Building Work

So what’s the current state of play with the house…

Things are moving on quickly but there is a growing list of small things to get done and all sorts of minor setbacks and annoyances.

The terracotta floors have finally been treated. We decided not to go for the beeswax finish, so this meant it could all be done a bit quicker. Beeswax is traditional and “natural” but apparently it can darken with age. And then the only solution is to have it all stripped off and redone. It all looks good now, but Paola is a bit disappointed we didn’t go for a gloss finish (it is about half-way; not completely matt and not glossy).

Despite the fact it should be easy to wipe off any spills, we are being a bit precious about the floors and have now covered them all up while we get on with painting the remaining walls, ceilings, etc. We have put down a layer of cardboard, a layer of plastic sheet and then another layer of cardboard (well, you know, can’t be too careful).

Now we can quickly paint everything before the kitchen and furniture starts arriving. Except first we need to wash the walls, seal the new plaster, fill all the holes, scrape off and sand down the lumps, etc. All this preparation is really tedious. And then, while you are doing that (or even putting on the first coat of paint), you find that the old plaster is loose and starts coming off in chunks. Usually dropping straight into the bucket of paint. It looks like someone in the past has plastered directly over walls covered in gloss paint. It is amazing that any has stuck, never mind some falling off.

At the weekend we got the new transformers for our hall lights [see Oranges and Lemons] so I wired them in to make sure the lights work before they are finally plastered in.

So, we had the builders in again today to replaster some walls and ceilings, rebuild a doorway (to allow for a radiator we didn’t ask for), and put the new window sills in the bedrooms. Paola had another minor fit about the finish of one of the sills. She was all set to have it taken out and put back the other way up – until she noticed that the underside had a really ugly knot and it would probably end up looking worse than it does now.

Still dithering over whether to get a water softener. The water is hard here, even compared to Nailsea. The kettle got furred up on first use. The trouble is, we should have had a separate (unsoftened)  supply for the kitchen and garden. And it is too late to do that now. The best suggestion we have had, from one company, is to put a small water softener just on the supply to the boiler. This will protect the boiler and the showers and should mean that the shower water is half-softened.

The kitchen arrives on Thursday. The sofa arrives the next day. Shower cubicles should be here next week. At that point, I think we can move in. Even though we don’t yet have any windows or internal doors, and are waiting for the bedroom floors to be done.



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