Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Light at the end of the tunnel

Plastering, which has held up the conservatory for longer than it took to build the thing, is now complete.

Conservatory (and house) rebuild Conservatory (and house) rebuild Conservatory (and house) rebuild

The house now smells of wet plaster and the condensation is unbelievable, but we're done and can't quite believe it!

Conservatory (and house) rebuild Conservatory (and house) rebuild

And what's more the painter is booked and so are the carpets. Does this mean we may actually finish this in our life time? I do believe we might ...

Monday, October 29, 2007

The Second Coming must be just around the corner!

After what must be the tenth attempt a miracle has occurred and we have found a plasterer who both answers your calls, comes when he says AND doesn't quote you a ridiculous price. Rest assured we are treating him well in case he disappears for the next month leaving our house like the pictures below...

Household improvements Household improvements

Today, after a weekend removing radiators and stripping wallpaper, he arrived and took off the old plaster. As expected he sneezed on one wall and the lot just fell off which made his job quite easy. He also reckons that the hallway was dangerous and would have gone earlier if it wasn't for the wood chip paper holding it up!

None of this surprises me much.

Household improvements Household improvements

Fingers crossed he comes back as promised tomorrow to board the walls ready for plastering and skimming on Wednesday.

I bet after he does the hall and stuff he forgets all about the conservatory :)

Sunday, October 14, 2007

The thing about being crap at DIY

It's an old (and tired) saying that DIY stands for 'Destroy It Yourself' rather than 'Do It Yourself' but I've managed to live up to it pretty well and am well known for being absolutely sh*te at anything other than gardening. Much as it mostly gives me the freedom not to do any of the jobs I don't like it is also very frustrating because I'd really like to be able to do some of these jobs, especially as I hate paying people to do them for me.

It's just lately the problem has being not so much having to give away money to people for doing the jobs that I don't want but more the buggers don't want to do them either, and often can't be a*sed to phone us and say so. But that's another tired old rant...

So this weekend I found myself trying my own hand at plastering. Yep, all the good DIYers say don't touch it with a barge pole, but after being let down by at least 10 different plasters I figured if I was crap at all the jobs others try then I may as well be crap at the one they won't. Who knows, I may even find out plastering is my thing.

I didn't.

The bit that needed doing was the kitchen i.e.
The kitchen
and about a quarter of the way through I was chuffed that most of it was actually sticking to the wall rather than falling straight on the floor. It was going off fast though but I was determined to get it something like. Then some friends arrived and took over and I probably owe Ade some gratitude as he pretty much saved the day. Or the wall at least.

It still looks bad but, as long as it stays stuck to the wall over night, should be good enough after quite a lot of sanding, filling, sanding, filling some more, sanding some more and a few layers of paint to hide the imperfections I'll no doubt introduce by sanding it too much.

Anyway, it now looks like this (notice the tiles are back - that was me and hopefully they'll 'weather in' eventually):
Kitchen abomination, err I mean wall

On a more positive note I can paint and the door to the cloakroom still actually shuts:
Conservatory rebuild - cloakroom

And the tiler actually finished! So we've gone from:
Conservatory rebuild - cloakroom to this: Conservatory rebuild - cloakroom
and the mirror still hasn't fallen off the wall.

Still loads to do, but I feel we're getting there now.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

A week of tradesman hell

What a week. We're beginning to wonder whether the conservatory is jinxed and whether it will ever be finished.

Monday - the tiler turned up and we expected him to finish boarding the final wall and make a start on the tiling. However, the board went up and he then informed us that he would come back another night and do the tiling but, because he had lost a crown off his tooth, it wouldn't be until Thursday! Grrrr. Oh well these things can't be helped and at least he had told us what was going on. Still it was enough for me to have to sit in a dark corner for a while with a can of something cold and alcoholic.

Tuesday - the plasterer was due at 18:30. I was still calm at 19:00 and left the stress to Tamsyn who was fair frothing. By 19:30 I was annoyed and was trying to ring him, but he never answers the phone. We left our 25th message (or so it seems) since we got the quote 3 weeks ago. He didn't call back so I ended up skulking in my dark corner with my last can of beer.

Wednesday - spent the afternoon thinking up funny witticisms I could throw at the plasterer when he came round later, only to have my moment of sarcasm wasted when the [email protected] again didn't bother to turn up! I wouldn't mind but I rang him at 17:30 to remind him. It took 10 attempts to get somebody to answer his phone, but it wasn't the man himself. Whoever it was promised to pass on my message, so he had no excuse for forgetting to turn up.

When we got to 19:30 without a sign I went hunting for beer and couldn't find any. Had to settle on a glass of wine, which really isn't the same, but helped a little. It didn't help my language though, and I left a very satisfying message on the [email protected] answer phone a while later, thereby pretty much guaranteeing he won't be coming at all now :)

Tamsyn managed to get hold of another plasterer and he promised to come round and quote on Thursday.

Thursday - bought some beer and got it in the fridge, just in case. It must have been a lucky talisman as when I got home the tiler was tiling and the plasterer had already been round (though we weren't here) so we're waiting for the phone call with fingers firmly crossed.

The tiler smiled politely when I informed him he must have failed at Tradesman school; surely they would shoot him if they knew he was turning up at jobs when he said he would.

Everything was going swimmingly and then we ran out of tiles! Can you believe it, some dick didn't buy enough tiles! What a pillock. Hold on a minute, it was me who bought the tiles. The tiler says he will have to let us know when he can come back.

At least the beer is almost cold....

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