Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Walk-In Pantry–Day 1

Today Phil, the carpenter, began work constructing my new walk-in pantry. I am so excited about this! We’ve been waiting a long time for work to begin, but I have no complaints about that – there’s something for using a tradesman who is booked up well in advance, because it shows that the standard of his work must be high if he is so much in demand. Also, we are in the very fortunate position of having access to another kitchen while we’ve been waiting – the flat in our house has a tiny kitchen and I have been managing very well in there, despite it being very cramped. All this time, I could have been using my big kitchen, but it would have been very inconvenient, because I have had to store all the non-refrigerated food in the flat and I would have been going back and forth between the two rooms constantly. Anyway, work has now begun, and he is here for three days this week (today, tomorrow and Friday) so by the weekend, I should be thinking of moving back in, although there will be some painting to do in the pantry first.

I had originally thought of moving the small fridge from the flat into the new pantry. I use this as an overflow fridge and it would be convenient to have it in my kitchen, but the carpenter pointed out that fridges do put out quite a bit of heat, and while this doesn’t matter so much when the fridge is out in the kitchen, in the confined space of the larder, it would make the space too warm, when the whole idea is that it is a cooler storage room – after all, I went to the trouble of having a ventilator fitted for this reason. So this idea has bitten the dust. Oh well, more storage space available, which is all to the good!

When the damp-proofing man was here, repairing the damage caused by the dry rot under the old cupboard, he had to take up some of the laminate flooring. Also, this flooring did not extend into the space occupied by the cupboard, so the carpenter had to get some more. The damp-proofing man didn’t have the correct tools for re-laying what he took up, and there were some gaps, and he also caused some damage to the tongue along the edge of one of the pieces, in his attempt to get it back in – the pieces were extremely snugly laid.

When the carpenter arrived today, he spent the whole morning trying to get the new panels to lay properly. Part of the problem is that the existing floor has expanded very slightly with time, and then he also realised that since the kitchen was originally installed four years ago, Howdens have slightly changed the design of the panels, so they don’t fit exactly with the old style ones. Duh. If it ain’t broke, why fix it??!! With a bit of ingenuity, brute force and ignorance (no, he is certainly not ignorant – he’s a real craftsman!!) he has managed it in the end, and where there are wider gaps than he is happy with, he has filled them with clear silicone caulking. These gaps are very small, but where the original panels were joined, they are so snugly fitted together that it’s very hard to see the join at all. There is also a slightly wider gap than before, along the side where the floor meets the skirting board, so he has replaced the quadrant with a slightly wider one to deal with this.

He has also fitted new skirting board around the pantry space, cutting it down to accommodate the bottom edge of the ventilator, and the job looks extremely neat.

01 New Flooring and Skirting Board

Here is the new quadrant fitted along the side wall.

02 New Quadrant

He knew that the floor would probably take quite a bit of time – in fact he’d anticipated that the whole of Day 1 would have been taken up with it, so he’s done very well to get as far as he has today.

He called round yesterday evening to drop off the pack of additional laminate floor panels, and to discuss different options, and we’ve eventually gone back to his original plan for the door – Howdens still have limited supplies of the “Burford Light Oak” finish which is no longer in their catalogue, and he has bought a single full-height panel. There needs to be a narrower, fixed panel to the right of the space, in order for the door to be able to swing clear of the wall cabinet on the right-hand wall. Originally he was going to get a second Howden’s panel, but as these are quite expensive, I suggested an alternative. I looked at the pack of laminate floor panels and suggested that as we wouldn’t be needing the whole pack for the floor (you cannot buy a part pack, so the left-overs would have been wasted), why not use these to create the panel? It would add a bit of interest and contrast, and tie in with the floor! He thought this was a great idea and “very artistic” lol! So that’s what he is going to do.

He can get a handle for the door, to match the existing cupboard handles, so the whole thing should tie in nicely.

He also suggested getting the electrician to fit a light – he said you can have one that comes on automatically when you open the door, which sounds like a good plan.

So things are moving ahead nicely now!


  1. Pantry looks very smart. I am making a textile book and FAcebook posts if you'd like to see

  2. Who would have thought a walk-in pantry would turn out to be such a big job! But you're right, it's better done properly! You're in the finish line now! It makes sense not to put the second fridge in there! I could do with an overflow fridge too - especially on grocery delivery days like today!


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