When I walk around the shell of our house now I can hardly believe it’s real. It’s definitely not like it was a week ago…
A week ago, we had carpets and wallpaper. Now, after two and a bit weeks of scraping years of thick, horrible textured wallpaper off to the bare plasterboard, we’re down to the bones of our new home.
The builders started at 7am on Monday and A drew the short straw to let them in. The house is a 20 minute drive from our current house so he was not a happy bunny- although by the end of the day his demeanour had changed.
While I can’t remember what exact jobs were finished at the end of the first day to put A in a happy mood, by the first week the grotesque brick fireplace had met its maker, the ancient archway had been straightened and the pointless serving hatch had been bricked up.
The skip was almost full after the first few days. Bricks, underlay, skirting boards and the old French doors filling it to almost the brim!
After watching an episode of Old House, New Home with George Clarke, we took a leaf out of his renovation playbook by shifting the living room door over by a metre to make the best use of the living space.
Instead of walking into the middle of the room, you now walk in on one side and not directly opposite the fireplace. It also means that A’s incredibly long 3 metre sofa will now fit against the longest wall of the room, facing the fireplace – above which the TV will hang.
I’ve wanted to get a new sofa for ages, but being without an income for 6 months because of Covid, and buying a house before the lockdown has meant that we’re trying to save pennies wherever we can. I’m still hoping for an armchair to crochet in infront of the TV though!
Every night we’ve been scraping wallpaper in a cost-cutting attempt and that has probably been the worst job of all…
The type of wall under the paper determined how easy the paper was to remove. We blitzed through the hallway and upstairs ceilings (seriously, who wallpapers ceilings?!) fairly quickly, but the living room took too long and the force needed behind each strip led to an Ehlers-Danlos flare up and I was bed bound by Saturday.
The best I could do after that was watch A work his socks off, and google the fastest ways of stripping paper after our newly acquired (borrowed) wallpaper steamers barely touched the first layer of our anaglypta mummified walls and my arms were out for the count. Boiling water was the answer to another quarter of our problems but the remainder needed graft I couldn’t put in anymore without doing more damage to my body.
But in more positive news, we’ve decided on most of our paint colours and bought new light switches so all engines are go… well, they would be, if the windows had arrived on time…
Our windows were due for installation in the last week of July, and here we are in the last week of August with no new windows in sight. This has limited what we can and can’t do: plastering can’t be done where the windows are due to go, and our garage conversation is stalled until the garage door is removed and bricked up with space left for the window.
That’s the biggest nightmare but luckily it doesn’t stop too much else. The builders are installing all the sockets one by one and putting all the light fittings were they should be…
Ever heard of privacy lights? Apparently if you install your light bulbs closer to the window people can’t see you walking around naked in the house (you’re apparently blinded by the light before you spot any danglies!). Maybe the previous occupants were elderly nudists? We’ll never know- but all the lights are in this strange configuration, so this week they’re being repositioned in the middle of the rooms before the ceilings get reskimmed. Then I’m declaring the upstairs ready to paint!
Stay tuned guys! I can’t believe it’s all finally coming together!