Monday, 1 July 2013

Our New House–The Work Begins in Earnest

Today was the first day that the team began full-time – well, most of the team. Paul was still finishing off on the other job, but we had Andy and Chris all day today, and some really exciting things began to happen! My hubby drove me over really early – he had to go back for an appointment, and picked me up at tea time.

First of all, the scaffolding arrived! We’ve been waiting a while for this, and it was great to see it, because for me at least, it symbolised the start of the work in earnest. Here’s the scaffolding truck in the road.

01 The Scaffolding Arrives

What a big surprise – the scaffolding is PINK!! Apparently one of the partners asked his wife what colour it should be, and she said pink, so pink it is! This actually has several advantages. Firstly, if the company is working alongside other contractors, there is no doubt which bits of scaffolding belong to them, and secondly, it’s much more difficult to pinch because everybody knows that Chapple Scaffolding is pink!

Here it is being brought round to the back of the house.

02 The Scaffolding Being Brought Round the Back

They put it up round the back first, and will be putting it up at the front tomorrow.

03 Erecting the Scaffolding

They had to get a license from the local council highways department to put it up in the road. I don’t think it will project too much but the road is quite narrow, and nobody will be able to park without causing an obstruction. When we arrived this morning, the scaffolding truck had just arrived, and was blocking the road, so we had to approach from the other end. They have brought orange plastic barriers to put across the road and these were up while they offloaded the scaffolding and crossed the road with it.

Once it’s all up, work on the roof can begin. Andy is going to get a skip to put the old roof stuff in. We are hoping the weather holds for this very important part of the project.

In the bathroom which is going to become the en-suite, they removed the mirror which had been glued to the wall (!) – not a terribly nice mirror, so no great loss. This is where the wall is going to be knocked through to form the doorway into the bedroom.

04 Bathroom Mirror Removed

The cabinet on the left is free-standing, and was left by the previous owner. This is going in my ARTHaven for extra storage. It has cupboards either side of open shelves in the centre, and it will be very useful.

The next great excitement of the day was that my new kitchen arrived!

05 The Kitchen Arriving

I was very impressed with how well packed everything was. On the right of the picture, up against the stairs, you can see some banana boxes – my hubby brought these over and they contain some of my ARTHaven stuff.

They put all the new kitchen pieces in the annexe sitting room for now. Andy has to lay the floor in the kitchen before he can fit any of the units. Here is my wonderful double oven.

06 Double Oven in Annexe Sitting Room

Bringing in the rest of the units:

07 Unit

My beautiful new sink:

08 Sink and Units09 Oven, Sink and Units

The tall unit for the double oven. There will be a cupboard at the top, and a drawer underneath.

10 Oven Unit

Beside it, the unit to house the fridge-freezer (back view).

11 Oven and Fridge-Freezer Units

The worktops were laid flat on the floor in the annexe bedroom. I was surprised that all the units arrived ready assembled and not flat-packed, but Andy told me that most kitchens worth their salt these days come ready assembled.

The final visitor today was Tim, the electrician, and he, Andy and I went around the house and decided where the various new power points were going to go. There are a lot of single power points in this house, which are not much use these days with all the gadgets and electrical appliances everyone has, so most of these are being replaced with doubles. Tim and Andy discussed the various options in the kitchen at some length, and the feasibility of running power to Mum’s new shower in the annexe – in the end we thought it wasn’t worth it, and opted for a thermostatic shower instead (running off the normal hot water system). The original plan to have an electric shower was so that we would always be able to get clean should the hot water system fail for some reason, but this is unlikely, and the nature of the electrics for the shower being as they were, the expense was somewhat ridiculous. They also discussed the placement of power points in my ARTHaven and office, both of which will need quite a few, and lighting in the kitchen. I can’t have the nice recessed lights I’d have liked, because they can’t be fitted to an old-fashioned lath-and-plaster ceiling unfortunately.

Throughout the day, whenever either Andy or Chris were going upstairs, they took boxes up with them and put them with the others, in the spare bedroom. My hubby brought two lots (16 in all!) for my ARTHaven – 8 in the morning when he brought me, and another 8 when he picked me up. If we keep this up, all my art stuff will soon be over in the new house, and as soon as they’ve finished fitting it, I can get things sorted into their new places before we move in, which is a huge advantage. I have now got my new trolley which is also upstairs, and I can use this to unpack the boxes onto, and push the stuff through into the ARTHaven. During the afternoon, Chris worked on my ARTHaven floor, but I shall start another post about that.

The plan tomorrow is for the rest of the scaffolding to go up, on the front of the house, and Chris will finish the ARTHaven/office floor. Beyond that, I don’t know! Unfortunately I won’t be able to go over until Thursday (after my hospital appointment to discuss my upcoming colonoscopy which will probably take place early next week).

I had great fun with Andy and Chris today – they are extremely amusing and it’s fun listening to the banter between them. When the kitchen had arrived, Chris picked out one of the steel ties that link the units together, holding it by its two ends. Andy took it from him and put it back in the box. Chris held his hands in the same position and said “Oh… can’t I hold it?” He kept his hands like that, and Andy took out his knife and “cut” between his hands, which immediately fell to his sides! Andy said “I always carry my knife with me. You never know when you might need it!” I said “If you hadn’t done that, he’d have been like it all day!!”

Later Andy told Chris he was going to sack him, and Chris said, “I’ll sack you, and you can sack me.” I asked what that was all about, and Andy said he really wanted to get sacked (temporarily at least) so he would have time to do some of his own work at home!!

When I told Andy and Chris that I wouldn’t be coming over again till Thursday, Chris said, “Oh, we’ll be finished by then!” I told them both that if they were finished as soon as Thursday, I’d sack them both for shoddy workmanship!

I don’t think too much sacking is going to go on, though, but I do wonder what things will be like once we’ve got Paul on the scene as well!!! (Wonderwoman – my home help – did warn me about them…)

When the kitchen units started arriving in the annexe sitting room, I was almost beside myself and saying, “I’m really excited!” and Andy said, “Why are you so excited – you can’t see them in all their glory with their packaging still on! If you’re this excited now, what on earth will you say when you see it all complete?” “I’m really really really excited!” I replied. I told them it was all very well for them, because they were doing this all the time, but it was the first time for me. Chris said, “Doing it all the time? We’ve never done this before!” ROFL! Talk about inspiring the customer with confidence…

It was a good day. Lots of things were initiated, stuff arrived, planning of details went on, and lots of tea was drunk and biscuits were eaten by all and sundry! I shall need to keep an eye on supplies.

After my hubby picked me up, we went to B&Q to look at small fencing to go at the top of the grass bank – what’s there at the moment is pretty rotten and needs replacing. This should stop Mum tumbling down the bank because she can’t see the edge!! I’ve got my old wheelchair at the new house, which means we don’t have to take my better one over each time, taking up valuable banana box space in the car. Going to B&Q, of course, I didn’t have a wheelchair, so I borrowed one of the shop ones – a real old iron maiden of a thing – sooo heavy, unwieldy and uncomfortable! I’m not sure I’d have been any less exhausted at the end of that little lot if I’d stayed on my feet!! We then called in to visit a friend who has recently moved into the dearest little flat (like a tiny cottage) 2 mins. walk from the nursing home where her husband now lives – she was thrilled to see us and couldn’t wait to show me round (my hubby has been several times). Then we picked up pizzas for tea and came home to 2 hungry kitties. Rest of the evening – feet up, relaxing!

1 comment:

  1. If your water system does pack up at any point come down the road & visit me :P


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