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twotothefive
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  • About
 

twotothefive

doing up a house, bit by bit

 

todo: todo list January 31, 2009

Filed under: kitchen — dom @ 11:47 am

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blackboard

We followed John’s lead and went and bought some blackboard paint and cut down some MDF. Half an hour later and we had a perfectly sized little blackboard to hang next to the fridge to keep track of required goods. It currently has ‘dog food’ and ‘piri piri’ chalked on it. Last week it was ‘poo bags’ and ‘whisky’. Some conclusions could be drawn.

 
 

a little help January 19, 2009

Filed under: main bedroom — dom @ 10:38 am

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We had some timeout over the Christmas break and so decided to put it to good use. On boxing day we enlisted the help of our 5 year old nephew in getting the bedroom painted.

He did amazingly well with the edging of the woodwork and seemed to enjoy the rollering as well. Unfortunately the concept of wet painted walls didn’t seem to stick in his mind, only his clothes. I kept finding him leaning against a wall. By the end of the day he appeared to be covered in more paint than the room. Water based paints are a blessing.

 
 

rough and the smooth November 22, 2008

Filed under: main bedroom — dom @ 2:50 am

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The main bedroom’s ceiling is bowed and glossy and just wrong.

Now that the room is totally clear (only 14 months after moving in!) we’re ready to sort it out. We’ve got another plasterer in today - and he seems to know what he’s doing. He’s nailed back the plasterboard, and is going to reskim the lot. Should be done within the day, apparently.

 
 

distractions November 14, 2008

Filed under: dog, countryside — dom @ 10:35 am

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The last 6 months has seen a new, furry, addition to the house - our greyhound Maple.

She’s settled in now, and is a lovely pet. Sleeps a lot, eats a lot, exercises like any other dog (a couple of walks a day). She’s adapted to house living amazingly well. When we first got her, she wasn’t housetrained and didn’t seem to know what stairs, kitchen worktops or sofas were. She now (mostly) knows her place. Usually curled up in front of the fire (in the evening) or under my desk (during the day). She has a playful, fun temperament and seems to get on with every dog/child/other human we’ve met on walks so far.

We got her from Tia, just beyond Halifax. They had over 80 dogs at the time, so the decision was hard! We’ve since found her racing history, not too shoddy, but clearly not good enough to stop her getting dumped and left to get mange and lose all her fur. You’d never be able to tell now, though.

Anyway! The DIY continues slowly. A plasterer (another one) is visiting this evening to see how much we can be fleeced for the main bedroom. We have all the furniture flatpacked and ready to assemble, we just need the ceiling plastered so the walls can be painted, so the carpet can go in, so the furniture can go in, so we can sleep in there. The dog sleeps downstairs, so I suspect she’s not too fussed.

 
 

deborah August 7, 2008

Filed under: main bedroom — dom @ 1:19 am

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Sodding woodchip. It’s now clear to me why it had three layers of paint over it. In the Darwinian world of home improvements, woodchip has decided that fitness needn’t come from desirability, but from resistance to death. It sticks to the walls with such ferocity, depositing the tiny wood chips (I never realised it actually was chips of wood) firmly onto the wall when any attempt is made to remove it. Leaving a gloopy glue in patches elsewhere. This is why people paint over it.

Well, we’re killing the woodchip. The main bedroom has pink walls (to match the now dead pink wardrobes. Which ‘match’ the delightful pink carpet and curtains). Stripping this back was like a really rubbish journey through time. Under the pink was a 1997 yellow, beneath that, 1984 lilac, followed by 1973 sky blue. The latter paints were clearly made with some alien technology, impervious to steam or scraper.

Just around the window to do now. Fiddly bits of evil woodchip. Everywhere.

 
 

the smallest room August 3, 2008

Filed under: toilet — dom @ 12:09 am

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The toilet had a blockage. Not like that, you understand, but a blockage in the schedule. More of a nagging annoyance rather than a critical problem.

