house – day 153 – 182 – FFWD

We’re spending a lot of time at the house now, but still we haven’t properly moved in. Our goods and chattels are still in storage. This means we’re now camping in two properties. As a result, things are a little chaotic. I don’t have much opportunity to sit down and blog what we’ve done on a daily basis and I even keep forgetting to take photos. In an effort to catch up, I’ll condense the last month into a single post.

Sunday 28 July

Since my last post, I’ve been back to the Blackheath flat, led the photo trip for the Museum of London with Doug and now I’m back at the house. Paul has finished decorating the front reception room and it looks great. The shower upstairs works fine so at least we have toilet facilities, but we’ve got a bit more work to do in the kitchen before we can use that.

Tuesday 6 August

We’re plodding on with decorating, there’s still a lot to do. It’s the preparation work that feels so thankless. Once paint starts to go on the walls, it looks a lot more like progress. Fiona has finally finished painting the back bedroom. It took a while, but the finish is good. Hopefully, she’ll be quicker with subsequent rooms.

Thursday 8 August


We’ll be needing a lot of new blinds for the house. We’re going for wooden Venetian blinds – it’s an authentic Edwardian look. As we have so many to do, we thought we try out a couple first (we’re buying online and no, it’s not Hilary’s), in two different styles. One for our bedroom and a more expensive type of blind for the smallest window – the small front bedroom. They’ve arrived and I’ve installed them. Our bedroom blind is fine. But the fancy curved slats in the front bedroom window make for a very heavy blind and the slats don’t sit straight when raised. It takes a number of attempts even to get the blind to stay raised. We’ll be sending that one back to the manufacturer and getting the cheaper style for the front bedroom too. They look pretty nice when they’re down.

Friday 16 August


We went back to the flat the previous weekend and work plods on. Chris has been back and sorted out a few bits of snagging, but there’s still more for him to fix. The main bedroom carpet has now been laid – the carpet originally supplied by the manufacturer had a join it, which they didn’t mention, so we had to wait for them to deliver a replacement piece, we also have the laminate flooring (yes, I know, but it’s practical and cheap) for the office. I’ve been fixing a few things in the kitchen and we’ve been doing more decorating and prep. We’re working hard(ish) but progress is imperceptible. It’s only when you look at older photographs, you realise what has been accomplished. I need to take more pictures, if only to remind us how far we’ve come. I still need to work out what I’m going to do about a new fireplace in the back reception (we  call it the study for now). The tall narrow aperture in the surround is difficult to fill.

Friday 23 August

Ken stayed for a few days to help us, but things didn’t quite go to plan. One of the main tasks was to install the screens in the downstairs shower room, which I thought would be a two-man job. However, when I checked the detailed labels on the three large, heavy packages I realised we’d been delivered a 760mm wide door and a 900mm wide screen, which was the opposite of what we ordered. It was delivered in May and, until now, had sat in the front reception, whilst the work in the shower room was completed. However, I hadn’t been on hand at the time to check the packages when they were delivered, which is why we only found out about the error now. Fiona called the bathroom company, expecting to be told it was far too late to get a replacement, but they admitted that what had been delivered was a combination they did not sell, so agreed to a swap. Thankfully, I’d read the package labels before opening any packages and left them intact, simplifying proceedings somewhat. We got the screens replaced a short time after Fiona made the call, but Ken had gone back by then, leaving me to install the screens with only Fiona’s help – and they are heavy. We still have them to do.

Instead of working in the bathroom, Ken and I blocked up a gap between our workshop and our neighbours’ garage. People could easily see through it into our garden and kitchen from the 10 foot way at the back and we needed more privacy. I also built the framework to hide the pipes in the toilet, and for the rest of the time we did a lot of wall scraping, including using a belt sander to remove some particularly hard paint in the rear reception. Very messy work indeed. And finally, we painted base coats on some bare walls.

The oak flooring has been delivered, just over a ton of it, and we have a cheap table in the kitchen – an outdoor one from B&Q. Finally, we can sit down and eat in our house. (And get some rest from DIY.)

We’re going back to the flat this weekend, to catch up on admin and get clean clothes.

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