Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Our New House–Plumbing

Over to the house early this morning, getting a lift with Chris and Paul, who both live in our village. They came to collect my new bath which has been sitting in the garage since it was delivered, and my hubby was getting a bit fed up with it taking up so much space!

This is my only post for today, because there is nothing new to report on my ARTHaven. We are waiting for the electrician to come next week.

The first thing I noticed on arrival was progress on the roof. The first of three photos shows the roof first thing in the morning…

01 The Roof in the Morning

At lunch time…

02 The Roof at Lunch Time

and late afternoon when we were leaving:

03 The Roof Late Afternoon

As you can see, great progress has been made in one day, and the tiling is now almost finished. The front is finished but they are not taking the scaffolding away till next week, apparently – perhaps they are waiting until the whole job is done.

You will notice on the first picture that there is a window over the back door. Although this does make more light in the back passageway/utility room, it looks a bit odd over the white door. In the second photo you can see that this has been replaced by a white panel which looks better, but the main purpose for this is so that the flue from the new boiler can exit here.

Still outside, some further work has been done to prepare for the new door into the annexe sitting room. They can’t complete the job until the door and window arrive.

04 Preparing to Make Annexe Door

Going inside, the first thing I noticed was that the new boiler is in!

07 New Boiler from Back Door

Behind it, you can see the old door into the annexe kitchen has now been blocked off. The quickest access into the annexe for the moment is now through the airing cupboard!

08 New Boiler and Blocked Off Door

This is a modern combi boiler which doesn’t require a hot water tank as it heats only the water that you use. It’s very compact – considerably smaller than the monster that’s been taken out! All the controls for the hot water and central heating, including the timer, are all on the front of the boiler. This is much simpler than the system we are used to at present.

Here is the blocked-off doorway from the annexe kitchen side – you can see that holes have been drilled through for the pipework.

09 Blocked Off Door from Annexe Kitchen

Today I met Jamie, the plumber, for the first time. He is a real craftsman, like the others on the team (definitely meeting Andy’s “exacting standards”!) Here he is, soldering up some pipework.

10 Jamie Soldering Pipework

You can see what a beautiful job he is making of it, on this picture which shows the pipework beneath the boiler.

11 Boiler Pipework

The beginning of the flue from the boiler. This will eventually extend to the back door and exit through the new white panel above the door.

12 Boiler Flue

Here are some waste pipes being formed. They remind me of a screen saver I once had on the computer, called (wait for it…) pipes.

13 Forming the Waste Pipes

Here is Jamie connecting up the pipes in the annexe kitchen.

14 Jamie Connecting the Annexe Kitchen Pipes

The next photo shows the pipes completed. He has done such a beautiful job. I complimented him on it, and remarked that I’d noticed that he had used his level to get them absolutely straight and parallel, even though they were all going to be hidden behind the plasterboard. I said this was a mark of real craftsmanship, and he said that he couldn’t bear to think of someone many years hence pulling away the plasterboard to replace the boiler, and turning away in disgust at shoddy workmanship! He wants them to say, “Look at this beautiful plumbing!” Like with the cathedral architects of old, when people centuries later climb up and examine the work closely, they are amazed, and touch the craftsmanship of history!

15 Annexe Kitchen Pipes Connected

Going through into the main kitchen, all the cornices are now up on the units, and more or less everything is now in.

05 Kitchen Cornices

Much of Chris’s time this afternoon was spent drilling a hole through the wall into the chimney – a nasty, dusty, noisy job on a very hot day. The previous owner of the house had an cooker hood which just recycled the air through a filter, but since the original chimney of the kitchen is immediately behind that wall, we agreed that it would be a much more sensible solution to do a proper job and have it extracting to the outside.

06 Drilling for the Extractor

Wait till you see what a beautiful extractor we are having!

The annexe bath has been removed since my last visit.

16 Annexe Bath Removed

There will be a shower tray occupying the whole space left by the bath, so that if Mum becomes more infirm, there will be room for a carer to be in there with her.

17 Equipment for Working on En-Suite

This is the main bedroom, now temporarily converted into Paul’s workshop! This is all the equipment he needs to work on the en-suite bathroom. I am glad that I thought of closing the mirror doors the other day, to keep the dust out – I have already put some books and things in there.