In the plastering work, the existing window cill had been butchered to fit the flat surfaces of the wall. Without it we couldn’t paint the walls, or put any flooring in. (My 4 year old nephew informed me last week: ‘This floor is all scratchy. I know! Why don’t you get a carpet?’)

We finally went out at the weekend and bought a piece of wood as the replacement. A bit of jigsawing (fun!) later, and we had a snug fitting new cill.

The painting is now just about done (gloss goes on the woodwork tonight). We went for a simple white. Oddly, it really does make the room feel bigger. And cleaner. Much, much cleaner.

 
 

floored and painted April 15, 2008

Filed under: kitchen — dom @ 11:55 pm

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We’ve finished the kitchen! Well, apart from the blinds, but heh.

Turns out the only colour that really goes with cream units, red fridges, grey tiles and wooden worktops is er, cream. So the walls have been painted in a colour almost indistinguishable from the units. At least we’ll have touch up paint for when the inevitable chips and scrapes turn up.

We also had to do some handcrafted skirting boards, since various parts had been ripped up or damaged during the rest of the work. It turned out the assuming the house had corners at 90 degrees was naive.

We went for a modernish silverish squarey flooring in an attempt to tie together the tiling with the rest of the room. At one point we found ourselves close to spending 200 pounds on a mat well. Needless to say this was quickly rejected.

And after much searching we found a nice red bin that wasn’t hundreds of pounds (bins, along with taps, confuse me. I don’t understand how something so fundamental can be so expensive) and the ceiling, walls and floors are all finished off nicely. Oh, and the newly fitted kickplates also mean no more potatoes rolling under the kitchen units.

 
 

smash. destroy March 24, 2008

Filed under: main bedroom — dom @ 12:54 am

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Our front bedroom has acted as a dumping ground for boxes, bedding, nostalge, books and lego since we moved in. This was disguised by some enormous flesh-coloured wardrobes that span the entirety of the longer wall’s length and height. These salmon beaded monsters covered the chimney breast of the room and introduced an unusual 3ft squared void.

So, in keeping with what we’ve done elsewhere, we ripped the bugger out.

Now the mess has no disguise. It’s just mess.

 
 

all work, no play February 16, 2008

Filed under: study — dom @ 12:55 am

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My study is decorated. The desk still needs to be fully assembled, but that needs the carpet to be fitted, but that needs the original red wallpaper removed from one of the walls, since in its ridiculous cheapness it’s peeled back.

It’s still a usable room though, and the paint/wallpaper (rest of)/desk/curtains are great. I’m using it by day for work, by evening for xbox. I mustn’t get confused here.

 
 

plastering lesson 2: don’t trust plasterers February 1, 2008

Filed under: toilet, bathroom — dom @ 12:54 am

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We’d already had the kitchen plastered. Badly. Eventually resolved, but it took an age. You’d think we’d have taken something from that. Well, we did: ‘use another plasterer’. Turns out the lesson should have been: ‘learn to plaster yourself’.

We got a couple of quotes for plastering the bathroom and toilet (which, by this point, look like something that could be politely described as ‘decrapidated’). They had a little price war between them such that the prices ended up the same (down to a third of the original quote. This should always raise suspicions). We went with the folk who could fit into the schedule better. A friendly painter/decorator had done the quote, and he seemed confident it could be done in 2 days. Ideal.

2 days after his grumpy plasterer workmate had started, and it was clear he wasn’t going to finish anytime soon. Apparently this was our fault for having bad walls. And not telling him about it. He ended up working over the weekend, and a bit more on top of that, with a bit of added rudeness to a visitor and trying to get other business down our road. He just about finished in time for the tiling/bathroom fitting the next week. Only he didn’t actually make the walls flat - clearly that wasn’t an explicit specification. Again, our fault, apparently.

A quick word from our friendly builder (who, it should be remembered, is a whopping, solid, rugby playing gentleman), this was fixed. Suffice to say none of the plasterers involved thus far in our house fun are getting further work from us. The builder’s college in Leeds may yet, however.