Another £1,000 just like that

The one thing I’ve noticed about this project is that as its gone on I’ve got very used to paying large bills without batting an eyelid.  Take this week, for example.  On Monday I got a text from David the joiner to say he was going into town and he’d stop by for a chat on the way back.  Turns out that he was finishing off one of his current jobs on Tuesday and was therefore proposing to spend Wednesday and Thursday working on the house (hooray!) “if you can get me one or two bits by then”.

So we went down the road to the house together and the one or two bits turned out to be 70 x 4.8 metre lengths of 3×2 plus 75 sheets of plasterboard, which is rather more than I can put on the back of the pick-up (12 lengths of 3×2 is about as much as you can do on its roof without risking them all spilling off when you go round a corner).  I rang Rembrand in Thurso and explained my predicament to Neil – their lorry usually comes west on a Thursday, but he said he’d see what he could do and, bless him, called me back half an hour later to say that they’d got it sorted and would deliver on Wednesday morning if there was someone to help unload.

I shot into town on Tuesday morning to pay for it and handed over my debit card for just under £1,200 without thinking twice about it – plus a stack of homemade flapjacks for them to say thank you for being so helpful 🙂  I made another batch last night for David (and possibly Dougie, who is going to try and come over tomorrow) and took them down just as the delivery lorry rumbled down the road, so I helped them unload.  It’s refilled the living room, put it that way…


But it means that David has some straighter lengths of wood to choose from for the long sections in the gable end framing.


David and I had a long discussion about whether the tongue and groove panelling should go to the bottom of the Velux or stop where the house walls stop, a few inches below.  We’ve gone for the latter on the grounds that it’ll be much easier to do the window surrounds with plasterboard than trying to match up panelling and a dado bead.

Finally, here’s my paint mountain!  I hope it’ll condense down significantly when I get round to removing all the packaging.  At the moment it’s looking like three semi-reasonable days next week and then rather wet, so I’m crossing my fingers that Magnus will be able to get started.


I came in like a wrecking ball

So Pete the Roofer stopped by, as promised, and we now know what we’re doing with the roof.  It’s going to be done in 16×8 heavy slate (we have at least one storm that goes over 100mph a year and it’s probably the most exposed house in the village), capped with plain buff ridge tiles.  The velux at the front will be enlarged to the same width as the front door and made to line up with it (it’s slightly off to the right at the moment, which my slightly OCD husband hadn’t noticed until I pointed it out today and it’s now driving him nuts!), similarly the velux at the back will be enlarged and lined up with the bathroom window (ditto!) – although I’ve said that if doing that means it’s not evenly-spaced with the two new ones we’re putting into the other bedrooms, then I’d rather have them evenly spaced across the roof than vertically aligned!

After lunch we got started with the work.  Since the roof is going to get done first, we need to get all that panelling stripped out of the upstairs bedrooms.  This is what we started with:


156 armadale - bedroom one - 1

156 armadale - bedroom one - 2

And three very enjoyable hours spent with a pry bar and a hammer later….

156 armadale - bedroom one - 3

156 armadale - bedroom one - 4

156 armadale - bedroom one - 5

156 armadale - bedroom one - 6

Interesting things we’ve discovered today:

  1. That little cupboard (which I am so pleased I’ve been able to keep – the door is safely stowed away for reattaching later) is sitting on top of the house wall.  Everything above the level of its base is the gable end and the depth of the cupboard thinner!
  2. No fireplace 🙁  I was hoping we’d uncover a matching one to the one in the other large bedroom, but sadly not.
  3. There is a BIG wet patch on that wall – literally dripping water, which was slightly concerning, but as we got more of the panelling off we realised it was confined to the centre and a quick look outside confirmed that the harling is fine – so we’re pretty sure that the leak is coming through the chimney, which we’re going to get repointed while they’re up doing the roof anyway.
  4. Where the panelling changes colour to the dark brown in the third picture (there’s a bit of brown door, then about three painted bits of panel, then the darker) is the amount of length we’ve added to the room by taking out the two cupboards.  The mirrored door has been saved to go back on a little box cupboard around the hot water tank.

All in all, a good first day.