Anybody here?

Old FireplaceThe last couple of weeks have been pretty busy. Work and a certain footbal tournament have been occupying a lot of time, but the biggest time grabber has been getting the living room sorted after having the fire replaced. The old fireplace as seen on the right wasn’t bad…well, I thought so. However the fire was a bit wonky, the firebox at the back was a slightly broken and hastily repaired (not by me) and the tiles weren’t really liked. However what started off as a job to paint some tiles turned into a far bigger job. This was increased when our chimney was condemned meaning it had to be lined. Seemingly very common in houses of our age in the West End of Glasgow. While I have no reason or evidence to doubt the experts they would say that, wouldn’t they. Two weeks ago today the old fire and tiles were removed replaced with new fire, marble while retaining the original mantle. A lot of cleaning followed by a room repaint and we now have a nice looking but more importantly safe fireplace.

New Fireplace

One nasty job was cleaning up the wooden mantle. When we moved in four 1/2 years ago the mantle was covered in hundreds of paint flecks which stubbornly refused to be cleaned. After a tip off from the chimney people I went to Smith & Rodger Ltd who gave some great advice on how to remove the paint. Some chemicals, six hours and two new arms later and the wood cleaned up really well. Some advice to others painting around wood though – covering it up before hand is far easier than removing it after.

So another major (for me) job done, another that we said we would tackle when we moved in and one less for Remember The Milk to remind me about. What’s next?

Four Years

It’s been four years since we moved in to our current house. The time has flown by and it still seems very new, at least to me. In that time we’ve made a fair few changes to make it our own but there’s still a lot I want to do. Some are easy, others not so and will cost a fair bit of money but eventually we’ll get there. I think. Looking at some of the guys I work with there always seems to be jobs to do in your house. Most of this years improvements will be mostly decor rather than anything major. Will take time though. We also must do something about the front garden. I think it’s at the top of my ‘niggles me most’ list.

Done In

With the nicer weather last week and continuing into the weekend it was only fair to spend it in the garden. While the grass looked like it could do with it’s first trim I had a more pressing matter. An old conifer was getting beyond it’s sell by date but it was pretty big and tall. Hacking it down was fairly easy – getting the roots out was a complete pain in the arse.

With that done I could move onto painting the fence. I was determined to get this done before the plants really started to grow. So one trip to B&Q later I was equipped with a sprayer. It actually worked pretty well although the fence needed two coats rather than the one that was advertised. It’s also worth remembering that a brush is far easier to clean than a sprayer. Still – job done.

The weekend has flown by really and I’m shattered but having some nice weather makes all the difference. Looking at the forecast it looks set to continue too, getting slightly warmer. Joy.

Garden Blitz

What a lovely day spent outside. Weather has been great and the garden looks a whole lot better now that the grass and hedge have been cut. Bit of weeding too and some watering as the ground was bone dry. Flickr set now up.
Rhododendron

The table and chairs outside make a big difference – like a new room has been added. Yep – Shakeel was right for once 😉

As the outside was tidied it was only right that the desktop had a summer feel too. Aerial Windowblinds theme and Fantasy Island background – and nothing else completes the clean look.
Desktop

Art

Art with flash
First time I’ve bought an actual picture. Was getting bored with the bare walls that surround me so this was a first toe dip into buying art. Really pleased with the picture although I may go for something a bit brighter in future. The artist is Pete Rumney who sells loads of similar pictures on eBay.

Holiday Weekend

Busy in the garden for the last couple of days as can be seen below.
Raised Bed
This bed previously had bricks all round it and the rockery had been damaged during the fence install last year. Lots of work on Saturday and a trip to the garden centre on Sunday has rescued it. Enjoyed being out and doing work – the weather was great although it’s a sure sign of turning into an old man. Flickr set here. First full grass cut of the year and some weeding too although there is less to do than last year which is a good sign.

Today was finishing off the painting in the hall. Taken longer than I thought and I’ve still some cornice painting to do. That’s this weekends little task. Hope your weekend was as fulfilling.

Spring is here

Wow - it did snow overnight
Woke up to a winter wonderland this morning. Full set of photo’s are up on Flickr.

It was pretty deep too – 5-6 inches. Biggest fall of the year in Glasgow although I’m sure the folk in Aberdeen will be laughing at how little this is. Can’t believe one of my neighbours – dug out his car to move it from one side of the road to the other and now he can’t park it as there’s just too much snow. Fool. Struggled to even drive it over as it was slipping everywhere. It’s a day for staying in or walking – car’s look to be struggling.

It's done

The windows have been installed and the mess is starting to clear. Took two guys three days to fit 13 windows and a new front door. While I’m pleased that it’s all done in a short time I hope it wasn’t rushed – it certainly looks like a good job has been done and they did work some really long hours – to be honest I can’t fault the finish and I’m really chuffed. Immediate differences are it’s quieter, warmer, less draughty and overall looks a hell of a lot smarter so I’ve absolutely no regrets. Luckily they were all fitted in the dry which is a bonus especially as it’s raining tonight. Just need a wet and windy day (shouldn’t be long to wait for that) to make sure everything is wind and watertight. Only job to do is for a plasterer to fix some gaps that have been left and for me to re-fit all the curtain rails and re-hang – weekend jobs a plenty for me!

*Update* – since the new door and windows there have been two people at the door looking for our neighbours. We’ve either blended in nicely or we’ve lost the ‘the ugly’ door tag that we used to have.

House improvements update

New FenceNever did I think painting a fence, and only one coat at that, would take so long. But it did. All day Saturday and Sunday to paint the bitch and although I’ve still got the second coat to put on it’s looking top smart. Main difference is that the fence is straight and sturdy and won’t sway in a gale as proved by last nights wind. In an ideal world we’d put the same fence up on the other side but our neighbours aren’t playing ball and if I’m being honest…they are a pain in the arse. I guess that’s a neighbours role.

Anyhoo – soffits and guttering is also painted and the garden tap is fitted – ironic since the weather has turned since it was fitted. Apologies to everyone for ruining their summer. Just the windows and door to get fitted and some painting inside and our ‘upgrades’ will be complete. Joy.

 

A new path

Could be a title to some new way of thinking, a change in direction, a step forward. But no. The first of this years house jobs has been done and at the start of this week it wasn’t even on the list. We’ve had a new path laid and it makes a pretty big difference. The path before was full of cracked concrete and old pre-war slabs. The new path looks and feels so much better.

That leaves:

  • New door
  • New windows
  • Replace fencing in the back garden
  • Paint guttering and pipes
  • Outside tap

So much to do….so little time (and money!!).