“Out takes” – miscellaneous!

No need to stair - we're on our way. Soon there will be no lying down on the job.
No need to stair – we’re on our way. Soon there will be no lying down on the job.
Not just a pile of debris - this is the winder on our stairs (hmmm, whoever knew you could wind stairs?)
Not just a pile of debris – this is the winder on our stairs (hmmm, whoever knew you could wind stairs?)
Is it a bird? No, it's not a plane e Acrows if you want to be prop-er (groan!!)
Is it a bird? No, it’s not a plane either. It’s Acrow – tee hee! In fact three Acrows if you want to be prop-er (groan)
Well, several Acrows in a row holding up our ceiling. Gosh we look quite professional.
Well, several Acrows in a row holding up our ceiling. Gosh we look quite professional.
Oh well, perhaps not! Right kids, don't do dangerous things with the drill ...
Oh well, perhaps not! Right kids, don’t do dangerous things with the drill … and I hope you’re going to tidy up that mess afterwards.

A floorless finish – joist the job, Chris!

Day 1 of operation 'Onward and Upward' or putting in the staircase as we like to call it.
Day 1 of operation ‘Onward and Upward’ or putting in the staircase as we like to call it.

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It wasn't long before Chris was really motoring along and soon all floor boards were up and several joists cut to reveal the new space for our staircase - exciting and scary!
It wasn’t long before Chris was really motoring along and soon all floor boards were up and several joists cut to reveal the new space for our staircase – exciting and scary!
I do not advise stepping through that upstairs doorway! Ooops!
I do not advise stepping through that upstairs doorway! Ooops!

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Oh no - I hope that Chris doesn't think that those will do as the new stairs!
Oh no – I hope that Chris doesn’t think that those will do as the new stairs!
 nice view from the safety of the ground floor. The hole has certainly shed some light into this previously dingy backroom.
nice view from the safety of the ground floor. The hole has certainly shed some light into this previously dingy backroom.

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Well it all has to start somewhere and so Chris cut out a section of floor so that he could assess the new routes for the electric cables.
Well it all has to start somewhere and so Chris cut out a section of floor so that he could assess the new routes for the electric cables.

Doors, drawers and knobs

This was an idea born out of desperation and cheapness (relatively speaking that is). As is the case with most old properties nothing is straight or square so in order to build fitted wardrobes in our bedroom we had to come up with an inventive solution. Our next problem was that we needed narrower doors than was available - so to this end I ordered bath panels. I ordered bath side panels and bath ends (to create the top wardrobe doors) and in order to keep all the horizontal lines even Chris glued them together to create one long door but with a notional gap. Notice the innovative use of steps to hold the 'doors' in place.
This was an idea born out of desperation and cheapness (relatively speaking that is). As is the case with most old properties nothing is straight or square so in order to build fitted wardrobes in our bedroom we had to come up with an inventive solution. Our next problem was that we needed narrower doors than was available – so to this end I ordered bath panels. I ordered bath side panels and bath ends (to create the top wardrobe doors) and in order to keep all the horizontal lines even Chris glued them together to create one long door but with a notional gap. Notice the innovative use of steps to hold the ‘doors’ in place.
Eh, voila! Bath panels to wardrobe doors - not bad!
Eh, voila! Bath panels to wardrobe doors – not bad!

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Bargain chest of drawers from the British Red Cross shop now being prepared for a re-vamp.
Bargain chest of drawers from the British Red Cross shop now being prepared for a re-vamp.
Carcass painted with Rustoleum 'Antique White' and finished with Rustoleum wax.
Carcass painted with Rustoleum ‘Antique White’ and finished with Rustoleum wax.
Drawers all painted up and drying.
Drawers all painted up and drying.
New handles fitted to the top three drawers only two more to do.
New handles fitted to the top three drawers only two more to do.

“Chris – I’ve just had an idea …”

RHS Harlow Carr Gardens providing plenty of ideas ... poor Chris!
RHS Harlow Carr Gardens providing plenty of ideas … poor Chris!
Can we re-cycle our slates and create a vertical slate garden bed?
“Darling, can we re-cycle our slates and create a vertical slate garden bed?”
“Then again, Chris, I really like this idea. How about a bit of dry stone walling?”

