The end of the third week.
Ceilings are starting to go up in the toilet and utility.
The new window was installed in the servant’s bedroom/future guest room. Here is the window making its arrival.
The old window. It’s always sad to say goodbye to an origninal window but it was rotten, thinly glazed and could not be opened. The servant’s room also had cheaper materials than the rest of the house. This is a traditional sash window, whereas the windows in the family’s part of the house were the more fashionable Edwardian casements. We managed to save the architrave though.
Very nice. It’s not fashionable to like UPVC windows but these are very solid and practical. If the house were a few streets over we would be in a conservation area and all of the old windows would have had to remain. The house has thirty-six windows, so I can live with a few UPVC ones, plus the double glazing will help keep the place warm. This was an especially cold room as it has three external walls.
Outside after. You can see that I had the new window made to the same proportions as the old one.
Old window on the way out.
Tiles for the utility room were delivered.
Tiles for the hearth in the dining room were delivered. Lights were delivered but I haven’t taken a photo.
In case John and Mindy are reading – your bulbs are coming up nicely! You will have to remind me about what they are again. This is a shot of the slabs that will form the back step. Work continued today with more lining and insulating of the coal store. There was also some further demolition as the old lath and plaster ceilings were torn down. The toilet is going to have cathedral height ceilings! When A and R were demolishing the celings they took some photos of the abandoned wasp nest. It’s like something out of Alien and it was huge! Quite fascinating, and disturbing at the same time. With the ceiling now removed you can get a good idea of the future height of this room too. There is a large space above the back section of the breakfast room too now, practically a mezzanine. I am wondering if it is worth lining this section to use for storage, either enclosing it with cupboard doors or leaving it open as a big exposed shelf. If we did this it would mean that the skylight might be able to be bigger or more centred in the roof space. A close-up of a roof tile. I knew that type of tile is referred to as a rosemary but I didn’t realise that it was literal. My concern is the structural integrity of this main beam holding up the roof hip. It was quite dark in there but I think I saw some tell-tale woodworm holes in the timber. I am also wondering if that white section at the base is some wet rot as there is evidence of a long term leak in this part of the roof. JB will take a look at it tomorrow but it won’t be the first time we’ve uncovered something like this. At least there’s no sign of a fruiting body…
Oliver and Ruby, and water.
The header tank was set in a large wooden box that was filled with crumbled cork and screwed up newspaper, my guess for insulation. The newspapers (The Daily Express) dated from November and December 1928.
In the dining room the final pieces of concrete were chipped out of the fireplace. I have to decide what to do here – whether to have it filled with a self leveling latex filler or wait and lay more tiles, either matching or replacing the current hearth tiles.
Typical morning scene. After breakfast Rose and Ruby have taken to sharing the spare duvet (that’s English for doona) and Oliver has just been looking through the window at the pigeons who sit on the chimney.
Carpentry work. The restored casement window has been refitted. The casement on the right is awaiting its new pane. The bathroom window had the cracked pane replaced as well but I forgot to take a picture.
This is going to be our ‘utility closet’ for the washing machine and dryer. Eventually we will build a full utility room in the coal store at the back of the house. Afterwards this space will be used for storage or perhaps as a walk-in pantry.
The French doors were put under the microscope today and found wanting. When the bottom panels were removed there was plenty of rot and evidence of old repairs. They had to be taken away to a joiner. We are not sure yet whether they can be repaired or if they will need to be remade.
The doorway is being prepared for its oak threshold. The terrazzo has been cut and trimmed on one side and the quarry tiles on the other, and then the gap has been filled with cement. There was a row of blue engineering bricks here that would have formed the foundations of the brick wall that we cut through to make the door.
Water stains continue on my newly painted kitchen ceiling. Even I know to sit the wallpaper steamer in a bucket when you put it down! The problem is that there’s not just staining but also some bulging on the joints. Frustrating.
Oliver and Ruby first thing this morning – two peas in a pod. They had finished chasing their bumble bee (extraordinarily large and noisy – I released it back out the window) and were then watching as D the carpenter scaled the scaffold.
Exterior view. If you look carefully you will see P the painter standing on the scaffold to the left of the top dormer window. I was checking whether I wanted the top of the dormer painted black or white. I chose black.
Carpenters were here as well. More skirtings were fitted in the breakfast room. There was also carpentry work going on outside on the top floor dormer windows but I couldn’t see exactly what was happening because the scaffold obstructs the view.
When I first opened this tin of paint for the en suite it was a lurid fluorescent pinkish-purple and I panicked for a moment. After stirring it though, it turned the colour I was expecting. It is Farrow and Ball’s ‘Pelt’, a deep aubergine colour. It’s an Australian custom to stir paint with a wooden spoon (trust me!).
After the first coat it was clear that I would need to do a second one to gain full coverage. I had four hours to kill. Luckily it was a hot day (28 degrees) so the paint dried a little quicker than expected.
Meanwhile I began stripping the window sill of the main bathroom. At some point in the past all the woodwork was painted a light sage green. Let me repeat what I said yesterday – I do not like stripping paint. Plus there are so many layers of lead paint that I will probably end up with Painter’s Colic.
The cupboard doors have returned from their trip to the glazier and they now have glass in their little windows. Those square windows make me very happy – they must remind me of Play School. They need some handles next.
One day all of the various missing parts of the kitchen will arrive. It’s a very nice kitchen and I have a very nice kitchen supplier but there have already been about nine separate deliveries of components and we still don’t have everything we need. Oh well – at least that gave me the chance to change my mind on the size of the kitchen sink.
The cats stay in the flat on the top floor when I am painting. I can just imagine what they would do if they saw paint in those trays.