Monday, 10 October 2016

Extension update


We are now a month into the building works for our extension. It has been slow to start due to various factors, one being the difficult access to the building site and the need to carry everything up and down the steps. The builders constructed a pully system a bit like a cable car to move material up and down the hill. Bucket by bucket. The destruction work of the old kitchen was slow because it was built to withstand and nuclear blast. It was also really wet during the crucial weeks in September, when the foundations were dug, making the clay extra heavy. I considered manufacturing earthenware pots for all our family and friends from the spoil.

The foundations have now been poured and a double line of concrete blocks has raised the build out of the ground. This week should see the moving and upgrading of the drainpipes and waste water pipes, the beginning of the timber structure and the erection of an internal wall (I just noticed this wall is now finished). It may seem a bit odd to have an internal wall put in before the extension is up and internal destruction is done but the builder thought we could do with a room to store stuff in as we have to move it out of the way elsewhere. Next week, the supports for the steel that will keep the the house standing will be fitted. I am told that once the timber frame goes in, things will move quickly. We'll see. I need to applaud our builders, they are really considerate and seemingly on top of things. They work weekends if needed. I have probably watched too many episodes of Grand Design, where everything always goes disastrously wrong before it ends up being fabulous and I expected everything to go disastrously wrong. There is plenty of opportunity for this but I feel a little bit reassured by the builders apparent competence. Maybe our residence will not collapse when the entire supporting backside of the house is knocked down.

Whilst all this external work has been going on, Richard and I had to plan our new kitchen. Neither of us enjoyed the process but clever software and a knowledgable designer made it easier. Still, we spent an entire afternoon with the kitchen man and that is after he already designed a draft kitchen based on my extensive email instructions beforehand... for what is essentially a simple white kitchen. I had no idea how many different cabinets types there are! We had to decide which appliances would be worth keeping and which ones needed replacing. Our fridge is about 23 years old I think (we inherited it). More than 20 in any case. It is still working but only just and probably uses the equivalent amount of energy a supernova produces. The microwave works some days but not others. Our oven is temperamental (but not old). We are on our fourth value range one since we had our first flat together, in 1999. I look forward to using a reliable double oven. Our gas hob needs more maintenance than it deserves. Richard was keen to replace it and the replacement will have five rings, which sounds rather extravagant. Other dilemmas: I didn't want wall units, Richard did (he prevailed). I wanted a colourful splash back but the supplier does only have funereal shades. We wanted a microwave that does only that but apparently this is so yesterday. We only wanted drawer units, which comes at a cost. I wanted two larder units, which are eyewateringly expensive. We wanted a recycling drawer that would easily contain our fanatic recycling habits. The placement of the sink and hob were discussed and the need for an extractor fan, which I think are all ugly.... you get the gist.

We 'forgot' to plan for the utility room.... but hope to recycle the remaining current kitchen units, which will save us some money.

We are undecided with regards to flooring. We essentially need to re-floor the entire ground floor, 84 square metres. We still have the original pine floors, which were not meant to be exposed but covered with carpets. The house was built in 1929. The board are worn out now and splinters are not uncommon. They have been cut in many places to allow for re wiring and plumbing work over the past decades. We want a solid wood floor but which wood to go for? It is possible to get reclaimed gym hall floor, which is beech and very hardwearing. Beech is my favourite. The gym floor still has lines on and I am not too sure if I want a badminton court in my living room. There is something about oak I don't like much. It is of course the most common wood for solid floors... Most other floors are too expensive to even consider. We are also looking into bamboo flooring, which is of course not wood but grass. It is very durable and I do like the look of it very much. Oh the choices we have.

The mess has been under control. It is largely outside at the moment. The garden is more or less destroyed and comparable to an abandoned battle field. The courgettes are buried under bricks and a temporary toilet. Inside is cluttered rather than dirty. Our kitchen stuff is in clear plastic boxes, and everything in the backroom has been moved to one corner, piled up high. This is the room with the new wall I mentioned earlier. All our books are stacked up metres high in our bedroom. There is stuff under beds, behind doors, on top of chest of drawers and wardrobes. It is quite amazing how much stuff we own. We have lost a few things but I suppose they will turn up at some point in the future. I lost my small square 6 inch quilting ruler, which is a annoying because I need to square up some blocks for Sam's quilt. My brain is unable to adapt to my large ruler, I have messed up three of four squares I squared up, or rather, didn't square up.

