Weekend

Phew, we have had a busy weekend of running around! I would say it’s nice to get back to work, but I would really rather be at home, plus Barry’s away in London working all this week. Sad face.

On Saturday, I received a call from my brother, who wanted to talk about work for an hour. Grabbing breakfast in between, we then drove to Next in Bradford to pick up the new living room curtains (very exciting, they look great!), and then on to Wakefield to pick up a coffee machine Barry had proudly won on eBay. It turned out to be an espresso machine and the pot was meant for four cups of espresso, not coffee. Cute, but not what we’re looking for. That will need to be relisted.

We then got home to start listing the old kitchen units, oven and hob on eBay, zapped some leftovers in the microwave for lunch, and got a call from my best friend Charlie, almost on the verge of tears. To set the scene, she, her boyfriend, and baby, were moving on Saturday, and would not accept any offers of help (the baby may have but he can’t talk yet). Anyway, they were moving back to their old house, which they’d been renting out, and it appears the tenants changed the locks. We drove to Otley to pick up the keys from the agency and took them over so they could actually get into the house. Not before a friendly locksmith had charged them £60 callout! We were supposed to go back later for a celebratory curry, but that, unsurprisingly, didn’t happen.

Got back home, I finished listing the stuff on eBay (there’s a big gap between the finishing times!) while Barry got cracking with the kitchen. As he’s away this week, he didn’t want to leave me with a completely non-functioning kitchen, so he was trying to get all the wall units up.

We were supposed to be having takeaway at Charlie’s, and I sadly can’t deal with the unfulfilled promise of curry, so we had takeaway for tea anyway. Couldn’t have cooked, the kitchen looked like a bomb had hit it.

There was less running around on Sunday. Barry got cracking putting up doors on all units, putting the drawers together, the handles on the top units, and the cooker hood. It’s made a huge difference – it almost looks finished now! He only had until 4pm yesterday as he had to set off for London, and there’ll be no progress until next weekend now. I’ll get some photos up tomorrow.

Breaking the fourth wall

The kitchen wall is no more!  All hail the supersize kitchen!

I annoyed Barry by taking lots of photos as he worked.  In my defence, I did order the Chinese food – I couldn’t exactly get to the kitchen.  It’s difficult to get a photo of the entire kitchen, so I’ve had to take the last two from either side.  It’s that big.

We sat and thought about the list last night; I think we didn’t want to do it because it’s really long and we knew it would be.  To start with, we were going to put the delivery of the kitchen units back because they’re supposed to be coming in less than two weeks’ time.  We’ve changed our minds now, because we’ll only want them, so here goes…

  1. Finish painting in the living room.  We’re going to leave the dining table down for now, and this will allow us to store things in that space.  Namely, kitchen cupboards.
  2. Get the kitchen pipework done.
  3. Electrics – get them where we want them.  Barry will be linking two lights together and getting rid of a switch.
  4. Start patching up the kitchen.  This will involve fitting plasterboard into the holes in the walls and ceilings, and generally making it ready for skimming.
  5. Take the current kitchen out.  Scary step, there’s no coming back from this!
  6. Skim the plaster.  A friend is being called in for this one!
  7. Paint ceiling.
  8. Paint walls.
  9. Put cupboards together (maybe while the other is drying?).
  10. Put in kitchen.
  11. Put in kitchen flooring.
  12. Put in living room flooring.

There are a million and one other things to add, like putting additional radiators in, sorting the photos for the living room wall, getting some more units sorted for the living room, getting the worktops cut, shall we have an island in the kitchen, etc., and I’m sure more will come to me as I’m just about to drop off to sleep.  But it’s a start.

Lists, charts and automobiles

We have quite a hefty list of things to do, both in the living room and kitchen, and although it’s scary, we do need to get it down. Then it needs to be put into some semblance of order, and Barry is even contemplating the implementation of a Gantt chart.

While this may sound like an excuse to do anything but the job at hand, there is actually reasoning behind this. For those of you who don’t know, the idea of a Gantt chart is for you to plan what you need to do, when, and by whom, and plot it on a chart. It’s all about following the critical path, and for this, you need to know which jobs depend on other jobs being done. This is the longest the entire project should take, in an ideal world. As a simple example, we clearly can’t put the kitchen in until the plastering has been done, and we can’t plaster the walls until the ones we’re removing have been taken down. You get the idea.

It’s just a little tool to set us on track and give us a plan for each DIY day. Ours would be based on weekends only, but if Barry decided to take time off work, or we decided to spend a few evenings working on it, the schedule could be altered. Perhaps one undertaking may take longer than we thought. It also also allows you to see what jobs can be done that don’t depend on other tasks. For example, although I can’t take down a wall or move electrics, I can do paint touch-ups, clean or sand walls, fill holes with plaster, etc. I’m also not too shabby wielding a screwdriver. Drills are beyond me though!

On another note, we’ve been looking at some fabulous vertical radiators for beside the dryer in the kitchen/bottom of the stairs, shown here, but can’t decide on a colour at the moment.  Wickes have a nice range, but we may end up on eBay.  It’s a good use of the space, because we’re actually losing the only three radiators in that part of the house by losing the walls.  We’re also considering heated flooring (although slippers are cheaper!).  As we’ll be able to fit a table and chairs in the kitchen when we’re done, we will hopefully be spending more time in there, so it would be worthwhile.

Barry’s now blocked off the toilet and sink, although we had several comments from friends and family about the open plan loo (pictured right).

He’s sealed the drains with a nylon expanding plug, silicone, and expanding foam.  He did notice a full length of copper pipe down the drain, so God only knows what else is down there; no wonder we had problems!

Pictured below are the spots where they were, RIP little toilet and sink.  Show some respect; a moment’s silence please.