house – day 74 – rendered

It took two hours to get back to the flat yesterday, the one sunny day of the bank holiday had brought the traffic out and there was at least a 17-mile caterpillar of traffic on the A2. Fortunately I knew a few backroads, so at least we didn’t get stuck for too long, a lot of people must have been in that queue for hours.

The journey back to the house today was much less fraught. By the time I arrived, the plasterers had started on the external render to cover the blockwork of the bricked-up windows and doors at the side of the kitchen. As usual, it seems, for this house, the professionals were able to point out more bodging. This time the issue was the several varieties of render that had been used to cover various improvement(?) works carried out on the house over the years. Creating a patchwork of textures that we hadn’t noticed before. I suppose it’s not a crucial visual issue as we hadn’t spotted it previously, but it meant the plasterers had a difficult job finding a style of render that would seamlessly blend the patchwork together. There was more plastering activity in the kitchen too.

Chris had the windows and doors guy in to get the order for the bi-fold doors sorted. It should be pretty straightforward as we want a simple three-panel door. We had wanted built-in blinds in the door panels, but that option added another four or five weeks to the lead time, time we can’t afford now. It’s a pity, it would have looked very neat, but at least it saves us quite a bit of money.

I was determined to get the living room living room door stripped and hung, in attempt to protect Paul’s prep work from the dirt and dust in the rest of the house. Eventually I got the door cleaned up and back in its frame, using the new cast iron hinges and it fitted perfectly. Well three-quarters of it did. The shut line was nice and even all the way around the door until you got to the the top left-hand corner, which warped away from the door frame leaving a gap of about 15mm in the corner. Looking at the door, you could see it had sagged and had been trimmed at the bottom, possibly to compensate for its collapse. In fact so much wood had been trimmed from the bottom,that one of the two pairs of mortice and tenon joints had been cut though, considerably weakening the door. I could try to adjust the door hinges so that it was a little out all around the door, rather than perfect for 75% of it. I’m not sure yet. I certainly hadn’t noticed it when I took the door down. These doors are a pain, but we couldn’t afford new doors in the style and we certainly didn’t want to replace them with plain panels or modern fakes.

Tomorrow, we’re going to the Grand Designs show, the manufacturers of our bifold doors are exhibiting there and it would be nice to see what we’ve let ourselves in for. Maybe we should have waited another day before the order, but time is pressing.