Day 7 – (definitely) – feeling quite smug

We have worked ourselves to a standstill but we have managed to get the top of the house up to visitor standard. The grandchildren were round earlier and Daisy sniffed derisively “I don’t like the grey, Gran, paint it blue” Crikey, everyone’s a critic. Now we are all washed up and presentable and ready to pick up James and Mariery from Doncaster Station.

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As my Dad always put it so poetically – “After the Lord Mayor’s Show comes the …. cart” Well, this was Chris’s ‘after show’. All the tools that were needed over the past few weeks were assembled this morning straight after breakfast ready to store in the shed.
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Nice try, Chris but I don’t think that you’ll get all those tools in those three toolboxes!
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Bathroom clear and ready for cleaning – I didn’t have time to paint the door but I did manage the left hand side doorframe – still there’s always tomorrow!
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Not bad – all cleared ready for dusting and vacuuming – no, I’m just showing off, a quick flick around will do!
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In the bathroom a rather intriguing space left by the original bath – hmmm, I wonder if I could add a Roman Mosaic before they arrive?
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Preparations for tomorrow – I have postponed Stir up Sunday until tomorrow so that Mariery and James can join in the fun. Apparently they also want to make pom-poms (not sure which cook book that comes from but we’ll give it a go!).
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Doncaster in the rain! So good to see them both – Chris was so emotional he had camera shake. Now only to get these two home and do a big catch up.

After a ‘diverting’ journey home which the Sat Nav couldn’t cope with we got in and found that these two had some great ideas for their stall at The Illustration Fair, South Bank, London – a 3D jaguar – I’m not sure that North Lincs. is up to this but we’ll give it a go – keep watching for screaming jaguars and pom-poms!

Day 6-ish – Apologies, it got late …

Yes, I know that technically this is now Day 7 (or D-Day in terms of visitors arriving) but we got so tired and I had to paint a door and have dinner etc, etc ….

Chris has cleared most of the rubbish - see previous blogs! The man at the dump was very helpful, so thank you for making a horrible job so much easier.
Chris has cleared most of the rubbish – see previous blogs! The man at the dump was very helpful, so thank you for making a horrible job so much easier.
Crikey - look at all the tools. On day 7 (yes I know we're on Day 7 now) he is going to tidy these all away - what a horrible job.
Crikey – look at all the tools. On day 7 (yes I know we’re on Day 7 now) he is going to tidy these all away – what a horrible job.
My job is to tidy and clean the bedroom ready for James and Mariery. I decided that they would need the bigger room so now I have to get on and sort it out.
My job is to tidy and clean the bedroom ready for James and Mariery. I decided that they would need the bigger room so now I have to get on and sort it out.
Stage 1 - unsightly mess on top of the kitchen cabinets.
Stage 1 – unsightly mess on top of the kitchen cabinets.
Stage 2 - new seagrass boxes now storing all unsightly (but useful) stuff. Please note the wine rack that Chris put up at the end of a very trying and tiring day - looks good, n'est pas?
Stage 2 – new seagrass boxes now storing all unsightly (but useful) stuff. Please note the wine rack that Chris put up at the end of a very trying and tiring day – looks good, n’est pas?
Chris put on a door for the house bathroom - hooray, all modesty preserved, thankfully.
Chris put on a door for the house bathroom – hooray, all modesty preserved, thankfully.
A before and after photo - last night (proper Day 6) I decided to paint the un-aesthetic really dark doors. So now, more grey but it looks much better, I think.
A before and after photo – last night (proper Day 6) I decided to paint the un-aesthetic really dark doors. So now, more grey but it looks much better, I think.
To keep myself busy I moved the kitchen cabinets (what else did I have to do). I am hoping that James will be able to help Chris fit and cut the worktops when he is here - tee hee, he didn't think he was staying for free did he?
To keep myself busy I moved the kitchen cabinets (what else did I have to do). I am hoping that James will be able to help Chris fit and cut the worktops when he is here – tee hee, he didn’t think he was staying for free did he?
New layout ready for worktops to be fitted. I will also be able to paint the cupboard doors once this is done.
New layout ready for worktops to be fitted. I will also be able to paint the cupboard doors once this is done.
Now to tidy up the back room - dust, clean and wash the floor then we should be sorted. I bet I find a few more things to do!
Now to tidy up the back room – dust, clean and wash the floor then we should be sorted. I bet I find a few more things to do!

 

Day 5 – progress but still LOADS to do!

