bare walls and floors. To be honest, we're amazed that we are only over-running by a week when we must have added 3-4 weeks additional work on to the job!

Internally the whole of no.3 is now plastered out (no more photos - there's only so much excitement a photo of a newly plastered wall!), but the last week has mainly been about windows and patios.

Below, the additional first floor windows (x3) and the ground floor boot room window went in last week.

Once these were in, and the frame for the folding sliding doors installed, Dain returned to finished the ground floor rendering. Rendering done, Jon jumped on the folding sliding doors this week and bingo! What a difference!

And this is what they do.

And from the inside, all closed up . . .

. . . a little bit of fresh air . . .

. . . and bringing the outdoors inside.

Outside Ging and Sean have done a superb job with the second of the patio areas, this one outside the new kitchen, complete with shallow ramp down to the lower patio level behind no.4. We're really pleased that we've managed to pave the entire area with slabs we already had - a great bit of recycling!

Here you can see the rear of the property from the kitchen folding sliding doors (old no.3) across the back of old no.4.

And the obligatory shot from my favourite viewpoint!

All the windows have been dressed with Aluuwood (alluminium with fine wood veneer) blinds. here are the blinds in the ground floor gable end windows of the new open plan living room.

With the kitchen and shower-room floors going down this week, all internal doors hung, its down to all those fiddly jobs. Oh, and the fitting the new kitchen!

Watch this space as Fri 7 Nov approaches. Will the guys be off site?

Sunday, 12 October 2008

Deja Vous!

Now enjoying life in a renovated no.4 (the first time we have physcially 'lived' in this cottage since we bought it in 2006), the memory of the muck and hassles of ripping out seemed a dim and distant memory. But they're back!

One of the shocks (and major add-on expense) of ripping out no.4 was having to put a new ground floor through the whole property. And, guess what? When we started to take up the kitchen and extension floor in no.3 we got a similar shock. Apart from having a drop of over 40mm from one end to the other, once the top screed was removed, we found nothing but brick and rubble below. Oh hum.

So, Sean and Ging got to it and with one of those very noisy pneumatic drills (you know, two noise levels [1] bloody noisy and [2] off) they soon had the floor up.

With the floor up, one of those big mixer lorries turned up and the guys barrowed the mix round the back and in. The driver even had the audacity to say to Jon that he would charge waiting time if they ran over 20 mins. You can only guess what Jon made of that suggestion!

One of the big differences between Jon and the guys and the 'bastards' we had before, although whilst it was an additional cost, the guys got it done and dusted in no time and it just wasn't stressfull at all compared to what the 'bastards' put us thorugh in no.4. Thanks guys!

Elsewhere, doorways got new lintels . . .

. . . Sean (I'm just too good looking) built us a nice brick pier to support the steel holding up the new dormer (the very steel that only needed to be the width of the kitche, but the pillocks who put it in (see 'bastards') put it in the whole length of the two cottages! When we revealed just how tight they had got this end, only an inch on to the end brick wall (hence needing extra suppoer with the pier), Jon commented 'the bastards only just managed to get it on this end, but had 9m too much the other side!' . . .

. . . and then some walls got boarded, some got stripped and UPVA treated, and . . .

. . . then the plasterers got cracking!

And to say its been a busy week would be a major understatement! As well as Jon, Matt, Sean (I'm gorgeous) and Ging making their noise, Phil the plumber and Danny the sparky (with new sidekick Jamie) were in as well leaving their mark. Here is part of the kitchen ceiling with water pipes and leccy cables heading in all directions!

Roll on week 17!

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

Week 15 - so it must be make over part 2!

Well, things just dont stand still here! No sooner have we vacated no.3 and are still unpacking in no.4, the guys begin ripping out no.3! First off the kitchen, bathroom and utility room are knocked into one and the back opened up for the folding, sliding doors.

This is what the back looked like a month ago . . .

. . . and by the end of Monday it look like this!

And from the inside . . .

Above you get first sight of the change in ceiling height in the new kitchen and the three velux roof windows.

With ripping out complete, downstairs Sean and Ging start knocking out new doorways, inserting lintels and making good the door surrounds.

Below, the upstairs (Matt and Kev) is cracking on at pace too with walls ripped out, doorways crated and stud walls already going up. Oh, and the sparkies have already begun first fix! Bloody hell!

Below, the third skip of the week is soon filling up with bricks and rubble and the pile of timber and other waste awaits the next skip.

Recycling is high on our list, so the guys are allowed to salvage what they want - copper piping, cabling etc, and Danny the sparky took our old back door away with him for his own house.

Rooms with a view

Sat at my new office desk today, on the phone, I spied a Merlin chasing a Meadow Pipit. Wow! Merlin is already on the house lise, but having the vista to watch a Merlin chase a pipit across the fen was something else. Even when the birds had gone from view I sat and for the first time I really appreciated just how great some of our 'new' views are.

Above and below, Steve's new office window views - one across the fen, the other across the front garden and to the fen beyond.

Below, Liz's desk view is also across the front garden and fen.

Below, the new lounge window view across the fen.

The bedroom and bathroom look east over the back garden and fen. A view which will be much improved when we get rid of the 'village' of sheds we inherited when we bought no.4.