Popular Tags:

New Year, New Painting

January 8, 2005 at 4:06 pm

Having left the house empty for a good part of the last couple of weeks, it was decided that the plaster work was now dry enough to be painted on. Following the advice of numerous people, we decided to paint a couple of layers of very cheap paint on first, as apparently new plaster sucks in paint like you wouldn’t believe. At the same time, seeing as we had all the equipment out, we decided to paint some (supposedly) amazing damp-proof paint on to the walls where we are getting the worst damp. As you can see from the pictures below, the damp had got really bad over the past few weeks, so we’re hoping this stuff will do the trick.

Before we could apply the anti-damp paint we had to remove the mildew from the affected walls. It was at this point where we discovered what may prove to be the best cleaning solution ever – Dettox anti-mildew spray. On the recommendation of Sara’s mother we bought this stuff, and I can safely say that it works miracles – I’d go as far as to say that if Jesus were reborn today, the three kings would bring him Gold, Frankinsence and Dettox Anti-mildew spray, it’s that good!

Obviously painting the new plaster required another movement of the radiator in the lounge. It was much easier the second time round, even without Mark’s help, and it went back in place that evening – and worked too! Touch wood…. The rest of the process was pretty straightforward, and leads the way for next weekend when we’re planning to paint all the walls and ceiling in the front room, so that once the skirting board is down we can call that room complete.

On Sunday Henry primed the bare skirting boards with wood primer, ready for several more coats throughout the week (if Henry can stand being in the freezing-cold garage for that long after a long day at work!!). We also bought a brand new king-size duvet to go with the new bed, partly to solve the duvet-stealing arguements, but also so that we have a spare duvet for when guests stay.

Dscf0026_4 Dscf0028 Dscf0032 Dscf0034 Dscf0035_4 Dscf0036 Dscf0037_3 Dscf0040 Dscf0047_2 Dscf0049 Dscf0058_3 Dscf0060_2 Dscf0061_2 Dscf0062_2

More proper guests

December 18, 2004 at 4:01 pm

Having got the house in to a perfectly livable state, we today played host to our second dinner party, this time in the shape of Henry’s brother Ben, his wife Katy and little William – Henry’s first nephew. Obviously this isn’t strictly house-related shots, but William is damned cute so I’m posting them anyway!! :)

Dscf0001_5 Dscf0007_3 Dscf0009_6 Dscf0021_3 Dscf0030 Dscf0043 Dscf0076 Pc180009

The end of the first month in the flat!

December 5, 2004 at 3:55 pm

Having dropped Ali off at the station after a monster fry-up, Henry and Sara spent the remainder of the day tidying up the flat and moving things back in to the living room. We also went down to Wicked and bought some new skirting boards, which will be fitted once they’ve been primed, and finished off the last bit of the flooring. Too tired to do much else, they spent the rest of the afternoon having a rest!

Dscf0077 Dscf0078 Dscf0079

Laminate flooring ain’t what it used to be… it’s better!

December 4, 2004 at 3:52 pm

Having suitably recovered from their hangovers, Sara and Henry’s first job of the day was to drive round all of the bed shops in Reading trying to find a mattress that would get delivered some time this side of Christmas. After at least half a dozen "January 15th"’s, good old Bensons for Beds came up trumps and we are now due a Mattress this Wednesday.

The rest of the day was spent removing the carpet, scraping and cleaning the concrete floor, laying underlay (e-pa e-pa!) and finally laying the new laminate floor. It all went surprisingly well, so long as you ignore the fact that we ended up a pack short and had to go back the next morning for one more box. With the new floor laid we moved some furniture back, and treated ourselves to a Chinese and more beers. Plus some breakdancing, but I won’t go in to that…

Dscf0044_2 Dscf0045_3 Dscf0047 Dscf0051 Dscf0054 Dscf0060 Dscf0062 Dscf0063_3 Dscf0064_2 Dscf0071 Dscf0074