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“Hey, look Chris, do you think you could make some of these for me? I have got lots of tin cans at home” How hard can it be?
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Crikey – just think how much digging you could get done with a spade this size.
"At last, Chris, I have had an idea for the end of the garden. A few shrubs, a new lawn and a bit of digging! Perhaps you can use the super large spade we just saw!"
“At last, Chris, I have had an idea for the end of the garden. A few shrubs, a new lawn and a bit of digging! Perhaps you can use the super large spade we just saw!”
The 'piece de resistance'. "Chriiiiis .... "
The ‘piece de resistance’.
“Chriiiiis …. “

Life’s little ironies and ‘Grate Expectations’ in Harrogate

The Grampsmobile was pressed into service again - this time to haul a marble hearth, marble inset and mantelpiece from Goxhill to Harrogate. The indignities that this car has suffered since it was annexed by the Shortfields beggars belief!  Of course it did not escape our attention that on the hottest day of July (for the last decade according to the Meteorological Office), we were transporting a complete fireplace to Harrogate! Not quite coals to Newcastle...
The Grampsmobile was pressed into service again – this time to haul a marble hearth, marble inset and mantelpiece from Goxhill to Harrogate. The indignities that this car has suffered since it was annexed by the Shortfields beggars belief! Of course it did not escape our attention that on the hottest day of July (for the last decade according to the Meteorological Office), we were transporting a complete fireplace to Harrogate! Not quite coals to Newcastle…

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Guess who was behind the camera? So much easier than heaving great chunks of marble around in the heat. Well done you two!
Guess who was behind the camera? So much easier than heaving great chunks of marble around in the heat. Well done you two!
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“Left a bit, down a bit. Do you think this will go through the gate?”
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Ever the gentleman Chris allows Susanne to go backwards – well, according to him he was carrying the heavy end! Whatever!
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Photo irony – fan in operation as Chris manoeuvres the ‘dead’ gas fire outside.
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Removing the tiles was not too difficult but the solid concrete block definitely presented challenges. Chris sorted it out with a little physics and a lot of brute force – marvellous!
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Note attractive and stylish vent – held in place with duct tape!
More shifting of fireplaces, hearths, tiles and lots of filth.
More shifting of fireplaces, hearths, tiles and lots of filth.
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Susanne doing a fair impression of a Victorian chimney sweep – hopefully doing a better job otherwise she could end up more like Sooty than Sweep.
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All cleared and cleaned and ready for the new installation.
Susanne doing a fair impression of a Victorian chimney sweep - hopefully doing a better job otherwise she could end up more like Sooty than Sweep.
The previous owners had concreted over an original Edwardian tiled hearth … and now we are going to cover it again but not with concrete.
Fireplace and ugly tiled hearth now out, skirting boards removed and all ready for the new fireplace - sorted!
Fireplace and ugly tiled hearth now out, skirting boards removed and all ready for the new fireplace – sorted!
Step 1 - carefully lay out all components and ensure that all furnishings are covered - check.
Step 1 – carefully lay out all components and ensure that all furnishings are covered – check.
Step 2 - lay and level the hearth. Not looking bad, hey?
Step 2 – lay and level the hearth. Not looking bad, hey?
Step 3 - centre the insert and drill holes for retaining screws. Easier said than done as this particular chimney breast seems to be made with pre-stressed concrete - well let's put it this way we were all quite stressed by the time Chris had 'hammered' through to Ripon.
Step 3 – centre the insert and drill holes for retaining screws. Easier said than done as this particular chimney breast seems to be made with pre-stressed concrete – well let’s put it this way we were all quite stressed by the time Chris had ‘hammered’ through to Ripon.
Step 4 - fix mantelpiece to the wall of exceptional hardness and the new fireplace is 'done and dusted'.
Step 4 – fix mantelpiece to the wall of exceptional hardness and the new fireplace is ‘done and dusted’. Not bad for a charity shop find – another serendipitous find as I wandered around the British Red Cross shop in Barton upon Humber, casually wasting time, I spotted this complete fireplace set for £90.00! Also, as I have a loyalty card I get money back later – fantastic!