Build Days #59 and #60

Tuesday was a quiet day with no building activity.

On Wednesday the granite was installed in the kitchen! Before you look at the photos I need to tell you that last week I changed my mind on the choice of granite. As you might recall,  I was originally going to get the Black Cosmic in the leather (matt) finish. I decided, however, that the kitchen needed something lighter with a gloss finish to make the most of the light that comes into the room.

IMG_3220I decided to go with the Kashmir Lime and I am so glad that I did.


The colour goes perfectly with the walls and cabinets and the greens complement the red of the quarry tile floor. There are even little red oxide hints in the granite.

IMG_3216Dresser unit for colour comparison.

IMG_3225New smaller sinks.


Today JB was here doing some patching and plastering.


He also checked out a water stain on the ceiling of the breakfast room – a bit hard to see in the photo. Apparently there was some spillage from old pipes when the new heating was installed, hence the stain. The good news is that there is no longer a leak and all I need to do is repaint this section of the the ceiling.


My job was to continue the en suite preparation for painting of the walls and timber work.


I have decided that I do not like stripping paint.


IMG_3183Today I did the mist coat on the en suite walls and ceilings.

IMG_3184The windows will need a lot of work – stripping and repainting. I may need professional help.

IMG_3185The door too.

IMG_3189Making progress though!

IMG_1559This was that same corner where the shower is just a couple of months back.


2014-07-13 12.32.07Ruby revives the ancient art of pole sitting.

Build Day #57

IMG_3177Oliver by the range cooker, which is sitting in the middle of the entrance hall.

IMG_3171The kitchen build continued. Rosie getting comfortable.

IMG_3169Chippie’s lunchtime reading – slightly more highbrow than the plasterer’s.

IMG_3155The dresser/pantry unit.


It has a cornice at the top now.

IMG_3158And…drum roll please…


IMG_3159I really like the beehive handles.


IMG_3161A, the chippy, discovered a problem at 5:30pm Friday  – the sink wouldn’t fit in the cabinet as the cupboard door hinges were getting in the way. He had been working all week so that the granite company could come and ‘template’ the granite but this means that we have had to postpone. I am glad actually, as now that I look at the sink in position, I feel it’s far too big. I am going to go for the 1.5 basin option instead of the full double.

IMG_3173Sneak peek at the range cooker…oh my.

IMG_3170D, the other chippy, was completing various carpentry tasks around the house. The little door to the under servant stairs cupboard had to be cut down to fit the smaller opening.

IMG_3164Look at how fresh the wood is in the 110 year old door. I am tempted to get the doors stripped.

IMG_3152Upstairs the tilers finished grouting the en suite. I had better get painting!


Build Day #56

IMG_3139Wall tiles went up in the en suite. I love the waves.


IMG_3141Recesses with the black mosaic tiles.

IMG_3144In the bathroom the floor and wall tiles were grouted.

IMG_3143As too was the toilet floor.

IMG_3147The construction of the kitchen continued. Cavity for the dishwasher.

IMG_3146The pantry/dresser unit is coming together. All the doors with little windows were taken away to be glazed.

IMG_3151And finally, after three weeks of darkness and no ventilation upstairs, our top floor windows arrived! Future guest room. There were some vertical glazing bars missing on the left and right, which will be added tomorrow. The window also needs to be sealed (note the big gap at the top) and framed. Ruby has already tried to escape through the new casements…

IMG_3149And new top floor bathroom window! I did the obscure glazing myself with an adhesive film. I could have got the window fully obscured by the manufacturer but I wanted to still have the view of treetops and chimneys through the top half of the window. Plus you see great sunsets from this vantage point.

IMG_3150Another big gap that will require filling.

Build Day #55


IMG_3131The kitchen is coming along well.

IMG_3114The cavity for the fridge has been formed and you can see that there is a pleasingly large cupboard above the fridge. To the right is the small cavity for the microwave and some space for wine bottles.

IMG_3112I really like the little windows on the cupboard doors.

IMG_3109The range cooker arrived today!

IMG_3128Still hoping it will fit in this spot here.

IMG_3110On the opposite wall the pantry/dresser is taking shape.

IMG_3125Originally the plan was to have it built up against the wall on the left but that wall was so out of line there would have been a big gap at the top. We opted to have it centred and I think it will look much better. It also means the detailing that is going to be added eg. the cornice work at the top will go right around the piece rather than abut the wall. It will look like a freestanding piece but will actually be built in.