I’m glad you’re all keeping up with the one week ‘dash’ to complete as much as we can before the ‘children’ arrive! We are just about to sit down and eat having achieved a fair bit today. So, look at what we have done …

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Chris put up the plasterboard for the new en-suite – to protect everyone’s modesty as we could all see the toilet and shower!!
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Just like the rest of the house the wall has been insulated – not just for warmth but also for noise insulation – if you get my drift.
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As we have really run out of time (not an excuse) we are having to modify the plans and then return to the original plans in early January when the boys and Mariery have returned to Panama. So, Chris has put a door onto the en-suite space – this will be walled up later on but will be used by us all for the next 5 weeks.
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Meanwhile I unpacked the new double bed – in preparation for our first visitors in the newly revamped ‘guest room’ – the instructions suggested that it is best if two people make the bed; but it was only little old me available.
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Stage 1 – unpack and count the contents before reading all the instructions, identifying the pats and of course, laying them all out neatly. Cute little spanner, hey?
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So far, so good.
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Looking good and I checked that it was ‘square’ – all good, now the tricky part…
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Having turned the bed on its side in order to attach the base fabric, I then turned my attention to the ‘pneumatics’ of this ottoman bed. That part was not too bad but you can see me ‘wrestling’ with the bed slats. This was really hard work so I called in Chris – hooray! He managed two rows but then I resorted to another method and managed the rest on my own – let’s hope that Mariery and James don’t fall through the bedframe!
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My hero! I got Chris to try out the opening and closing mechanism – all was well, phew, hooray! I love Chris’s balletic style, he learnt it all from Mr Christopher Howes.
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By early evening I had managed to really ‘make the bed’ – only took me all day! I put up the new curtains and the bedspread that I made with bits of remnants from the curtains and five fat quarters. I think it looks quite cosy and country.
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Another view of the ‘new’ room. The door to the right (yes, I know, it needs a door) will be the entrance and the door to the left will be the walk in wardrobe (snug) and eventually another door into the en-suite. I upcycled the dressing table and painted it in Dulux Timeless Classics, colour ‘Pressed Thistle’ – the chair I showed a couple of days ago is still in the process of being finished for this room – might get it done before the family arrive!
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To the left of the bed Chris has made a storage area that extends over the staircase – so jolly useful for all sorts of things. Eventually it will have a door – eventually!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 4 – looking good!

I would like to say a very BIG thank you to my wonderful husband, Chris Shortle, who has turned this project around in the last three days. He has taken down walls, removed doors, taken up floors, levelled floorboards,  put in electrics, replaced skirting boards, removed carpets and even put up the wine rack in the kitchen! We have made enormous progress and it is not only exciting but encouraging as we finally start to see the new dimensions and dynamics of our new green home.

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Chris – first thing this morning putting up a sheet of plasterboard to create the entrance to the new house bathroom. There was much more work though …Enter a caption
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By the end of the morning Chris had cleared and levelled the new hallway area and fitted some new skirting boards as well as marking off the doorway ready for the carpet fitters who are due later.
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Skirting board up and screws countersunk – ready to be filled and painted later!
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The Heather Parry Guest Suite all cleared and ready for new carpet. Chris had to level the floor as well as put in new skirting boards.
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Our bedroom ready for the new carpet to be laid – I cleared the whole room and stored it all in the bedroom that has already been finished. Mind you, before we go to bed tonight this will all have to be restored to order – or we’ll have to sleep on the floor!
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Chris has managed to store all his tools in the now reduced space of the new house bathroom …
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Hmmm, not exactly the tranquil retreat that I had in mind but jolly useful if you need to do a bit of vacuuming!
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Barton Carpets and Vinyl has provided the carpets for upstairs – exciting! All will look so different by the end of the afternoon.
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The first lot of underlay.
Our bedroom with the new carpet laid - now to put the furniture back ... but first off to B&Q to buy a couple of louvre doors (Wednesday - OAP discount day!).
Our bedroom with the new carpet laid – now to put the furniture back … but first off to B&Q to buy a couple of louvre doors (Wednesday – OAP discount day!).
The new third bedroom - all the furniture and furnishings will be put in tomorrow. We got a bargain at the factory shop when I bought a memory foam mattress for £111.00 (a saving of £28.00) - a pre buy on Black Friday!!
The new third bedroom – all the furniture and furnishings will be put in tomorrow. We got a bargain at the factory shop when I bought a memory foam mattress for £111.00 (a saving of £28.00) – a pre buy on Black Friday!!
The brand new carpet in the brand new top landing. This house is changing beyond all recognition. How exciting.
The brand new carpet in the brand new top landing. This house is changing beyond all recognition. How exciting.

Day 3 – well it always gets worse before it gets better …

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So – today Chris cleared the carpet and levelled the floor in the Heather Parry Guest Suite and I put the top coat on the cladding. The plasterwork is drying out nicely – good job, Paul!
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So – this was yesterday …
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and, this is today. Floor levelled in the new hallway area.
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The new entrance to the house bathroom.
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Studwork for the new en-suite
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Chris still has lots to do unless we don’t all mind sharing!
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The new entrance to the house bathroom.

 

 

 

Day 2 – Monday November 23rd – update and countdown!

