Saturday, 25 April 2009

Well as I haven't been down this weekend I thought I would just add a few more images that I had stored on my laptop.  For those of you who haven't already seen inside my Anderson Shelter here is what I have done so far.  Anthony wanted to be able to play in here so I took an old bench out of my Fathers loft and chopped it in half.  I had to construct an extra leg to go on the end of the second bench but that wasn't difficult to do and then I stapled down the end of the fabric covering so that it didn't look a mess.

Anthony had already found an old rug from the Potting shed and to my surprise it fits perfectly onto the floor as if made for it.  I've had a few thoughts about this place and think I may use it to practice plastering before I start on the main house.  That way he gets a nicely plastered and eventually painted wendy house and I get the satisfaction of being able to say "I did that!"
Ahh the sweet sweet smell of burning all my old rubbish!  This was the second of what I believe will be many bonfires.  They are so therapeutic and I love to watch the flames leap about it's just so hypnotic! 
The workshop!  I was quite impressed to find that the workshop grinder still works and has in fact been completely re-wired when the house was done 2 years ago.  I have ditched the green net but the spare tiles may come in useful I'm just not sure.
We are going to convert the loft space to enable our rather large family to fit snugly inside the house.  I was pleasantly surprised when I poked my head up here.  It seems that I have rather a large space up here and plenty of room for storage too with a small gabled area at the front of the house.

I think I might tackle this space next time I'm at the house.  I shall bag up all of the insulation (which will be a nightmare as underneath the fiberglass is cavity wall insulation which will all have to come up too.

Sunday, 19 April 2009

This Weekend was busy, the plan was to level the floors in the 2 front bedrooms and the living room. The Kitchen and Dining room floors will be done after we knock out the dividing wall so that we get a nice even surface between rooms. We had to remove all of the skirting board throughout the house. Although it was still perfectly good we decided to remove it as we'll get a better result with the levelling compound. Unfortunately this rendered it useless and we will replace it with new throughout.

Our first attempt was a little frantic as we decided to mix 2 bags so that we could cover the whole floor in 1 go! Ooops! the instructions were a little on the frugal side when it came to adding water and the resulting mix was very thick and started to set almost imediatley. After much stressing and quite a lot of rolling the first room was done. The finish was far from level but it achieved the desired effect which was to seal in the nasty Asbestos Vinyl tiles for good. Later we mixed a much thinner solution and washed it over the worst bits so we now have a nice smooth finnish. See below.

The mix we finally decided was the best was nothing like the instructions. Wickes Latex Levelling Compound 25Kg bags state that they will cover upto 8 1/2m Sq. Mix thoroughly with 5 litres of water. That's a load of cobblers and we ended up with a mix of 1 x 25Kg bag to almost 7 litres water. This gave a liquid with a soupy consistancy which washed over the floor nicely and covered the desired area with very little waste.
We also tried to lay it with a blade but found that we got a far better finnish when we just rollered it on. We were glad to discover that it was much easier to wash out than we first thought and our tools only required a rinse with water to get any left over solution off.

Once the floors were laid we took a stroll in the garden to see exactly what we have there! I must say, it's rather nice at this time of year but requires alot of TLC before we can call it our own.

Our flowers are in full bloom and look fantastic around pond. They also distract your attention away from the Anderson Shelter which I plan to paint green at a later date.
The Tadpoles were loving a really nice Sunny afternoon. Unfortunately I forgot to put the pond cover back on when we left the house so they are probably getting eaten by the birds now. Oh well at least the birds won't be hungry.

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Removing one of the fire place surrounds

We started by breaking the mortar underneath the hearth and then levered it out first with a spade.  Once that was out of the way we chipped away the plaster on either side to locate the retaining brackets.  With a little teasing and squeezing and finally a little sawing with a junior hacksaw the fire surround was off and be warned if you are doing this on your own make sure you prop it up with something sturdy as they are heavier than they look.
With the fire surround off we were left with the fire back which was secured by bricks and mortar within the fire place.  Now with the help of my dads SDS drill with a chisel bit I chipped out the bricks at the front and then broke the fireback into several pieces.  Behind all this was a loose rubble filling which was removed as I went.  I had to go buy another roll of sacks to bag all the extra rubble.  
After squaring up the top edge and sweeping out the floor I filled the hole left in the floor with mortar mix and smoothed it to the level of the current floor.  Later I will remove all the skirting and throw down a layer of leveling solution across the whole floor.  This will not only level my floor but also seal in the Asbestos Vinyl tiles.  I'll do this in every room if it works. 
There you go! lovely isn't it!  If you're doing this yourself I recommend buying decent dust masks and using them.  There is so much dust thrown about that it was very difficult to take these pictures as the flash picked up all the small particles which obliterated the picture.

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Removing the fireplace was a job and a half but the rooms do look better already and should look great once we re-plaster!

Well we have been there all week, we have done so much although it doesn't really look much better! So much dust! We have finally got rid of all the wall paper, 4 layers in one room not to mention the woodchip covered in gloss paint. The walls still look like they have paper on as the ink from the wall paper has seeped through onto the walls.

Thursday, 2 April 2009

a few 'before' pics

I guess I had better add a few interior pictures otherwise you might think it looks like nothing much needs doing!
The top picture is the kitchen and yes that really is all there is to it at the moment, it is not even on the gas yet so that is one of the first jobs so that we can have a decent cooker and central heating!
The garden is a hidden gem, loads of potential, even a ready made allotment patch. Just need to get rid of all the paving slabs and get some grass down.

Where to start?

Well, here we are at last! It is finally ours...not sure whether to laugh or cry! No, really, time to spring into DIY mode and get cracking. Looking forward to the first proper visit as 'owners'! Well, time to start preparing, we have got the Easter holidays to get stuck in. The only question being, where to begin?
Here is a pic of our project. Personally I hate the colour of the pointing but that is just one of those jobs not even worth thinking about until everything else is finished!