No more polystyrene tiles (ever)

A couple of weeks ago I got rid of the last polystyrene tiles… they were on the landing.
I’ve also stripped the last of the wallpaper in the house – the stairs, landing and master bedroom.

making a mess

making a mess

second lot of filling, mid wall awaiting plastering

second lot of filling, mid wall awaiting plastering

I’ve mostly prepped the walls now. Just need to sand down where I’ve re-filled and should be ready for painting the top coat colour. But no point painting until the plastering is done.

ceiling patched up

ceiling patched up

I’ve patched up the massive 3.2m x .65m gap in the ceiling where the wardrobes used to be. I also chased in a misc. live elec cable and rendered over. The ceiling and wall is also ready for skimming.

elec cable chased in

elec cable chased in

The plasterer said I needed to get the wooden edging strips off the chimney, because otherwise the new plaster would crack. Took a while to get the strips off, they didn’t want to budge. And loads of plaster and render came away in the process. Doh.

wood off the chimney

wood off the chimney

You can see the holes in the chimney where I was seeing if there was a fireplace hiding behind it, but I didn’t find one.

Now just to get the last bits of wallpaper down and patch up the rendering before I can get the plasterer in.

I also viewed a house down my road, just to know the market more and see what I can aim to sell mine for. The asking price was £130k. Bigger bedrooms and the third room is a proper room and a decent size. But shabby as hell, with a skanky bathroom, dodgy pipework for the radiators running across bedroom walls, awful cladding in the small kitchen and very badly finished throughout.

If that sells for anywhere close to asking, I’ll be very happy… as it means mine will be worth more than I thought.


Rendering the Walls

I started rendering the walls tonight. Hands are pretty cut up, probably should have worn gloves..

It’s harder than it looks. Coming out ok, got more to do and then time to plaster.

Luckily most of the brickwork that’s left in the first photo won’t need rendering as it won’t be in view. I’ll be building a fixed cupboard/shelf combo.

re rendering

re rendering

rendering bay window

rendering bay window

After a month of waiting my spice rack turned up. Finally somewhere to store all my spices!

new spice rack

new spice rack

Front Room – Time is Running Out.

The aim is to transform the front room to a neatly finished blank canvas before Christmas. Ready for sanding the floors and decorating in the new year…. excluding the bay window wall, which I’ll render & plaster in the new year too.

filling the chimney
filling the chimney
primed chimney, damp plaster gone
primed chimney

I also sprayed the fireplace for my lounge. Ran out spray though, so it’s not quite done. The room doesn’t have any windows that open either so working in the room later on was an experience..

back to bricks
back to bricks

The plaster by the bay was worse than I thought, so had to take it back to brick and will need to render this before plastering. It’s not rising damp, the downpipe at the front of the house needed re-routing.

more filling & priming

filled & primed walls

filled & primed

more filling & priming

Still got a bit more filling to do.

Some people think that doing up a room, means strip the wallpaper, then stick on a couple of coats of paint. Makes me laugh… cry/laugh, it’s the same thing really right?

Almost a house…

My worktops arrived Friday.

Over the weekend my dad cut them to fit, the hob is in it just needs connecting. Unfortunately at about 7pm Sunday night we found out that the tap thread connector is too short for the 40mm worktop… gutted!

kitchen solid beech worktop fitted

cooker hood, hob and microwave in place

The worktops do look great though.

Plumber no. 2 and my lodger better be careful! They are the two most expensive things in the house.

Dad fitted the cooker hood too, which again caused a bit of a headache as the ducting wasn’t long enough and it took a while to source another bit of ducting that wasn’t several meters in length (we only need 350mm). Plus where I bought the original 125mm ducting from only did a 100mm vent. Screwfix saved the day.

I bought a mitre saw for the coving and architrave, but didn’t have a 14mm spanner so couldn’t assemble it. I bought the spanner today, so I can set it up tonight and have a play. Once I’ve gotten to grips with it, it will make cutting the coving and architrave a lot quicker.

I bought a tile cutter too. I’m ready to start tiling the kitchen floor. I just need to set aside a LOT of time. The setting out will need to done carefully, due to the room stepping in part way up. As the room is long and narrow I’ll be doing a brick pattern to trick the eye.

The floorboards are giving me grief. Victorian houses had a carpet/rug in the middle of the floor, with a black/brown edging painted in bitumen/tar. This gunge clogs up the sanding belts in no time, and melts with the heat so then smears over other floorboards.

Time to try some chemicals, rags and a scraper… I’ll experiment with white spirit tonight, if that doesn’t work I’ll try turpentine and then some sort of stripper. Petrol is another suggestion but I don’t really like the thought of that.

Kitchen Floor… (Finally)

More of the kitchen was drylined Tuesday – it’s slow, doing it bit by bit. The builder has to do things a bit backwards, due to the backward plumber.

Most of Kitchen Dry Lined

On wednesday all the pipes were done and my wet room floor laid on Wed. Apparently the pipework was a nightmare and took 4 hours. I also collected a free good condition toilet off freecycle, for upstairs.

Kitchen Floor

Today (Thurs) the floor to 90% of the kitchen floor was done. Again, this is being done backwards (i.e. by hand rather than pump from truck) due to plumbers screw up. It nearly looks like a room now.

But regardless of what happens tomorrow, the room is ready to fit my kitchen units at the weekend.

Bank Hol Working Weekend

Things haven’t been able to progress as we’d like, due to issues with the plumber. What is it with plumbers?! I have boiler and rads sitting in their boxes in my living room, but as the boiler hasn’t been fitted and pipes not changed the ceiling and top part of walls couldn’t be boarded. The floor was supposed to be laid Fri, but had to cancel this due to the plumber being a complete time waster (pipes need to be laid first). Had a nice hot shower at my builders house tonight tho.

The kitchen windows have been changed and the majority of the wall dry lined. The wet room ceiling has been boarded. The lounge has been rendered, ready to be skimmed tomorrow.

Old Windows (Rotten Frames)

Replacing Windows

Replacing Windows

Dry Lining Kitchen

Boarding Wet Room Ceiling

I have taken out two of the built in wardrobes in my bedroom, which really opens up the room.



I’ve also filled more of the lounge walls and ceiling and given the ceiling the first coat of paint. Was given some caulking and a gun yesterday, which makes filling in the gaps in the corners between walls easy.

Plus lots of little jobs, like painting door frames – which as the architraves (door frame surrounds) are Victorian they are a total pain to paint.