Friday, 26 July 2013

Our New House–Hidden Work

Again, only one post today because nothing further has been done on my new ARTHaven. Andy is waiting for the arrival of the office furniture – now fixed for Tuesday morning next week – before installing the final shelves.

There was a great deal of work done today but most of it was hidden, so not quite so many photos! Andy, Paul and Chris were on site, as well as Peter the roofer. Most of what was done today involved taking out the old lead pipes and replacing them with copper, and also Paul installed most of the plumbing under the floorboards for the new bathroom.

On entering the house via the back door, the first thing to see was that the boiler flue is now complete, and exits through the new white panel over the back door.

01 Boiler Flue Completed

02 Boiler Flue Exiting above Back Door

As for the roof, all the tiles are now on the back of the roof. All that remains is for the flashing around the chimneys to be completed, the ridge tiles added, and, of course, the lean-to roof to be replaced. After Peter has finished, Andy and the team will attend to the structural part of the roof from inside the loft – reinforcing braces, etc.

03 Slates on Back of Roof Complete

Guilty Chris…

04 Guilty Chris

Look carefully and you can see one little guilty looking eye peeking out through the hole in the bottom of Mum’s old washing up bowl. He admitted that he’d dropped his hammer on it. I decided to use this bowl for while the builders were with us because it was so manky and awful, and given her head, Mum would never have thrown it out, I don’t think! She doesn’t know it, but I’ve bought her a smart new cream one for her new kitchen, together with new brushes and sink tidy. This old blue one can now be thrown out at long last!!

Upstairs, the bedroom washbasin has now been removed. My dressing table will be going in this corner. Andy said that removing the tiles would make an awful mess of the plaster which would have to be redone. I suggested that since my dressing table will be in front, there was perhaps little point in removing them, to which he agreed. There is a hole in the floor where the waste went, but we will ignore that, too, since it’s going to be covered by the furniture.

05 Bedroom Basin Removed

Back downstairs, the annexe kitchen sink has now been removed.

06 Annexe Sink Removed

Here is Chris removing the tiles from around the annexe kitchen sink.

07 Chris Removing Tiles from Annexe Sink

At last! The windows have arrived for the annexe sitting room. My hubby and I have a running joke whenever we watch Grand Designs on TV. The thing that always, without fail, holds up the project is the non-arrival of the windows! With each episode we wait for… “the windows haven’t come.” Our windows should have come last week, apparently. Here are the double-glazed units for the new window and the door which will give direct access to the patio at the back of the house.

08 Double-Glazed Units for Annexe Window and Door

Here are the window and door frames.

09 Annexe Window and Door

Here is an example of Chris’s artistic talent. The other day, Andy took a piece of packing cardboard and placed it over the glass hob to protect it. With Chris working on the extractor above, he thought it would be a good idea to provide some added protection!

10 Glass Hob Warning

Nice pen-work, wouldn’t you agree?

Chris has now finished drilling the hole for the extractor, and has inserted a flexible lining.

11 Flexible Pipe for Extractor

The job was more difficult than anticipated, because the chimney does not run up vertically, but slopes up to the right, where it eventually joins the sitting room chimney before ascending vertically to the roof. When Chris drilled through, he had to drill through solid brickwork to get through to the outside, when he had hoped to enter the chimney itself. A horrible dusty job when the weather is so hot, and extremely hard work using a heavy power tool above shoulder height.

I said how awful it would be, if at this stage we suddenly realised that this was a terraced house and not detached – and Chris had drilled right through into next door’s sitting room! I’m sure it’s been done.

I shan’t be going over again until Tuesday of next week, when a friend of ours is helping us with his van. He and his sons are going to take my office furniture over so that I can get the office section of my ARTHaven organised, and Andy can decide where the high shelves can go, in there, and in the ARThaven proper. This weekend I am going to have to sort out my filing cabinet and make sure there’s room to get the furniture out – i.e. move loads of boxes (mostly empty thank goodness).


  1. What brilliant photos of your new home coming together. Its a lovely record to have, isn't it? We always take pictures before, during & after any redecoration we do- in an old Victorian house, redecoration is a euphemism for complete renovation!Have a great week, Hugs, Shaz #70 xx

  2. Thanks for the updates, Shoshi. Must be fun to get to watch everything. (Well, not everything, of course! But lots of it.)

  3. Hi again, I know the lead pipe problem well. We (until recently) still had lead pipes in some wall, from when the houses were lit by gas lamps1 There is a pic of the one being removed from my craft room in the photos on that page. Funniest (now, not at the time) story with those pipes Is from when we first moved in, 18 years ago. The main rooms paper was a bit too dark for our tastes, so we stripped it off, and chose a new. mainly white paper to go up. Beloved Hubby was looking at the bare wall above the fireplace, at a couple of rusty looking patches. 'Thats going to show through the paper', he says,'but I don't want to damage the plaster removing whatever it is',so proceeds to start on one of the marks, with a small tack, gently picking away a small area, so he can fill it after. He finally uncovers the heads of a couple of nails, so out com epliers to pull them carefully out. First nail comes out, now for the second. Gently tugs it out, then.... THUD! The whole chimney breast full of plaster comes off, and hits the floor in a cloud of dust! The reason? The old wall light gas pipes had been cut off, hammered flat. then held back against the wall with nails bent over them. As soon as the second nail came out, the pipe sproinged away from the wall, removing all the plaster in one go! At least Hubby learnt how to plaster, rofl. Hope you don't meet with any such disasters- you never know what previous owners have done! Hugs Shaz xx


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