“Go Ali, I’m your mother…” (© Supertroopers)

December 3, 2004 at 3:42 pm

Yesterday Ali King arrived in Reading, fresh and raring to tackle some of our more laborious projects. Having got drunk the night before, we weren’t quite as raring, and definitely not as fresh – but none the less we soldiered on and achieved quite a bit. Despite what it looks like from the photos, Henry was helping too (Sara was at work) but we did consider at one point that perhaps we should change the name of this site to "www.come-and-help-us-do-work-on-our-flat-and-we’ll-pay-you-in-beer-and-put-you-on-the-web.com" but changed our mind thankfully – we’d never attract any more helpers with that kind of attitude… :)

In the course of the day we managed to rip down what remained of the skanky wardrobe in the spare bedroom, move the futon in to the space and assemble the new bed which was delivered that morning. We weren’t in for quite the night’s sleep we had hoped for though, as stupid old MFI just "forgot" to deliver our matress, so we had to resort to the airbed until we could find another matress.

The day ended the same was as the previous evening – drinking beer and watching DVDs. Some of us managed to stay up until 1.30am, others fell asleep earlier (no surprises there!!)

Dscf0001_4 Dscf0009_5 Dscf0011 Dscf0013_5 Dscf0014_3 Dscf0020_2 Dscf0021_2 Dscf0026_3Dscf0033_4 Dscf0039 Image869

The Cryin’, The Titch and the Wardrobes…

November 28, 2004 at 3:19 pm

Yesterday we finally found some floor laminates we were happy with, and we bought 20m²-worth of it (with underlay) from Floors-2-go. We would have liked to have bought real wooden floor boards, but the two main problems with this were the cost (we’re rapidly running out of money!) and the fact that they would have made the floor (in an already low room) even higher.

Today we bought two new wardrobes from B&Q, so we can finally get rid of the crappy old built-in one that’s taking up loads of room in the spare bedroom. Henry assembled them while Sara marked some mock exams, and it all went relatively smoothly – though the lack of a long-screwdriver in Henry’s rapidly-growing tool collection did require a last-minute run to Wickes. We also bought some nice looking no-more-damp paint for the bedroom, and a stupid Humidifier too – we meant to get a DEHUMIDIFIER, but didn’t look cloesly enough at the box – either that or we went for the cheapest one, you decide!!

Dscf0001_3 Dscf0002_2 Dscf0005_5 Dscf0006_3 Dscf0008_2 Dscf0009_4 Image862 Image865 Image867

In to the depths of the garage we go…

November 21, 2004 at 3:14 pm

This was Mark’s second day of being extremely helpful, and while Sara drove off to her school Environmental Day for the morning, Mark and Henry set off to the garage to spread their magic. Despite horrendouse hangovers on everybody’s part, they managed to not only fit a new consumer unit in the garage, but also to wire up 2 strip lights (one over where the car would go, and one for Henry’s future workbench!). They also fixed the doorframe to stop it jamming, and generally improved what was a pretty rubbish waste of space.

In the afternoon, before Mark headed back up north, we all went out to Reading town centre to meet Ben, Katy and William for lunch. We dined at Old Orleans (albeit very slowly – the Christmas shopping rush strikes again!) and had a very nice time, although William got a bit confused by a balloon Henry gave him. He liked the ribbon it was attached to though!!

Image829 Image832 Image836 Image839 Image842 Image844

Mark “Handy Andy” Nicholls sweeps in to town…

November 20, 2004 at 3:10 pm

This weekend he had the pleasure of Mark Nicholls company (Henry’s cousin). He swept in to town like a rogue tornado, fixed and improved lots of aspects of our flat, got us drunk and taught us chinese mind tricks.

