Thursday, 12 September 2013

Our New House–Garage and Bathroom

The first of two posts today.

Andy was back on the case again today after his holiday in Italy – he and Paul and Chris, aka the Three Musketeers, or as my hubby will have it, the Banana Boys because of their strange habit of gracefully throwing their spent banana skins as high as they can into the nearest tree!! Andy told me he was thinking of me every day on his holiday because there were arches everywhere!

Andy has returned from being away with his attitude towards B&Q unchanged. They STILL haven’t got the kitchen cabinet he needs to construct our utility room… As a result of this, he and Chris (with a little assistance from Paul) were able to crack on marvellously well with the garage – all the more necessary because rain is forecast for tomorrow and they wanted to get as much of the roof done as possible.

The cladding has started to go up on the garage. I must say it is a lot nicer looking than I’d anticipated.

01 Garage Cladding

The window is now in. This window was originally in the annexe sitting room.

02 Garage Window

The side door from the outside.

03 Garage Door

Laying the roof felt.

04 Laying the Garage Roof Felt

The roof from the inside, showing the insulation. This material is space-age insulation and will make a huge difference to maintaining the temperature in the garage in the winter once my hubby gets some heating on. It has come out more expensive than Andy originally budgeted for, but we are happy with this because it will do the job so well. It should also make a difference in the summer and prevent the garage from becoming too hot. The insulation will cover the walls as well as the roof.

05 Garage Roof Insulation

The window and door from inside. Having the glass side door will make a big difference to the amount of light in the garage.

06 Garage Window and Door

The door from the inside.

07 Garage Door from Inside

Chris on the garage roof.

08 Chris on the Garage Roof

Yesterday my hubby took a lot of the flowers over – they have been in our garden for some time, and were bought for us by my hubby’s brother who has a trade account at B&Q. These troughs are lined up along the wall of the annexe patio. My hubby was worried that the flowers were starting to look a bit tired, but I suggested dead-heading them, which should make them produce a lot more flowers, and all being well, they should be looking great again by the time Mum arrives. I had a blitz on them before we left.

09 Flower Troughs in Annexe Patio

He also brought over the three hanging baskets. We decided to let Mum have two, and we’d keep the third. Once all the builders’ stuff and all the rubbish has gone, her patio will look so pretty. The handrail is now in place and painted, ready for its final coat of gloss. My hubby got into trouble with Paul today for painting Weathershield around the annexe door before the render was dry!! It’s all looking very smart now, but the paint may flake off and have to be redone.

10 Hanging Baskets in Annexe Patio

The third hanging basket is now hanging in our little patio, which isn’t yet as pretty as Mum’s but once we get more stuff growing, it will be lovely.

11 Hanging Basket in Our Patio

Up at the top of the garden, where we’ve been sitting to have our lunch under the apple tree, the raspberry canes are producing a nice lot of fruit. Today I was able to pick a useable amount for the first time and we had them with our supper tonight.

12 First Crop of Raspberries

Moving indoors, this is my hubby’s study. He has brought his rug over, and moved most of the boxes into the middle of the room, to allow the removal men to put the furniture around the walls. On the right you can see something propped against the wall:

13 Study

This is the towel rail radiator for my bathroom. This is the first time I’ve actually seen it, as until now it’s still been packed in the box. Gorgeous, isn’t it.

14 Towel Rail Radiator

My bath is making its way gradually to its final resting place in the bathroom! It is now on the bedroom floor, which is progress from my hubby’s study!

15 Bath in the Bedroom

In the bathroom itself, Paul had laid the self-levelling flooring over the underfloor heating cables.

16 Self-Levelling Floor and Bath Outline

There was a problem when we first arrived, because the downstairs lights weren’t working, and kept tripping the switch. I was amazed at how quickly Paul identified the cause of the problem; he found a stain around the light fitting in the annexe airing cupboard, caused by some of the bathroom self-levelling flooring dripping down into the light fitting from above! He tried to fix it, and for a while the lights worked after he isolated the offending light fitting, but later the lights went off again. Tim the electrician is due back on Tuesday and he’ll fix it then.

