Cracking on

So, what does a house need to be mortgageable?  A roof – check.  A working kitchen and bathroom.  Er…

Doing a bit of digging, it seems that the definition of ‘working’ is fairly lax and as long as you’ve got a loo and a sink hooked up in the bathroom and a sink and somewhere to stick a microwave in the kitchen, you’re more or less okay.  Mick donned his Mario overalls and set to work on the plumbing.

New loo – this cost £55 from the local branch of William Wilson.  The seat is absolute rubbish, but the rest of it is absolutely fine and I was always intending to put a wooden seat on it anyway, so not a problem.  We have a small issue in that the pedestal for the sink isn’t deep enough to cover the outlet pipe, but Mick reckons he has a solution to that, though he hasn’t told me what yet!

The kitchen sink is also plumbed in and looking good.  I am SO glad I went for ceramic rather than the composite one, though we were slightly nervous when the time came to whack it with a hammer to knock out the disc for the tap hole!  Fortunately nothing cracked.

There’s some slightly complex pipework underneath – feeds and outflows for the dishwasher to the left and the washing machine to the right.

As for me, I’ve been ploughing on upstairs with the painting.  Second coat of primer on the woodwork today, so the aim is to get the white top coat on the woodwork tomorrow and then paint the wall on Friday, meaning that I mask off the white wood rather than the colour, as it seems less prone to peeling off with the masking tape!

I sent David a text yesterday to find out how he was getting on with his new build, and to my delight he finished last Friday.  He’s off to his sister-in-law’s wedding and then has a lamb sale to go to, but will be back with us after that, so that’s either a week today or two weeks today, depending on whether he’s going to Dingwall or Lairg to sell.  I also messaged Dougie, who is off on holiday for three weeks on Saturday, but will be back with us when he returns.  It does feel like the beginning of the end now!

Traditional Easter

Easter weekend and DIY – as British a tradition as toast and Marmite 🙂  We have been no exception, although I had to bow out gracefully today because I’ve pulled a muscle in my back.  We’ve made progress though.

Mick has plasterboarded one of the dormers upstairs.  Originally this was just a flat ceiling, but I wanted it opened up and I’m glad we have, though it’s going to be a git to plaster.

Talking of which, I’ve nearly finished plastering the kitchen – just the sides of the chimney breast and the window to go.  Mick started to sand down the dried stuff, but his lovely new random orbital sander worked for about 15 minutes and then the motor burned out, so that’s going to be a phone call to the place he bought it tomorrow!

While I’ve been plastering, Mick has been plumbing and the shower mixer is now plumbed in and plasterboarded over.  We thought we could hear a drip, but when Mick took the right-hand sheet of plasterboard off, everything was bone dry and we couldn’t hear it any more, which is a bit strange.  We’ve left the plasterboard off for now and will investigate properly next weekend.

Spoils of my last shopping trip – black slate to tile the shower with, a mosaic tile for a border, teal paint for the double bedroom, grey for the living room, platinum for the bathroom (which will have one dark grey feature wall opposite the shower) and sage green for the single bedroom.

Pete’s done an amazing job with the fireplace.  The mortar has faded as it’s dried (the close-up was taken on Friday, the wider angle today) and all he has left to do is clean the stone up and then he can fit the stove.  I’ll be asking David to finish it off by doing a return back to the stone and then a simple wood frame around it, painted white.

I heard back from my friendly mortgage broker on Thursday.  He wants to approach two different lenders and asked me to fill out a chunky form with all our financial information and send it to him, together with Mick’s payslips, my tax returns and copies of our credit reports.  I’ve pulled it all together over the weekend and emailed it over today, so all I can do now is cross my fingers.

Plumbing the depths

Mick was away this week, so I took the opportunity to ramp up my workload and earn some extra cash, which meant that nothing got done in the house until the weekend.

Derek the heating engineer came round on Saturday morning to (a) remove the existing central heating system (we needed the radiators off the walls to take the last bits of panelling off) and (b) deliver his estimate for installing underfloor heating and fit the woodburner.  He warned me that I’d probably need to sit down before I opened the envelope, but I knew from Googling that I was going to be looking at £75-£100 per square metre, depending on which method of fitting was used.  So to:
1.  Disconnect existing radiator central heating system
2.  Supply, install and commission 65sqm of overfit insulation boards, 4 rolls of edge insulation, 200m of 15mm layflat pipe, 6-zone manifold, 6 actuators, pump control pack and an under-floor control system.
3.  Install multi-fuel stove.
for £5,685+VAT (total £6,822) was more or less bang on.  It’s actually going to be a little bit more, because thanks to a miscommunication he thought that we were keeping the existing wetroom floor in the bathroom and so didn’t include it in his measurements, but it won’t add too much more to the cost as it’s not a huge room.

Hot water cylinder out, Rayburn unplumbed, kitchen counter gone, radiators stacked up ready to be stored.

156 armadale - bedroom one - 13 156 armadale - kitchen - 6 156 armadale - living room - 7

My job today – stripping out bedroom three.  That still had two and a half completely untouched walls when I started!

156 armadale - bedroom three - 1

Plank addressed to the house

156 armadale - bedroom three - 2

A very old nail left on the studwork behind the plasterboard and a card found down the back of the skirting board.

156 armadale - bedroom three - 3 156 armadale - bedroom three - 4

Upstairs really starting to open up now – just the two bits of panelling in bedroom one to take out.  We’ve decided that (a) for safety and (b) because we don’t fancy trying to plasterboard that high over the stairs, the panelling up the stairs can stay in place unless any of the trades needs it taking out. 
156 armadale - bedroom two - 9

Lovely old hearthstone set into the floor – it’s a shame this will have to be covered up.

156 armadale - bedroom two - 14

This was my reward for carrying a huge pile of removed panelling from the second bedroom out into the byres on Saturday – I’ve been itching to see what was under this bit of lino and now the radiator’s gone, I could finally find out.

156 armadale - hall - 2

Sadly, a bit of a let-down!
156 armadale - hall

And finally – us!  Mick tackles the pipework, Jura supervises from her favourite spot on the windowsill and I take a boilersuit selfie 🙂

156 armadale - kitchen - 4 156 armadale - kitchen - 5 selfie - 1