The doorway into the en-suite bathroom has now been formed. Propped across is a piece of plasterboard in the bathroom.

18 Forming the En-Suite Doorway

Paul has started boarding up the bathroom. The doors on the landing no longer function, and the room is being lined with plasterboard in readiness for tiling.

19 Plasterboard in En-Suite

There is a lot of stuff on the landing, including some strips of plastic, which Andy explained was arch bead, which he is demonstrating over the other bathroom door.

20 Andy Demonstrating the Arch Bead

Here is Paul working in the bathroom – and this is my famous arch being made!! The floorboards are up in preparation for plumbing.

21 Arch in the En-Suite

Before I had time to grab the camera, my bath was disappearing up the stairs! I could hardly ask them to wait for me, as it was heavy and unwieldy, so I just managed to catch it before it disappeared!

22 Bath Going Upstairs

Here, Paul and Chris are unpacking the bath. They put it in my hubby’s study for the time being, and Paul needed to decide how it was to be placed in relation to the tap and the wall, once it eventually goes into the bathroom.

23 Paul and Chris Unpacking the Bath

Now the fun began. Of course, as soon as the bath was unpacked, Andy had to get in!!

24 Andy in the Bath

Of course, once he was in the bath, Paul decided he needed a wash! Grabbing the top end, this left Chris with the other end, and he said “I’m not washing those smelly feet”!!!

25 Paul Washing Andy in the Bath

They eventually managed to get serious again (well, just a bit!), at least, enough to discuss the tap and where it should go in relation to the bath.

26 Free-Standing Bath Tap

Being a very lazy person, I said I wanted the tap placed so that I could reach it with my foot while lying in the bath, so that I can add more hot water without having to sit up! Here I am testing it.

27 Testing the Tap

Finally, here’s me getting really comfy in my new bath!! Paul is measuring it, not me! It looks as if I’m getting measured for my coffin…

28 Getting Comfortable in the Bath

I am going over again on Friday, and by then, more progress will have been made on my lovely new bathroom (my “girlie bathroom” as my hubby calls it!) and before long, the bath will be in! Lovely to see it in the flesh for the first time today.

Andy gave me and Chris a lift back to the village, and for the first time I experienced Andy’s mad Greek driving!!! He said that the Italians are civilised drivers compared with the Greeks! It always takes us about half an hour between our village and the new house, but tonight we did it in 20 minutes!


  1. I spent ages looking at all your fab pictures. There is so much going on and I'm still giggling at your bath antics. You look like lady muck in there, where's the champagne or are you saving that for when the waters on. That sure is a gorgeous bath and the tap is fantastic or should I say toe-tastic. I can't believe all the plumbing pipes you have over there, my ex husband is a plumber and we just have hot and cold pipes running from the hot water system and then branching off to each room. I have to say they are the neatest pipes I've ever seen and I've seen a few in my time. Enjoy the reno.

  2. Great photos, I Love the bath and all the DIY going on, Must be wonderful seeing it all take shape x
    Happy WOYWW Heather #100

  3. Amazing developments! what a great plumber - a tribute to his Creator!

  4. Hi shoshi, I think it is all going to be gorgeous when finshied and worth all the dust. Have a lovely week.

  5. How fun, Shoshi! Well, except for the ride back to your house! LOL! How wonderful to have everything all new.

  6. oh my goodness! so much work going on, and that boiler pipe looks bigger than my kitchen! We need a new one, as ours is soooooooooooo old but still works, we know if the gas man saw it he'd die! and insist on a new one, but where to put it???? Roof looks lovely too! and of course, a great bath!! We still have the same bath that was in the house when it was first built... our neighbours I know have gone through four since they've been there! I'll all soon love lovely!!

  7. Hi Shoshi,

    I reckon this house is like George Washington's axe. Y'know, after six new axe heads and five new handles, it's still George Washington's axe. They certainly got a move on with the roof. This is such a great project and all looking ab fab.

    I must say that the Perfect Pearls I use most for brushing onto Versamark, and for spraying mixed with water and sometimes some Distress Ink. There's no substitute for Twinks to give a lovely sheen. I'll post the finished card today.

    Thanks for you lovely comment.
    Ros. #118

  8. Wow so much happening! Lovethe new bath, exactly what I want if we ever get round to doing ours!

    Cindy x


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