Re: Brick dust and sewing machine adventures... And coffee!

Viviane wrote:

My commiserations. Living through a renovation is a nightmare and don't underestimate how much dust will be create. Just when you think you've hoovered it all up, by some miracle, more seems to settle on surfaces. You are so brave to stay in your house while doing this.

Oh, this is very minor compared with what my sister went through! 90% of the time all the mess and noise has been 'out the back' where the old conservatory was...

First we had to build a strong, weather-proof (English weather proof! Involves a lot of horizontal driving rain) shed: this is 3m by 5m, on a concrete base. It uses some pre-loved components, but is very solid. In it we have to store the cupboards and most of the contents of the old conservatory. This had to be completed and the stuff stored (including the washer and dryer) before the builders moved in for demolishion - which was noisy but fun! They started at 8 am and it was down by lunchtime, and most of the crap gone by 4pm!

Foundations, wall, windows and door went in in turn over a week or so - held up by the English weather! We got beams painted and then the roof went up... Now we have floor and electric cables for the 12 double power points inside the new room, and one double weatherproof one outside, plus lights in the room and one for the garden... There will also be water for the washer and the large sink I'm having out there (big enough to hold oven shelves flat, and stainless steel for coping with bleach, tie-dying etc.). There will also be a radiator so the place will be warm in winter... I want to have a breakfast area at one end, and utility/modeling/etc area at the other, where the sink, washer, dryer, freezer and fridge-freezer will go.

The floor in the living room got dug up yesterday, and the new flat screeding went down today. We have a drawbridge over it so we can get out the door into the new bit.

Because one end of the living room has been altered (wall reconfigured from door at one side, with window filling the rest of that wall to French doors in the middle, plus the floor), the whole living room will need to be redecorated next year. It'll get a paint job, new skirting boards, new carpet/flooring, and curtains! :) I shall save HUUUUUGE amounts of dosh making the curtains myself: it will be less of a hate job to do with all the new space to lay the fabric out to cut and pattern match. I'm hoping to have a cutting table I can put in there for larger things like this and wedding stuff, as the dining table is too small and too low. it will need to be foldable so we can put it away when it's not in use.

When I was 6 months pregnant we moved into our 100 year old terrace house. Amongst other things it needed rewiring, which involved chasing wires in brick walls. I have never seen so much dust. Our Dyson wasn't impressed but coped. We waved the electrician goodbye as we got into the car to drive to the hospital for my now 8 year old to be induced! When we knocked down the kitchen and bathroom to rebuild (thanks to a hail storm and the Australian equivalent of Bodgit and Scarper, we moved out for a few weeks as Beth was only 18 months old. That was a wise move.

My sister was pregnant with her first when her hubby demolished and rebuilt their bathroom! For one glorious week it had 3 door holes and NO door! They turned the old minute bathroom (bath + wash basin only) and loo (po in a cupboard - no wash basin!), plus an airing cupboard and a coal hole into a large all in one bathroom. Their latest reorganization has cut that in two again, making a separate loo and shower room. They also added an upper floor and put a full bathroom in up there, plus a loo and wash basin in the upstairs guest room.

They had to take a foot off the height of the downstairs rooms to fit the new upstairs into the roof space: and they were completely reconfiguring the inside of the house! Their builders were terrible, and they had to sack them! They left the house in an unsafe condition... Everything ground to a halt for the winter, and they decamped for Christmas! Rewiring seems mild by comparison, but I'm glad we only have to add to the wiring rather than redo the lot. Little Sis and her family camped in two rooms and a caravan for the duration. I can put up with my mild disruption, but occasionally the mess gets to me! Little Sis lived mostly in the garden while hers was being done. She gave up housework completely, but the garden looks a treat as a result! They are almost finished... Her hubby wants to get the oak flooring into the dining area before Christmas. I can't afford the type of oak flooring they have, but would like laminate in the new area. DH agrees that we'll have it if we can afford it, and is doing sums... :)

Good luck with it and remember it will be worth it when it's over!

I have waited 20 years for a flat living room floor! A few more days is nothing! And when we decorate, I'm a dab hand with the paint brush, James is good at walls, and I can do the curtains... I may send the chairs out for recovering, or I might do them myself. We shall see how much time I have, given the work I already have booked, and how much cash is available for such a project. In some ways I'd love to do it myself. I already have the fabric: a lovely blue slubbed velvet! :)

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