Family, Postaday2011

Kitchen Update – part 8

So tired today, but at last the kitchen is taking shape.

The plastering is all finished, there is paint sealing all the bare walls and there are two coats of emulsion on the ceiling so that bit is finished (hurrah!). There are new architraves round the kitchen door and the cubby-hole where my washer and dryer are and they have had an undercoat tonight. Kevin is busy cutting and fixing skirting boards as we speak, and he will undercoat them tonight so they’ll be ok in the morning to wallpaper up to.

The exhaust hole for the cooker hood has been cut into the wall now, and all the electrics are fixed and fitted. We need to put on the new socket-tops yet, but whilst we are decorating it makes sense to have the old ones on for now.

Kevin removing a hole in the wall for the extractor hood. The red socket will be replaced.
White walls!! Plaster on the walls is now sealed, ceiling has two coats and is finished.


It’s nearly time to get the cupboards and worktops fixed and then I can start to get my house back in shape. 


My living room - looks like squatters have moved in


My hallway. Good job we don't use the front door much...!


Special thanks to my Mum tonight who fed us. She made a huge pan of steak and kidney with potatoes and veg. It was absolutely gorgeous and I didn’t want to move to come home again afterwards!!

The plan tomorrow is to gloss all the woodwork and start putting on the paper (you can just make out a couple of rolls of it in this picture above. Don’t ask me how one has ended up on top of the radiator….the house elf must be trying to tidy up without being seen haha!



Kitchen Update – Part 7



We have plaster!!! Praise the Lord. My kitchen is starting to look more like a room and less like a building site again!

Kevin mixing the plaster


My Dad's handiwork. Not bad eh?!


To get it to this stage, 3 of the four walls had to be dotted and dabbed – a new concept to me but I’m sure it’s right…ahem…. It is a process of sticking up plasterboards to the wall with “dots” of plaster so that you can skim on top of it straight away rather than waiting a couple of days for the browning to go off enough first.

It was amazing to see the room with now bare brick showing. Not only was it lighter but it was warmer and instantly more welcoming.

That wall before the plaster went on. Miles better than brick!


I won’t mention the rest of the house…nothing has changed there. We are still inches think in dust despite several attempts to clean up and there are boxes of things in random (and very wrong) places. But the end is nigh. I can feel it!


My "living" room....



Kitchen Update – Part 6

It’s been a couple of days since my last update because not a lot has been happening. Well, I say not a lot, but what I mean is “not a lot that you can actually see”. There has been a lot of adjusting, chipping out bricks for channelling of cables and gas pipes, rerouting cables and cutting out for socket back boxes etc, but not much to actually see.  The main thing is that the ceiling has been replaced now and has got a lovely new skimming of plaster on it (hurrah!).

Here are a couple of pictures to tell you the story so far:

Kevin weighing up the diagram for the wires to the boiler


Me holding a board for Kevin to screw into the wall


Uncle Pete starting to skim the ceiling


I felt immediately better at this point – it was the start of the REconstruction and the end of the DEconstruction. Or so I thought…

Once the ceiling was done, the men decided that my kitchen door need its architrave removing to make it easier to board it (they’d already decided that it would be quicker to dab and dot the walls than totally replaster it). But when they took off the door surround it was obvious that not only was the wall not straight but the doorway was twisted too (this could possibly explain why the door hasn’t shut properly all these years…just thought of that!) so they removed the doorway and re-sited it, making repairs to the hall wall on the other side. Oh my days…

My naked doorway showing the plastered wall in the hall


Here’s some more of the plastering results:

Carl and Peter - the Plastering A Team


Ceiling and the bit where the stairs project into the kitchen all done and drying nicely


The only other bit that I can show you is how the gas pipe has had to be moved. Typically, my new cooker’s hood’s flu has to go out of the wall slap bang in the middle of where the existing pipe was, so Kevin had to move it. You can clearly see the old chase line and the new shiny joints in the gas pipe on this photo:

My husband the gas-fitter!

We had a sticky incident today. My Dad was standing at the top of a ladder holding a bucket of PVA solution to seal the bare bricks and the old plaster before he filled it in and the bucket broke, spilling about four pints of sticky glue all over the floor. We did have a laugh, but it made the room smell like a primary school classroom for the whole afternoon. Rather a nice change after all the dirty dusty smell!

