Monday, 29 August 2016



503 days since the estate agent woman passed the keys across her desk and about 489 days after our first night sleeping in the shed, we're finally kipping under our own roof!

Two or three blog posts over the next few days will look at some of the work that went in
to the things in this picture recently - skirting, radiators, bricks, etc. Bet you can't wait.

 It has been a heavy-going past two or three weeks in the Living Room with some moderately early mornings and a good few post-9pm or even 10pm finishes. Terminator Trevor, my Father-in-Law of Unstoppable Perpetual Motion, has been largely leading the charge with jobs which need his prior knowledge and experience rather than my panicked Googling, followed by mortal terror, ultimate failure and swearing, topped-off with a telephone call to Trevor to ask for a loan of his knowledge and experience. So because living in a sodding shed has been wearing a bit thin for Dawn and I for a while now, I/we wanted to cut out the middle man and just get stuff done pronto. Enough faffing about.

Other blog posts are going to be published in the next few days about some of the main jobs that were done to get to this point (I've been too busy/tired to write anything as the work went on) but I wanted to mark this milestone day with a post to remind us of what the Living Room looked like before it got full of pizza boxes, dog toys, clumps of cat fur and piles of washing.

The shiny floor tiles are caused by a layer of breathable sealant which hasn't been fully absorbed.
It's not wet - just still a little bit 'tacky' - and brick acid won't even shift it so we're leaving it
in the hope that it soaks in over time.

Meanwhile the living arrangements are in flux as I write this. Dawn is in bed in the Pantry dog-leggy-bit while I sit on the settee with the TV on mute and the lights low so I don't disturb her; the dog is asleep on the rug right where I can fall over him (he's gurgling in his sleep) and a stairgate isolates the room from the rest of the house in the vague hope that SausageTheCat realises that the shed is now out-of-bounds and gets brave enough to come in and risk becoming supper. 

So things are a bit up-in-the-air in terms of family harmony but hopefully it'll work its way out without bloodshed or weapons over the

Aaaaaand that's where I fell asleep last night. Dawn woke me up at 3am and told me to get to bed.
It wasn't far. And nor was the loo at 5am.
I like living in a house.

Here are some ever-popular before/after photos:

The highlights of the chimney breast were a 30s open fire, a stone pillar facade,
cracked slate hearth and damp patches on the wallpaper.

The whole room, particularly the Pantry, felt damp and unpleasant

The cement and gypsum plaster walls were affecting the breathability of the Living Room and
as a result moisture from the floors and everyday living was settling in the coldest spots,
making the mouldy wallpaper crinkle and peel. The wall on the left was also covered in
corrugated bitumen sheets for reasons we've never worked out.

The carpet/underlay combo was one of the biggest offenders, trapping moisture from the tiled
floor beneath and keeping the humidity levels up.

And once it was dumped we found that the underlay had been glued to the quarry tiles, making
things worse all-round.

By the mid-point everything had been ripped out and the fireplace was opened up.

The furniture is elderly but it fits okay so it'll do for now.
Hopefully the curtain will be hacked in two soon so we can have half either side of the window.

The oriel window at the front of the building is the next major job because it'll have to be replaced
with something bespoke and the sandstone sill will need to be repaired at the same time.

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