The 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.
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?
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.
Busy in the garden for the last couple of days as can be seen below.
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.
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.
Never 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.
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.
- 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!!).
For once this isn’t about M$ and some guff about windows. No – I’ve put up with three different salesman and last night signed on the dotted line to get new double glazing and front door fitted. The price has shocked me but if we get a quality job I won’t grumble. The thought did cross my mind…lets just get the door replaced and I can get my plasma sorted, especially after watching this 720p video of PGR3.
Anyway – six weeks from now should see us have 13 windows and a front door replaced by Anglian. There salesman wasn’t too bad and at least didn’t start off high and come down to more than half his original price (Â£22,500 to Â£9,500 in about 4 steps from the Everest guy) although he did have something that summed up salesman for me. He had the crazy frog ringtone – the bastard. So kids, woman and salesman are responsible for keeping the crazy frog ringtone market afloat. Swines. The new kit should make a massive difference – the front door is very draughty and a few of the windows are in a pretty poor state – old draughty sash windows although the stained glass at the front of the house is nice and we’ll be getting it reproduced. Between this and getting the garden fencing replaced it’s going to be an expensive couple of months – no new toys for me.
Made the most of the holiday weekend and I can safely say that I’m glad to be going back to work tomorrow. The clear-out on Saturday was followed by lot’s of flat pack building. Also cleaned out the rest of the garage and organised what’s left – for the first time since we moved in the garage is looking tidy…for a garage.
The rest of the furniture is all built and in place but it’ll take a few days of tidying to get back to normal. One thing I do regret is I forgot to order a lock and key for a set of office drawers I bought. I foolishly went into Ikea today for it – never again on a bank holiday. The place was mobbed and you could see three types of consumer
Browsers – they walk at a snails pace (now called the ‘Ikea Shuffle) and seem to stop and point at all the room displays whether they are buying anything or not.
‘The Lost’ – trying in vain to make their way through the maze is not easy but on a busy day, with people wanting to take short cuts they had no chance
Irish – the place was teeming with them. Day trips from Ireland to the Glasgow Ikea are VERY popular
Never mind – a lesson has been learnt.
Hired a van today and with the help of Graham bought far too much at Ikea and then cleared out my garage. Since we moved in the garage has always niggled at me. 5 windows, a kitchen worktop, some kitchen cabinets and an old decrepit workbench from the 1920’s plus wood and car posters from the sixties had meant I could never get the place organised. Finally it has been.
The council dump was a bit weird though. No vehicles over the height of 1.8 metres is allowed in. The reason I needed a van was the size and weight of the stuff needing dumped. Looks like they want to encourage you to pay the council to take the sizeable rubbish away. Swine’s. Never mind – a good job well done.