house – day 125 – the plumbers return

We were talking about the house (as if there’s anything other subject we discuss nowadays) and Fiona was just asking me if I was going to ask Chris to get another skip – the current one is overflowing and it’s supposed to be the last one – when I got a text from him, about him returning stuff we haven’t used to Benchmarx. Great, we can get some money back, for a change. I asked him about getting another skip and it’s a good job I did, the current one is being collected today.

At the house, the plumbers were installing the gear that had been delivered recently (shower mixers, heads, mixers, vanity units) and Paul hot got started decorating the big back bedroom. Whilst we were talking about the work, he had to pop out to move his van as the skip lorry had turned up.

Around lunchtime Jacky came around with Pebble to have a look at the house. Jacky is doing a place up on the other side of town and she’s had even more to do than us, as her new house was pretty derelict. Fiona and Jacky popped out for a coffee, whilst I discussed various plumbing issues with Calvin’s guys. I joined Fiona and Jacky for a coffee and chat and heard a few of her house renovation disaster stories. Even experienced people (and she’s done up quite a few properties) get things wrong. Every old house is different and you’ve no idea what you’ll encounter until you start work on the place.

Socialising over, we went to Canterbury to see if the remaining latches had arrived (no they hadn’t). Also, I needed a long 25mm drill bit (I ended up with a 26mm auger) and vertical drill guide (no go, I’ll try Axminster tomorrow), we also picked up more Pearl Colour Mid (168) paint. We underestimated the amount of paint we need for the back room. Little Greene’s coverage guide is rather generous. I can’t imagine any surface you’ll get 14m2/litre coverage with matt emulsion, but that’s what they claim. The actuality seems to be about half that – and this is on top of at least two, sometimes three base coats of plain white emulsion. We also wanted to look at carpets, but the carpet place we’d been recommended was closed for the day. We’ve got a pretty good idea what we want for the upstairs floors (all the same colour), we just need to find the right stuff at the right price and get it installed.

When we got back, Chris (and/or his guys) had been around and poured the concrete to tidy up the base of the bifold doors (literally a step closer to finishing the kitchen, ha!).

Fiona cleared out more of the plants and overgrowth in the front garden and, for a while, chatted to a passer-by, who apparently had moved down from London a few years ago. Meanwhile, I painted various walls so the bathroom radiators can be replaced and took the loft hatch down to cut it un-square so that it fits the existing unsquare aperture better. A relatively easy job using the plunge saw, once it’s set up correctly. I primed the fresh edge and reinstalled it.

By the time we left, which was very late, a lot of stuff had been installed – more empty boxes to recycle – with quite a bit more to go in tomorrow. The walls were painted ready for these next items and I’d stripped the study ceiling completely (although I still have to soak and scrape the residue of paste, backing paper and distemper). We drove home in the rain, feeling pleased that at long last, the house is beginning to look like it might be a home one day.

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