Monday, 24 November 2014

Grain store fully converted

I didn't get time to write a nice blogpost with photos yesterday, and now I'm on an enforced break from construction as I travel for business for a couple of days. So video only!

Main points:
Our bedroom (the one we've now decided to have upstairs, where the former grain store was) is now ready for decorating after a marathon few days and nights. And we have a shower tray!

Click here for the bigger version.

Thursday, 20 November 2014

The kitchen has landed

It seems I've been a bit remiss with the updates, but I have a good excuse: burning the candle at both ends. Starting the day job shortly before 8am, popping over to the building site at around 4:30pm and, the last few nights, staying there till midnight with an hour break for supper with the family. But energy levels are high, and I'm getting a lot done up on the neglected second floor. But I'll come back to that in another post. This post is all about the kitchen. Major milestone alert!

On Monday last week, the people from wohnfitz came with the kitchen. They spent two days in the house, putting it together, and I have to say, I'm really pleased with both the kitchen, and the care they took fitting it. We made our initial order about two years ago! So this was a long time coming, and when I look back at two or three years with of photos from the same room, it's been an amazing transformation, if I do say so myself. Of course, all the stuff I did is now hidden!

And now, the gallery.

Painting done after the synthetic resin screed was laid.
Tiled floor done!
And the kitchen is in...

There's still some detail work to do. We have to pick tiles for a splash back (we'll probably use the same model as the floor tiles, but smaller) and fit the lighting, but once we move in, we'll make it truly our own with other touches.

For a live view, you can also have a look at a bit of a walkthrough here from last weekend (including a quick look upstairs where it really is still a building site).

Sunday, 2 November 2014

First spots of colour

Two weeks ago, I was bemoaning the fact we hadn't picked out colours. An intensive session a week ago resulted in colours being picked for the office, bedroom, kitchen and hallways, and a few days later both the office and kitchen were already painted.

Before my wife did that, I had to complete all the window sills, so they were sanded and varnished, three times, and set into place with expanding foam, and the gaps sealed with acrylic mastic for a tidy fit. A satin finish gives the oak a little sheen, in contrast with the matt, oiled ceiling beams.

In the office, we went for a natural, earthy tone. Or beige, depending onhow you see it. here's a before and after.

I'll be spending a lot of time sitting in this room, so I quite like the warmth.

In the kitchen we've been a bit braver, and have chosen two green tones. We wanted something to contrast with the cream/vanilla kitchen units, and to complement the floor tiles, which have bluey-green notes (well, the model name is "forest" after all), so green seemed to fit the bill. It might seem a little extreme now, but once the units are in, and some furniture and stuff on the wall, I think it'll give a nice fresh effect.

The bedroom is now ready to paint. I had to do some extra skimming here, as we changed our mind about cladding the installation shaft to look like the old chimney, given the price. We can always do that later if we have the cash and time.

The living room is also ready to paint, once we pick a colour here.

The two remaining areas on this floor that needed a lot of attention were the hallway and bathroom.

In the bathroom, three of the walls are ready for tiling/painting, but the remaining half-timbered wall is causing me some heartache. I almost regret leaving it visible, but we did it for the character itwould lend the room. However, it also happens to be the wall where the sink should be. We can't hang a sink or cabinet on the wall itself, as the clay plaster would not hold them,so we need another solution. We also need to decide on whether to simply use clay plaster, or put some mosaic tiles into the panels. Otherwise, we still have to pick out the shower base and toilet, so this room is the main showstopper for moving in before Christmas.

The problem wall
In the hall/stairwell, the walls on most sides were done, with only the old clay panels to replaster. I finally completed this over the weekend, so it feels a lot different already. But thre stairs themselves also needed attention. When we bought the house, the stringers were painted grey, the treads and risers were varnished quite dark, and the underside was clad with tongued and grooved pine boards. Here it was back in 2010.

My wife got the grey layer off with a delta sander, and yesterday, i took an orbital sander to it to try to get it down to the natural wood, which turned out to be beautiful oak. The tread also seem to be oak, while the risers are a paler, woodwormier softwood of some sort. In the shot below, the top steps are before an initial sanding. They all need more work, so that dusty work will get done this coming week.

And the shot below shows the final coats of paint being removed on the lower half of the stringer, revealing beautiful grain, not to mention the clay plaster job in the panels behind the stairs.

I have plans for the old metal banisters, to give them a new lease in life, but that can wait a few weeks, I think.

For those who need more, a short walkthrough from this morning.

So, progessing quite well. The next two weeks will see some huge changes. We have to get the kitchen floor tiles down in the next few days, as the kitchen comes in just over a week. Tomorrow I order our floorboards, so we'll have them delivered in about three weeks, so could start the flooring soon after. But I've got the second floor to partially complete before we can do that, as we need one more bedroom, as well as completing the stairwell, so we don't muck up the place later on.

Sometimes I'm not so sure we'll make it, but the will is there!