Amongst the items we managed to tick off our "to do" list was:

  • Re-attaching the radiator and brackets to the living room wall, thus warming it up again
  • Fitting the new blinds in the living room
  • Wiring up the telephone cables so we can have a phone upstairs
  • Improving the TV reception
  • Fitting some very nice curtains in the bedroom
  • Wiring up the garage for lights and plugs
  • Fixing the garage door
  • Setting up a PIR unit and security light in the front porch.
  • Testing our spare bedroom for guests – it passed
  • Generally taught us lots of things we didn’t know!!

Thanks very much of course to Mark, and below you can see some shots of him in action! Just don’t ask about the beer-mat trick, or the chinese pencil breaking (using just paper) – not unless we’re drunk anyway!

Dscf0005_4 Dscf0008 Dscf0013_4 Dscf0015_3 Dscf0016_2 Dscf0019_2 Dscf0023_2 Dscf0024_2 Image820 Image825 Dscf0029_2

Damp-proof once and for all.

November 18, 2004 at 2:37 pm

We weren’t initially expecting to add an entry today – the next big day on the agenda was supposed to be this weekend when Mark Nicholls comes down to help out. However, on Wednesday we received a call from "Property Preservations" saying that the men who were coming to do our damp-proofing and plastering next thursday could actually fit us in a week early. So, not wanting to look a gift horse in the mouth we snapped them up and Henry arranged to work from home for the day.

The bulk of the labouring was obviously done by the builders, so Sara went to school as normal and Henry holed himself up in the spare room to do some work – only interupted minorly when the builder cut through the phone cable, so Henry had to go down and fit a new one. Plus the occassional coffee-making session obviously (Builders must have bladders like balloons!). We opted to have them do half of the work now (living room, hallway and bedroom 1) and half another time (bedroom 2 and kitchen) – partly because of the cost, but also because Henry couldn’t be bothered to move all the bookshelves in the spare room.

By the end of Day 13, all the "hacking", "injecting" and "plastering" is complete. The main builder bloke is coming back tomorrow to render the walls, and then we’re done for the time being – with big jobs anyway. We can’t paint on the newly plastered walls for 6 weeks, and Henry’s cack-handedness when removing the radiator means we can’t reattach that either until we’ve got some new plumbing supplies! But at least we can sleep safe in the knowledge that we won’t wake up with dry-rot.

Another positive is that we are both learning lots about property renovation. Henry can now wire up telephone cables, electrical cables and knows a fair amount about central heating and pluming too. He shalln’t be giving up the day job quite yet though!!

P.S. According to the builders, Henry’s hammer is a bit "girly" – not enough use apparently! When he got it for them from the garage the witty men quipped "Do we need silk gloves to hold it with?". Mental note: Use hammer more.

Dscf0005_3 Dscf0007_2 Dscf0009_3 Dscf0014_2 Dscf0015_2

Our second junior visitor, plus a visit from the IKEA fairy

November 14, 2004 at 2:33 pm

Having made what we thought would be a quick trip to the Brentwood IKEA (Diwalli traffic meant it actually took AGES to get there) on Saturday we are now the proud owners of 4 "Leksvik" DVD shelving units, a "Leksvik" CD cabinet and a lovely coffee table – bet you can’t guess what type that was?!? Henry put them all together this afternoon, which meant we could finally unpack the CDs and DVDs, meaning we only have about 2 boxes left to unpack.

Other things we achieved this weekend include hanging new curtains in the spare bedroom, a new lampshade in the main bedroom (not that it’s much of an achievement I guess) and we have brand new blinds for the front room as well, though Henry is too knackered to put those up today!!

I can say with some certainty that we’re both feeling like the place is much more homely now, although a visit from Ros and Keith (and little Barney) proved that it’s definitely not a baby-friendly flat. It took two of us to get the pram back up the steps again, so I suspect that at the first sign of bun-in-oven shenanigans we will have to move – not that we’re planning I should add, but who knows what life will throw at you…

Dscf0004_2 Dscf0005_2 Dscf0009_2 Dscf0012_2 Dscf0013_3 Dscf0019