Again, the first of two posts – this first one on progress on the house generally, and the second, on my ARTHaven.
Today we went over to the new house again, and there were quite a lot of people working there. Chris wasn’t there today because he’s been baling hay (while the sun shines!) but we had Ashley painting in the kitchen, John the kitchen fitter (a new member of the team – his first job working with Andy), Peter the chief roofer and his sidekick, and of course Andy, supervising them all.
Most of the work done today involved the kitchen and the roof. It was not possible to see what was happening on the roof because they were working exclusively on the front, and you can’t get far away enough in the road to see what is happening. They need to get the front done first because there’s a time limit on the highways license for the scaffolding.
While the roof was wide open over the past couple of days, the house was vulnerable, with scaffolding and ladders everywhere, so my hubby appointed himself night watchman, and slept over there so that there was someone on the spot to prevent break-ins. He said parking the car in the bay at the back probably helped to scare off potential intruders, and it’s a pretty built up area anyway. We also have lamps on time switches throughout the house.
Here is the night watchman’s bed – courtesy of Andy!
I took advantage of this bed this afternoon and lay down for half an hour to rest. Andy’s going to leave it there for us. My hubby won’t have to sleep there again until they open up the back of the roof, sometime next week.
When we arrived today, all the tiles from the front had been removed and they’d done a lot of new battening etc. Peter reported that by the time they finished today, they had started tiling at the front.
Here is Peter with Andy on the lawn at the back. He said that up there on top of the roof, it’s incredibly hot! They were both getting really sunburnt, and were glad that today was a bit cooler, with a slight breeze.
You can see some of the new roof timbers and some felt in front of them, and to the right of the picture, the roof tiles. These are artificial slate, and Peter tells us they are very good quality – some less good ones have the colour only on the surface, and after a few years’ weathering, it’s all gone and they look awful. They are very suitable for the addition of solar panels, which we are going to have fitted after we move. On top of the tiles you can see the ridge tiles. Behind Andy and Peter is the little summer house. We think it’s too dark to sit in, but in front, on the hard-standing constructed out of old wooden railway sleepers, my hubby has put the garden seat, and it’s lovely and shady in the afternoons under the apple tree. My hubby has Cuprinoled the seat but it does need some strengthening underneath as it’s a bit rickety. Today he was working on the fencing in the garden, and sorting supports for Mum’s bird feeders.
When we first arrived at the house, we found John working hard in the kitchen. Since I was last there, the last remaining unit has been removed, which included the sink. Andy says he never removes all the units at once and leaves people without a source of running water, unlike some builders who leave householders (usually living in the house, unlike us!) with no water for days at a time, and they have to depend on neighbours!
We are fortunate in having an alternative water supply in the annexe kitchen, albeit a lot more primitive than the main kitchen sink was. Here is the new coffee bar now:
You can see that the old boiler and tank are still there. The boiler man is coming soon to deal with that.
Filling the kettle, and washing up, at that sink, with the awful taps set at different levels, and which are terribly hard to turn on and off, I marvelled at the advance in plumbing in recent years! We now have ceramic disc technology and lever taps, so no drips, and no strain involved, and beautiful stainless steel sinks. One day soon, what you see above will be transformed into a lovely bright little kitchen for Mum.
Back to the main kitchen. Here’s the man himself:
Behind him is the double oven cabinet that he has just installed.
Here is the fridge-freezer cabinet installed.
You can see the wiring on the left. It was amazing how much of a gap there was at the top, between the cabinet and the utility room door frame! Just looking at it before the unit was installed, it looked perfectly OK, but in no houses (modern ones included) are you likely to find true perpendiculars and right-angles! Compared with some, though, we are very fortunate – a friend of mine lives in an ancient Suffolk cottage and you go mountaineering on her landing, up and down, and every piece of furniture is supported by wedges!
In the above photo, you can see how lovely the laminate flooring is. It is very difficult indeed to see the joins in the laminate strips; the whole effect is of stone tiles fitted together. I am very thrilled with it, and think it will also be very practical, as well as hard-wearing.
Ashley was there during the early part of the day, painting where he could in the kitchen. He will be back, probably tomorrow, to do a second coat, and to paint around whatever units are installed. He has done a beautiful job in the hall, landing and stairs. Actually, I am continually impressed by the craftsmanship of the team members, and the high quality of finish.
In the next picture, John is attaching the adjustable feet to the bottoms of some of the floor units. You can screw the feet up and down to level the units – like the walls, floors are rarely 100% flat! I often find myself testing this, taking the brakes off my wheelchair and seeing how it rolls in the direction of the slope of the floor.
The base units to the left of the fridge-freezer. This is the new layout of the kitchen, with the incorporation of a peninsula unit to provide me with some extra cupboard space.
Note the drawers on the right. The whole drawer (with the exception of the front) is made of metal, unlike the cheap plastic ones we have in our present house! These drawers, along with all the other cupboards, will have soft closures.
Here John is constructing the double unit which will form the peninsula unit, testing its position.
Installing the carousels. These are aptly named “Le Mans carousels” because of their shape!
Here is one partially pulled out to show the working of it.
Pull it a bit further and it snakes its way right out, giving you easy access to the whole surface. Again, the construction is all of metal (apparently made by a German company) and should therefore be good and durable.
Finishing the installation of the carousels:
and finally installed:
Note the attractive moulding which will form the corner with the peninsula unit.
Installing the wall units:
You can see how lovely the drawer fronts are, and the cupboard doors.
Installing the doors on the wall units:
There will be lights underneath these, shining on to the worktop below.
The wall units, all with their doors.
I will probably be back at the house on Monday, when I am sure further progress will have been made. It’s lovely seeing my new kitchen taking shape! I haven’t yet got the Howden’s CAD drawings of the new layout but hope to have them soon.
See my next post on today’s progress on my new ARTHaven, and be prepared to be jealous!!