Apart from the building work, life has been uneventful. I am avoiding the news because I can't bear the Brexit talk and Mr Trump abusing women and everyone else who is not of immediate use to him. Annie has not been well and spent the day in bed. I am fairly certain she'll be still poorly tomorrow. To end on a positive note,  I am checking the weather forecast for Turkey every ten minutes and I am really pleased with what I see. My godmother is doing some light shopping so we have some snacks when we arrive and has organised a boat trip to explore the coast. I am hopping crazy with excitement. Four more sleeps.

Wishing you a good week. xx

P.S. I am taking lots of photos of the building work but it is ever so drab, trenches, pipes, concrete, all jumbled up in a heap. I can't bear to upload them. Maybe another time.

18 comments:

  1. How wonderful to be escaping the building work and going somewhere warm and beautiful! Building wise, it sounds like you're on top of things. I kind of envy the scale of your project - it's what we would've done if we had more money. It's going to be spectacular. Even if you misplaced your quilting ruler.... Xx

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  2. Oh the work of remodeling, I think I would just move instead. But it sounds like you've got it all under control. Enjoy your time in Turkey, we loved the 2 years we lived there.

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  3. That photo is fantastic. Good for you getting to escape, have a wonderful time. The work is so hard when you're in the thick of it, but just focus on what it will be like to have it all finished. A double oven is sort of my fantasy, so I'm a little jealous. I can't wait to see what you and your family of cooks makes in the new kitchen. :)

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  4. How wonderful to be escaping the building work and going somewhere warm and beautiful! Building wise, it sounds like you're on top of things. I kind of envy the scale of your project - it's what we would've done if we had more money. It's going to be spectacular. Even if you misplaced your quilting ruler.... Xx

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  5. I remember when we had our extrention Heidi was 3 and she asked 'where are we going to live after the builders have knocked our house down?' aw it must have felt like that to her. Hang in there Christina. Jo x

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  6. Sounds like the trip to Turkey is much needed! You had me chortling over your kitchen. Why is it that you can't have a plain microwave I wonder. I had the same dilemma and found one elsewhere! Our kitchen was 20 years old when we replaced it so I'm understanding what you are saying. Do you need a splashback in funereal colours? We have removed all tiles and painted with eggshell paint. Very scubbable if needed. Now had it four years and I don't regret not having a splashback at all. Enjoy your break. I look forward to seeing the finished product :) B x

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  7. Keep hold of the thought it will all be worth it in the end. It sounds have if things are going well. My daughter has bamboo floors they are really hardworking and easy to keep clean, they need to be with two toddlers. Have a great trip away.

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  8. Enjoy your holiday there will be so much change when you come back, I am dreading starting ours having been through it before, I am not having wall cupboards in the kitchen, just base units, I do think it looks a lot less uncluttered, at the other house I relented and had wall cupboards on just one wall they were OK but never really liked them being there.

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  9. So many decisions to be made! It's all very exciting, no doubt it is going to be amazing when it's done. I hope you have a wonderful holiday. Hopefully you will be amazed by the progress when you return. CJ xx

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  10. You just have to keep telling yourself that it will be worth it in the end. At least it sounds as though you have good builders and so when you return it should have come on in leaps and bounds.
    In the new year, we will be getting in builders to convert a barn into a house. So far, I've just ignored the kitchen but having read this, I suspect I should remove my head from the sand and investigate.
    Looking forward to seeing the finished kitchen.

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  11. I've just had a vision of what it was like when we had our extension built, I'd blocked it out of my mind. I'm pleased we had it done but not sure I'd ever want to go through it all again. It sounds like you've got some good builders and that's the main thing really, I'm sure you'll be thrilled with the end results.

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  12. I completely sympathise with all the dust and mess you have to put up with. We have renovated several houses, and have stupidly decided to start another one. It will all be worth it in the end! Xx

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  13. I am sure in the end you will be happy! The photo is stunning ♥

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  14. Sounds fab! We have a floating bamboo floor which looks fantastic but have had no end of blistering probs due to moisture underneath. How come men and women always have such different ideas of what should be done?! Your holiday sounds perfect timing :)
    Wren x

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  15. Building work is an area I keep away from.... but yours sounds like it's doing ok. And Turkey... how fab will that be?

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  16. I feel for you having had our kitchen refitted last year... So many decisions to make!

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  17. So many decisions! All worth it in the end I am sure, and your builders sound very good and organised. X

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  18. It will all come together beautifully and you will be so thrilled when it is all done. I have oak floors in my kitchen and they are soft so whenever you drop a heavy lid or pot it puts a dent in the floor. I hear bamboo is the best.

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Thank you for visiting and leaving a comment, I love to hear from you, I really do. I sometimes reply by email but I am not all that reliable... Christina xx