house – day 92 – many small things

Today is last day of Johnstones sale, so I popped over the water to one near our old house in Bow to buy a lot of paint (45 litres of white emulsion), tools and other decorating sundries. I made a substantial saving on the normal price. – I wish I’d bought more. I crossed back over the river, picked Fiona up from the flat and we made our way to the house.

Once there, I spent an hour or so going or so going through house with Fiona, she hasn’t seen it for a week and a lot has happened – and quite a few items need final decisions.

The plumbers have said the shower room shower tray needs to be raised to enable the right drop for the waste pipe (despite the fact the shower room has a raised floor). A bit pointless buying low-profile shower trays, then, as both trays are now 110mm off the ground. We’ll also have to box in the waste pipe and modify the built-out part of the wall to accomodate the new exit point.

Fiona got started on working on the internal doors (again) and I modified the studwork in the shower room for the moved waste pipe. Next step – board what I can of the studwork. I’ll have to leave one panel off as the pipework for the shower mixer will also have to raised 130mm to allow for the raised shower tray.

I bought a scoring tool for the waterproof Hardieboard we’re useing to back the tiling, but it’s pretty useless. According to the instructions I read yesterday, you merely score six times, bend the board and it snaps along the line. But it just won’t snap. It’s kind of difficult to get any purchase on some pieces as the off-cuts are very short, but it doesn’t work any better on longer pieces. When I finally managed to snap one, it broke unevenly and had to be trimmed with a saw. This stuff blunts normal saws very quickly. I’ll read the instructions again tomorrow (I read them online) and see if I’m missing anything.

We were pretty hungry by now, so went for lunch at the marine hotel, I do like their colour scheme and think I will do something similar in the rear reception room.

Marc, the plasterer, came around as I want him to do more work upstairs next week, now that everything else is in place. I asked him about the mortar in the bathroom – he’ll replace it with new, so I’ll remove that today.

Fiona has arranged for the rubbish out the back to be cleared next week, so I popped up into the loft space to remove what crap I could, ready to be taken away. It’s more cheap boards, cardboard and rubbish.  I had a good look around the roof space for the first time in a long time. There are still kitchen cabinet doors up there standing in for flooring and the TV aerial is held up with lengths of string. However, I’m very impressed with support structure for the new water tank, it’s a pretty substantial (it has to be as it’s supporting 250 kilos of water). But it’s neatly done and high up (to help with water pressure) and out of the way. I walked around the whole of the roof space, it’s huge – you get a better sense of the size of the house when you can see from gable to gable. Interesting possibilities – bedroom, sun-deck, train set?

I removed the bulging mortar from the bathroom wall and chucked it in the skip outside. I was a bit wary of hammering this wall, as some of the lime mortar is friable and the brick work I did is only just setting.

Whilst I was in the roof space, I’d measured for a piece of wood to support the end of the upper hallway ceiling (another thing I said I’d get ready for Marc). I found a suitable piece in the shed and it fitted perfectly, once I’d rebated the ends. It’s a pretty solid foundation for his work.

I was anxious that once we’d paid to get the rubbish removed (£250!) we should get the open part of the back closed off, it’s an ideal spot for fly-tipping and I’m pretty sure that not all of the rubbish already there is ours. On the other hand, not all the rubbish we put out is still there. The two of us went round the back of the house to have a look and measure up what we might need. We met the neighbour who’s building a house at the back of ours – it’s almost complete. He parks a giant van, blocking the lane, but say he’ll move it if we need it. We don’t right now, but when we do get parking at the back, he won’t be able to stop there any more.

Quite a busy day, but there’s still a lot to do. We’re back tomorrow.