IMG_3111On the window wall will be the kitchen sink and the dishwasher.

IMG_3133Oliver chasing a fly in the yet to be ripped out 1950s downstairs toilet with the two windows to the front of the house. This room will be a coat and shoe room as it is next to the front door. Back in the day you would have been able to have a conversation with the neighbours or the postman whilst answering the call of nature. Delightful.

IMG_3086The tilers were here and they have laid the en suite floor. Looking good. I am pleased that, with the marine ply underneath and then the tiles, the floor is almost level with the slimline shower tray giving the impression of a walk-in shower.

IMG_3138Oliver inspecting the new bathroom floor tiles. He misses a bath as he used to have play time splashing and drinking water from the bath tap.


He is going to love the tap I have bought him for this bath – it has a waterfall action and separate spray nozzle.

IMG_3092Very happy with this.

IMG_3136Toilet floor in the same tiles as the bathroom next door.

IMG_3119The loose pipe fell out of the toilet waste pipe hole in the wall. I had visions of the cats taking a walk on the scaffold outside so I had to find a way to block the hole but not walk on the setting tiles.

IMG_3122In the end I threw a dust sheet into the room and used a broom handle to stuff the sheet into the hole.

IMG_3122Only two minor problems. The first is that we have run out of the feature stripey tile and need a few more for the bathroom sink splashback. The second is that the splashback in the toilet has ended up too big. When the towel radiator is fitted it is going to encroach on the splashback tiles in an odd way (you can see the left hand pipe of the future radiator just below the tiles). I think the tiles are going to have to come down and be redone just one tile wide rather than two. The tilers already had a problem as that is quite a wonky wall in the first place so I hope it doesn’t cause too many problems.







Build Day #54


Today the carpenters continued installing the kitchen – it’s really coming together.


The range cooker is arriving tomorrow and it should fit right in here.


View towards the front door.IMG_3083Future built in microwave – a masterstroke if I say so myself. It will save so much bench space.


The plasterer re-plastered the en suite.

IMG_3075Glad there’s a plastic cover on the shower tray.


Plasterer lunchtime reading.

The roofers were also here, though with the scaffold it’s difficult to see exactly what they did.


A bit of a tidy up occurred – we can see the hallway again! Those damaged boards are going to be replaced.

IMG_3078Our neighbour’s cat, Albus, wondering why all this scaffolding is encroaching onto his territory.

IMG_3082Ruby peering at Albus.


I have contacted a company about getting ceiling roses like this one for the lounge, dining room, master bedroom and Mark’s study. There are currently no ceiling roses and I’m not sure if there ever were. It would make sense in a house of this size so I think they will work well.

IMG_3066Rosie approves. Oliver has been much better today, which is good.

Build Day #53

IMG_3027Oliver continues to be a bit stressed. His stress behaviours include hiding (he’s found a nice little dark corner in the bedroom), hyper-vigilance (thinking there are monsters under everything and trying to sniff them out) and an exaggerated startle response (the cartoon-like leap off the floor at the slightest disturbance). The behaviors come and go during the day with no particular triggers. He is also more than happy to explore the house at the end of the day and even to stay in view when JB comes in unannounced, so he’s not exactly a quivering wreck. I am hoping that the Feliway will help to calm him.

IMG_3047He is still willing to explore new vantage points, such as this one with his sister in the kitchen as the new cabinets are installed.

IMG_3030The kitchen is starting to take shape.

IMG_3042Ruby inspecting the units.

IMG_3043Curious tail.

IMG_3031Rosie sniffing about.

IMG_3033The dishwasher!

IMG_3046Beehive kitchen cupboard handles.

IMG_3029The main problem for the kitchen installers is that there is no even surface – the floor and all the walls are out of line.

IMG_3023The bathroom, toilet and en suite tiles arrived today. I am glad D was on hand as the pallet weighed 625 kilograms and the tiles needed to be moved from the footpath to the first floor bedroom.

IMG_3022More tiles.

IMG_3014The new plaster in the en suite was cracking so the walls had to be recoated in the lurid aqua base gel.

IMG_3015The original coat was too thin, which meant that the moisture of the new plaster was sucked into the lime plaster underneath.

IMG_3020Today the walls were recoated. Extra thick.

IMG_3021The plasterers will try again tomorrow.