Dad up the ladder. You can see the bit of the wall that's wet with PVA and the dry bit where he'd got up to before the bucket broke. Oops!


The men are downstairs now doing stuff (I don’t know what it is they’re doing but it’s raising a lot of dust and it’s noisy!) getting ready for the dabbing and dotting tomorrow.

I’ll no doubt update you when there’s more to see!

Happy days…..




Kitchen Remodelling – Part 3

I know that to have a new kitchen, one must first get rid of the old one. What I didn’t quite get my head round when I agreed to do this project, that to get rid of the old one means stripping the room down to BARE BRICK!!!

Oh boy oh boy oh boy….

Kevin and Ethan taking down the cupboards off the west wall


Sam and Ethan removing the sink unit

It started when the chaps started removing the artex last night. Remember how I said I was worried about the ceiling?? Well the ceiling is the least of my worries right now because the walls just disintegrated when they started chipping away at the artex. They had to remove most of the plaster as well, which is probably a good thing because one whole wall turned out to be built up of all sorts of rubbish (remember yesterday when I said it was hardboard, plasterboard, the odd beer mat and a newspaper? Well last night they unearthed a section that was filled in with an old cereal box…Tony the Tiger was doing a fantastic job of holding up my wall!).

Sam taking off the artex...and plaster....


Also, when they tried getting the artex off the projection where the stairs turn it ended up being removed completely.

Exposed staircase

There is a whole corner of the wall that has been removed (for some reason the previous occupants of this house were fond of random “improvements”!) and we’re not quite at the end of the deconstructing stage yet….the ceiling has got to come down today…sob!

East wall - no plaster - held up by cereal packets and beer mats!


Naked east wall and lonely cooker (it doesn't know it's going to be replaced yet)

As bad as the kitchen looks now, I know deep down that this is the worst it can be. Everything else from here on in is an improvement and a step towards rebuilding again. Hurrah!

The rest of the house is a total mess – there is an inch layer of plaster dust over everything downstairs and I’ve not got a hope of cleaning it (no hot water due to the electrics being turned off this morning, and I haven’t a clue where any of my cleaning products are) and there are white footprints EVERYWHERE!

The plan for the rest of the day is to remove the ceiling, go and collect the rest of the new cupboards and the cooker, take the broken kitchen to the tip, engage a team of plasterers (my Dad and my Uncle Peter), relocate a couple of electric points, do a bit of cleaning if possible and then sit down to cry with a large glass of wine and a box of Maltesers.

Update will follow tomorrow…if I can find my laptop from under the dust!



Kitchen Remodelling – Part 2

As promised, here’s an update on the old kitchen situation:

After much weighing up and umming and ahhing last night, the first wall of cupboards was completely stripped last night and all the tiles were taken off. The living room is like a bombsite with all the boxes of kitchen stuff and to make it worse I had to go shopping today for supplies. There’s nowhere to put things and I’ve not got a lot of prep space for food so my shopping list was mainly things like microwaveable rice and tins of curry. Got lots of things to put on toast and a couple of treats (chocolate covered, naturally) to bulk up the weekend’s diet. My mum has said she’ll cook for us on Sunday which is a huge relief. Thank you Mum!!

Here’s a look at the work in progress last night:

Kevin and Sam dismantling the cupboards on the east wall


Taking down the architrave from the top of the cupboards
How BAD is this wall??!


As you can see, there’s quite a bit of work to be done to make this wall sound yet, but we’re pressing on with it. The plan tonight is to remove the cupboards from the west wall and to remove all the artex from all the walls and the ceiling. Oh boy the ceiling…can’t wait to see what state that’s in!!

Sam was keen to get cracking with all the tile removal:

From this... this in about 15 minutes!!


Notice how dark it is outside? Yup, it was getting a bit late by then so it was time to call it a night.  More tomorrow after today’s efforts.

I anticipate a lot of dust tonight *cough* *cough* *splutter* *splutter* but I’ll try to get some decent pics as the artex comes off. My kitchen won’t be red any more hurrah!!!!