house – day 52 – waste of effort?

It took ages to find the hot air gun in B&Q, they’re not where you think they’d be – they’re not with other power tools and they’re not located with the other decorating prep stuff (abrasives, stripping knives, shavehooks etc).  Even the staff didn’t know exactly  where they were, but eventually I found one and bought it. It was getting to the point where I was contemplating giving up and going to Wickes. Consequently I arrived at the house quite a bit later than I intended.

Paul has almost finished the prep work on the small front bedroom and we discussed the next room to be done. It was supposed to be the other front bedroom, but the chimney breast there still needs to be re-plastered. We agreed he’d do the downstairs room instead.

I finished the rest of the gooey side of the door I had worked on yesterday and started on what I thought should be the easier side. Turned out I was wrong about that too. This side of the door had been stripped relatively recently and a layer of latex paint applied directly on to bare wood. Hot air makes this kind of paint crumble rather than melt and to complicate things further, the mouldings had been filled with decorator’s caulk. It was a slow and boring task which will still need a lot of work to finish it properly.

Chris arrived and we talked about the email I sent him last night about the floor in the kitchen. He went through what we’d have to do, to replace the old concrete and rubble with a new floor, he’ll come back with a revised quotation. Let’s hope we can afford it.

We also tried to work out exactly where the drains run from the house, this is so we can get the toilets in the right position. The drains around here are all very close to the surface and don’t appear to be draining properly right now. We tried using my drain rods to see how they connect up, but after putting twelve metres of rods down, we found we still couldn’t be certain. We need to put some dye in them to work out what flows where. I also need to get a claw for the rods to clear any blockages – I only ever used the rods to sweep chimneys – a job I also need to do here.

Whilst I was talking to Chris, Marc came to look at the plastering, I think Paul explained to him what needed to be done, Marc left before I’d finished talking to Chris.

I had a long chat with Paul about various things, including the doors I was working on. He was of the opinion I was wasting my time stripping the doors back to the wood. I said I’d reckoned on two days’ work per door to get them in to shape. He said it would probably take much longer than that and, now, I think he’s right. I’ll finish the ones I’ve already stripped and just fill and sand the others. I can see why people dip doors to strip them, it’s much faster and a lot less work, but in my opinion it causes too much damage.