Once the self-levelling flooring was dry, Paul was able to begin on the floor tiles in the bathroom.

17 Paul Laying Bathroom Floor Tiles

18 Progress on the Floor Tiles

The floor almost covered. There is a small amount still to do around the loo and shower tray in the further end.

19 Bathroom Floor Tiles Nearlyh Complete

The arch plaster is now pretty well dry. Paul has drawn a pencil line around it, indicating the position of the cut edges of the tiles. He will put some tiling bead around the edge, and then the exposed plaster can be painted. This seemed the best way to finish the tiling on the arch. Having a painted inner surface is a lot simpler than trying to cut the tiles to fit the curve.

20 Bathroom Arch with Tiling Outline

At lunch time my hubby had bought some desserts for us – lemon cheesecake and chocolate brownie dessert – he had to leave for home before that. We shared them out and they were delicious! We were talking about why everybody is getting so fat these days and they looked at what they were eating! Paul started on some long rigmarole about what scientists now believe about how we are programmed to eat food when it’s available because we can’t store it or something, but I said “I am fat because I eat too much and don’t take any exercise!” Andy said, “That’s honest, anyway!” I said what Paul had said was just a good excuse for being overweight, and the reason people were overweight was that they ate too much. They then told me that Ian Iron said that the reason people were fat was that the hole at the top end was bigger than the hole at the bottom end!!!! ROFL!! (Ian Iron makes brilliant things out of metal and can fix pretty well anything. He lives in our village. Not to be confused with Plastic Mike who does all things to do with UPVC doors and windows!)

They won’t have finished the work by the time we move, but it shouldn’t be many days after we move in that the work is completed. Once Andy has got the right unit for the utility room sink he will start work on that, and the garage can wait a while. I told him that a few days after we move, I shall need to do some washing, and will need my airer up, and the airing cupboard functioning, and he said that should be done early in the week.

Today I started to clean the worktops in the kitchen, including the new hob, in an attempt to tackle the ubiquitous dust. I made a start on the Venetian blind the other day – it is absolutely filthy and covered with dust, and I won’t be able to reach the full height, unfortunately. I think I need one of those special blind cleaning dusting tools.

I also switched on the fridge freezer and put a few things in the freezer from home. My big old freezer is now empty and defrosted, and ready to go to the recycling centre tomorrow along with some other stuff – my hubby has arranged for some helpers to come tomorrow with a trailer and some strong arms to help get rid of our last bits and pieces – there’s a big old TV and some small cabinets, and once I’ve had a chance to go through my stuff in the garage, some old paint tins etc.

My smart new grab rails for the bathroom arrived today, and at long last the new kitchen table has arrived, after much messing us about by the firm – I ordered the blessed thing back in July!! Unfortunately there isn’t room for our present kitchen table, but my hubby will probably have this upstairs.

I shan’t be going over again till Saturday, which will be my last visit to the new house before we actually move. There is a huge amount of work to be done in order to be ready for the removers. Andy says he will make sure the bedroom and sitting room are cleared of stuff, and the freezer will probably go in the outhouse tomorrow, and when Tim comes on Tuesday they are hoping the garage will be weather-proof enough to set up the electrical supply in there, and then he can run the cable back to the outhouse for the freezer, so I shouldn’t need to use a temporary extension cable after all.

The rest of my time today was occupied in clearing all the boxes and remaining stuff out of the spare room – my hubby was concerned about getting the furniture in there on Monday. See my next post to see what I did with it all!!

As the team were leaving, Paul and Chris were by the back door while Andy was up at the garage, and Paul told me I should wind Andy up by saying I was unhappy with the lack of progress on the utility room, and I was going to employ another contractor to get the work done properly! I told him he should tell Andy, but he said Andy would know for sure it was a wind up if it came from him. Poor old Andy… We went up to the garage, and I started to say to Andy, “Andy, I’ve made a decision. I’m fed up with the mess and lack of progress in the utility room…” but one look at the other two’s grinning faces and I simply dissolved into laughter and said “I can’t do it!!” Paul said “I knew you wouldn’t be able to do it!”

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