Build Day #51

IMG_2968I haven’t seen all three cats on the window sill together for a long time, so perhaps the Feliway diffuser (calming synthetic cat pheromones) is having an effect already.

IMG_2970Ruby discovered this shoebox was a good place to sleep so of course Oliver has to try to shoehorn himself in.

IMG_2980More of the Feliway love-fest? Having said that, Oliver and Ruby had a fur-flying set-to shortly after I took this photo.

IMG_2995The painters continued on the exterior. With all the old paint stripped off the the window profiles look so much sharper and more defined.

IMG_2983The carpenters were here too. They laid the marine ply in the wet areas and gave it a PVC sealant coat. Ready for tiling now.

IMG_2984Same in the toilet.

IMG_2985And bathroom.

IMG_2988Window frames were also being constructed.

IMG_2989P the plumber was doing various work today – hanging radiators, running new pipework and doing the first fix of the kitchen. The kitchen will be delivered soon and will be fitted next week.



Last week I ordered tiles for the en suite and bathroom. I was all ready to go to one of those big tile warehouses but I thought I’d start local. The Stoneygate shops are just around the corner and there is a gorgeous tile shop that sells Porcelanosa, Swarovski and Versace tiles…I know, dangerous. I was completely honest with P the tile merchant about my tile budget and he expertly guided me to some great choices and I got a fantastic deal on Porcelanosa – Spanish porcelain tiles.


In the en suite I will have a feature wall of these wavy tiles called Ona Natural Waves.


They are in a light grey color and are beautifully textured and three dimensional. Each tile is about 50 centimetres long.1374571744-4154

Matching floor tile called Madagascar Natural, though the colour isn’t quite right in this picture.  Porcelanosa-Madagascar-Natural-Tile

In the shower there will be the plainer  Madagascar Natural wall tile from floor to ceiling. They look a bit like concrete breeze blocks in the picture but they are beautiful in real life.

5_201Then these jet black Mini Dual mosaic tiles will sit inside the two recesses in the shower as an accent.

Screen Shot 2014-06-30 at 19.13.01This is the wall colour I have chosen for the en suite – Farrow and Ball’s ‘Pelt’.


2014-06-30 18.50.45I was looking for something go with the grey so Oliver obliged by stretching himself over the colour chart.

2014-06-30 18.47.12

His little aubergine paw pads were the perfect colour to complement the tiles, so ‘Pelt’ it was. Rosie is jealous because she wanted me to go with light blue, like her eyes…

33129e4700372670_1600-w501-h376-b0-p0--home-designIn the main bathroom and toilet I am using Pocelanosa Yakarta tiles in a light beige. They have the look and texture of straw matting or some sort of coarse woven fabric. This is the wall tile.

home-designMatching floor tile.

8527086_origThis is the accent tile that will be used behind the basin and for the front of the bath.

product_clunch-farrow-and-ballA simple neutral for the walls called ‘Clunch’.




Build Day #50

Wow – fifty days of work have now been completed on the house – ten working weeks! So much has happened in a short time that it’s only when I look back at blog posts or photos from just a few weeks ago that I see how much has been accomplished.

IMG_2962My first lesson for the day – chippies (that’s trade talk for carpenters) make a lot of mess and don’t clean up after themselves. [By the way, electricians are called sparkies].

IMG_2960They have made a nice frame for the bath to sit in.

IMG_2959The toilet and bathroom got their marine ply floors, ready for tiling.


IMG_2957And we have our first new window sill!

IMG_0838It is the sill on the small window that used to be in the cold store pantry, now part of the breakfast room. I am loving that I can start to do before and after pics (well, before and during).

IMG_2953P the plumber was here again today. This is the new copper pipe that will connect the house to the mains water. Our temporary pipe is the bendy plastic one.

IMG_2963We also have a shower base! P and I had quite a time deciding on what the best place for the waste pipe would be.

IMG_2958Chippies’ lunchtime reading. ‘Ferreting then and now’ – I wonder what has changed?

IMG_2955More chippie mess. I am glad I covered the unsealed quarry tile floors with dust sheets yesterday – no-one else would have!

IMG_2951The painters were also here. They have made it to the ground floor windows. They are burning and stripping the paint.

IMG_2950Right back to bare wood.

IMG_2954The restored radiator from the entry hall got its first coat of the metallic paint called Old Penny Bronze. It just looks brown in the photos but trust me, it looks better in real life.