house – day 49 – floors, walls, another door

Another email from Chris, more issues to discuss, this time to do with the floor in the kitchen. I’ve learned that not all emails about issues are necessarily going to result in an even larger overspend, so whenever I get one, I say to myself “don’t panic, let’s wait and see”. It’s also better not to tell Fiona until there’s some sort of resolution.

Chris wasn’t to turn up until later in the day, so I got on with cleaning up the rest of the hinges I’d salvaged and then started stripping the paint from another door. This door, the new kitchen door, is a lot more elaborate than the first door I stripped on Tuesday. The mouldings are quite intricate and it took me about four hours to strip one side of it. I was about halfway through the reverse side when Chris turned up and we were able to talk about the content of his most recent email.

The old scullery floor is a mishmash of bits of concrete, quarry tile, holes, bitumen coating and rubble. The main issue is this hodgepodge of material is placed directly on rubble, sitting on bare ground. There’s no moisture protection. It’s possible it isn’t and never has been an issue, but I want to put ceramic tiles down so the floor needs to be dry, level and stable. We discussed various options, including removing all the existing floor material and laying a new slab. It will slow things down and cost a fait bit of money. Our solution is to lay a membrane over the existing material and top off with new concrete. This means we’ll have to increase the height we’re raising the floor in the front part of the kitchen and there will now probably  have to be a second step from the main hallway into the second hallway that leads to the shower room and kitchen (if the height increase is greater than 190mm).

Chris had also collected the structural steelwork for the kitchen so that can now be installed and we’ll be able to remove the Acrows soon. The supports are bigger pieces of metal than I’d anticipated, but the civil engineer assures us they’re necessary. Things are moving on. We checked more measurements for the new partition walls and talked about the possibility of moving the washing machine into the shower room. There’s not quite enough room to do that, which is a shame, as it would give us a bit more worktop space. We also decided to sit the dishwasher and washing machine side-by-side and place one oven above each appliance, rather than stack cleaning and cooking appliances in separate towers.

Finally, the kitchen windows and doors are almost bricked up now, Paul has completed a lot of the wallpapering and it’s looking pretty good. I also photographed our electricity connection, so that UK Power Networks can see what we have installed.