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Picking up from yesterday – the first three rows are set now so on with the rest of the wall today.
Onward and upward
Onward and upward – getting chilly so extra tops needed today, brrrr.
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Chris put a piece of straight skirting on the base of the cladding and Paul Jennison turned up at 8.20am in order to plaster this room. All done and dusted by 12.30!
Plaster drying out nicely - it won't be painted by Saturday!!
Plaster drying out nicely – it won’t be painted by Saturday!! Shame – what slackers, hey?
Chris cut all the tricky tiles and I finished the bath surround area - tomorrow will be grouting day!
Chris cut all the tricky tiles and I finished the bath surround area – tomorrow will be grouting day!
You've heard of X marks the spot, well, this is L marks the spot where the new stud wall will go in order to create the new en-suite area!
You’ve heard of X marks the spot, well, this is L marks the spot where the new stud wall will go in order to create the new en-suite area!
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Now you see it (the wall that is)
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Now you see it but it is NOT attached to anything. What is that man up to now?
Oh no, where's the wall gone?
Oh no, where’s the wall gone?
Just a few tools to make the new en-suite stud wall
Just a few tools to make the new en-suite stud wall
Now the doorway is the only part of the structure left. Just behind it can be seen the new stud wall.
Now the doorway is the only part of the structure left. Just behind it can be seen the new stud wall.
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From inside the house bathroom, looking through the new stud wall into the hallway beyond.
The new hallway into the house bathroom. To the left is the new wall for the en-suite.
The new hallway into the house bathroom. To the left is the new wall for the en-suite.
Chris has to lay a new floor here - pronto! as the carpet layers will be here after 2pm on Wednesday! So, no pressure, hey!
Chris has to lay a new floor here – pronto! as the carpet layers will be here after 2pm on Wednesday! So, no pressure, hey!
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After a hard day’s graft Chris still put up the wine rack for me – pretty please obviously works.
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We have bought second-hand worktops from Gumtree to create a continuous surface and replace the chipboard!
In between other jobs I decided to paint the kitchen cabinets.
In between other jobs I decided to paint the kitchen cabinets – oh no, Stephanie, more grey! This is Dulux Timeless Classics range called Wishing Well … hmmm, is there a subliminal message here?
Oh yes - here's another little project I am trying to finish. This will be the dressing table chair in the Heather Parry Suite to go with the upcycled desk (now dressing table). The adrenaline is flowing.
Oh yes – here’s another little project I am trying to finish. This will be the dressing table chair in the Heather Parry Suite to go with the upcycled desk (now dressing table). The adrenaline is flowing.

Evening – Sunday 22nd November – progress update 1

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Just as our friends – Jim and Renee arrived on Sunday 15th November (yes, we took a day off!), the delivery from Better Bathrooms arrived – at least there were plenty of people to help!

 

A bath in the kitchen - whatever next?
A bath in the kitchen – whatever next?
Chris put battens on the wall for a layer of insulation as well as for the tongue and grooved cladding that is going on this wall.
Chris put battens on the wall for a layer of insulation as well as for the tongue and grooved cladding that is going on this wall.
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Wall completed – above the insulated area is a useful (soon to be) cupboard, for all that stuff that doesn’t have a home but you can’t throw away!
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Cladding started …
Cladding finished.
Cladding finished.
Just to prove that I do actually help - here I am painting the cladding in the Heather Parry Suite  - just noticed that we are decorating the house in fifty shades of grey!
Just to prove that I do actually help – here I am painting the cladding in the Heather Parry Suite – just noticed that we are decorating the house in fifty shades of grey!
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More electrical work and I thought it was bats in the belfry!

 

Behind the scenes.
Behind the scenes.
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The massed tools of destruction ready to demolish the bath surround.
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Now to disconnect taps, cap off the water and remove the bath.
Now to get this downstairs.
Now to get this downstairs.
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Oh no! What a mess!
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Electrics in place for a light over the basin. Pipe work all sorted.
No, Chris was not behind in his schedule!
No, Chris was not behind in his schedule!
Tiles off ready for the new bath to be located - oh well things always look worse before they get better.
Tiles off ready for the new bath to be located – oh well things always look worse before they get better.
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Just to show that it is level! What a professional that man is!
ew bath in place.
New bath in place – delivered on Sunday 15th (lunchtime) and in place on Friday 20th! Phew – really motoring now!
So, we are up to date now as this was this morning (Sunday 22nd November).
So, we are up to date now as this was this morning (Sunday 22nd November).
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I watched a really useful You Tube video about tiling – took most of the ideas but still did it my way. Oh well, old dogs and new tricks!!
By the afternoon I had managed to tile this far but had to stop as I needed help with the tile cutting.
By the afternoon I had managed to tile this far but had to stop as I needed help with the tile cutting. Not helped by no tile cutter – so Chris went off to B&Q – good man.
Hooray - here comes the cavalry - actually Chris returns from B&Q.
Hooray – here comes the cavalry – actually Chris returns from B&Q.
Of course as we were very busy working we did have help from a lovely neighbour, Ursula, who despite recovering from an eye operation still found time to make us French Onion Soup all delivered in her Red Riding Hood basket. Thank you, wonderful neighbour.
Of course as we were very busy working we did have help from a lovely neighbour, Ursula, who despite recovering from an eye operation still found time to make us French Onion Soup all delivered in her Red Riding Hood basket. Thank you, wonderful neighbour.