Demolition Sunday

A phone call this morning from Dougie the Electrician, to go through the list I’d sent him of what I thought I wanted, electrics-wise, in each room.  In the main he agreed and of the things I’d asked his opinion on, thought that putting a connection to the satellite dish and a wired internet connection into each bedroom was a good plan, but as it was going to be a rental, wouldn’t bother with wiring the place for sound.  He also suggested that I put a smoke detector into each bedroom instead of just the hall and landing, which I thought was a good idea, as I’m sure legislation will eventually require it (at the moment, hall and landing would be sufficient for a three-bedroom self catering cottage).  He’s now going to price everything up and get a quote back to me.

I’ve had to work today 🙁 so Mick headed down the road to destroy a bit more house.  The internal doors are now all removed, ready to be thrown into the back of the truck and driven south (probably to Nairn, I need to get a quote) for stripping back to the original wood.

156 armadale - misc - doors

We wanted to see what was behind those enormous window sills in the living room and kitchen, wondering if we could get enough space in the kitchen one to put the table there. So he broke open the living room one today and this is what he found:

156 armadale - living room - 3

Lots of breezeblocks, which must have been put in when the window was enlarged in the ’80s, but see those two blocks on either side?  The *perfect* size for two small window seats – another job for David the Joiner, I think!  Boxed in with some nice oak, a comfy padded seat on the top and a coaster on the windowsill for a coffee mug or a glass of wine, it’s going to be a nice spot to sit and enjoy the view.

Then he moved into the kitchen and broke out the pantry cupboard.

156 armadale - kitchen - 2

156 armadale - kitchen - 1

It’s amazing what a difference just taking off the door and removing the shelves has made, the room looks so much bigger.

Budget Day

Not just for Mr Osborne, but I thought I’d add up how much I’ve spent to get here so far, as the solicitor’s bill arrived this afternoon.

The only two expenses I’ve had (not counting the running costs for my sheep – I’m keeping my crofting budget separate) are the interest on the money I’ve borrowed from my family and the legal fees, so the accounts so far look like this:

Difference between money borrowed and purchase price – £70.51
10th Nov – Interest – £96.68
10th Dec – Interest – £276.88
11th Jan – Interest – £276.88
10th Feb – Interest – £276.88
10th Mar – Interest – £276.88
16th Mar – Solicitor’s bill – £766.00
Total:  £2,040.71

So it’s cost me a little over £2,000 just to get the keys.  In fairness, that’s not bad – I had to sit down when I opened the solicitor’s letter, as I was expecting that to be four figures and possibly starting with a 2!  I shall drop in and pay it tomorrow and leave a large Easter egg for Jane, my solicitor 🙂

I had a call back from Dougie the electrician this afternoon – he was up the road in Melvich, could he come and have a look?  Sure.  The good news is that he’s agreed to quote for it, so I need to think about what I want in each room in terms of lighting and sockets (I don’t need to finalise positions just yet), think about where I want the TV and the phone, as he’s going to hide all the cabling currently tacked to the front of the house for those, and decide whether I want the power to the byre to be on a separate meter to the rest of the house.  He’s also going to move the position of and seriously upgrade the heating controls (it’s a cheap clockwork timer and the noise is really annoying) and move the meter and fusebox etc. – he’d seen that the main power cable into the house is chased into the harling down the outside wall and then goes through a wooden panel above the front door, which isn’t ideal, so since we’re getting the door replaced and we’ll have someone patching the non-harled bits that will be revealed when Pete takes the fascia boards off, it’s going to go through the wall at the height of the connection and all be hidden in a little cupboard on the landing.  Mick has suggested that we ask him to also quote for putting in outside lights, particularly one to illuminate the fanks (sheep handling system), and also for wiring in a back-up generator so that if we do have guests in and there’s a power cut, it’ll cut in and take over.  We actually have a generator here, but it’s not wired in, so it can go down the road.

Another two hours stripping out panelling and bedroom one is very nearly ready for work to start.  The priority over the next few days is to get the surfaces with the Veluxes/proposed Veluxes bare so that if Pete wants to start cutting holes in the roof next week it’s all ready to go.  I uncovered a MAHOOSIVE spider which I thought was dead, but turned out not to be.  Mick really Does Not Do spiders, so I had to dispose of it out of the bedroom window.