house – day 58 – two more rooms prepped

We spent the whole of yesterday (Saturday) trying to decide on the remaining major items for the bathroom and shower room. It was a slow, frustrating and ultimately inconclusive task. It takes so very long to plough through dozens of web pages, checking specs, prices, availability and, even when you do decide, you still can’t be sure exactly what you’re getting until the item (hopefully) turns up. Sometimes it’s easier to shop in person, but then you don’t get the choice and rarely get the best price.

Today we’re staying overnight, so we can get an early start on Monday and just enjoy where we hope to move to very soon. (Also, to avoid the London Marathon.)

At 7 o’clock I was woken up by a marathon marshal’s two-way radio. She’d decided to station herself on the corner outside our flat. So much for a Sunday lie-in. She turned out to completely useless, because when we set off to go up to the A2, we found the exit closed off and had to thread our truck through the crowds around the start, who naturally thought the A2 was a vehicle-free zone on marathon day. Unlike other marshals, who were stopping cars to tell local residents which roads were closed, the one on our street corner didn’t seem to feel the need to advise drivers about any changes to traffic flow and let us drive into the crowded, closed-off area. The council hadn’t bothered to tell us we were cut-off either. Eventually, we got out of the area where we live and on the road to the house, later than we wanted, yet again. It must have taken 45 stressful minutes to drive two miles.

Once we got to the house, Fiona had inspected the latest completed work  and we then set to work finishing off stripping out the back bedrooms. I cleaned up up the remaining two walls in the big bedroom and Fiona got to work on the wallpaper in the smaller room.

Once I’d finished in bedroom three, I thought I’d get the old tiles out of the bathroom. As usual, it wasn’t quite as easy as I thought it was going to be. I ended up using the big Bosch SDS drill with a tile chisel to remove a lot of them. On the big wall, there are at least three distinct patches of work. At the bottom there are the original dark green tiles cemented in place, above that, some modern plaster board that’s damp and mouldy (where the old lip of the bath was) and lath and plaster (covered in woodchip wallpaper) along the top. It seems this is another wall that will need to come down. Five big buckets of tile fragments went on the skip, quite a few dropped through the bathroom floor onto the new concrete below. It will need to be swept before the insulation goes down.

Once I’d finished that, I joined Fiona and we finished the work in the smaller back bedroom. It’s now ready for a bit more plastering (above the picture rail), although I still need to replace some damage with the architrave I salvaged. We were pretty pleased with the work we’d done, two more rooms are now pretty much ready for decoration.

With the day’s work finished, we spent some time looking at the bath and shower rooms, measuring them to see what would fit from the choices we’d made yesterday. I think we’ve narrowed down our selection to an either/or choice for most things, but we still need to check a few points about the items we have in mind.

We drove up to the Premier Inn, cleaned up and then strolled down to the pub for a couple of pints and a pizza, feeling pretty satisfied with what we’d accomplished today.

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