Finally!! At last there seems to be light at the end of the renovation tunnel. We had planned to have the house finished and up for sale by spring 2017 but that did not happen. Then the deadline was summer but no such luck , everything seems to take twice as long to do than planned. But at last we are nearing the finish line. The kitchen arrived at the end of October from Howdens and I thought we'd have it all fitted within a couple of weeks. Yet here we are nearing the end of November and its still not finished. Its half in but we cannot fit the breakfast bar and units till the flooring is done. We decided to keep the kitchen tiles for two reasons. A - they arent too bad - slate tiles which do clean up quite well and B - I tried taking one up and it was a nightmare. They have been concreted in, with underfloor wiring. So I agreed that we would keep them. However, that meant there were a couple of places where our new units did not match the position of the old ones and we needed some extra tiles to fill in.
I found some similar tiles at Topps Tiles which should be fine. Apparently the slate tile is quite 'on trend' so it just shows that old things eventually become trendy and are worth keeping. ( I wonder if it applies to the OH??)
This is the old kitchen before we took out the wall on the right hand side. That was half of the kitchen with a large range cooker taking up the other side. The breakfast bar is going where the old house wall was, which was taken out and replaced with rsj's.
Once the rest of the wall was removed, we were left with a large hole as well as a lump of concrete. We worked out where the units were going and using an angle grinder, we took out the excess concrete so I could add the tiles. This was a really dusty job which the OH was not happy about doing but after covering everything up with sheets, as he cut, I hoovered up as much dust as I could and it wasnt as bad as we thought.
But then when the units were placed in position, we'd got it wrong and we had to cut some more out! The OH was not impressed but in fact it only took half an hour and I had the area all cleaned up and ready for tiling.
Unfortunatly that was when I came down with the flu bug which has meant no work for nearly a week, and then we are away for a few days at the weekend so its into another week before I can get the tiling done. Thats the way its been and why the renvation is taking much longer than planned. But never mind! We are getting there slowly.
So here is the kitchen to date.
The new sink and tap has been plumbed in and the oven (Ikea) and induction hub (Howdens) are in and working. Two sections of the Rustic Oak worktop are in place but now he is waiting for me to get back to work and get the additional tiles in place so he can add the breakfast bar units and top. The single unit on the right faces into the middle room and next to it will be a 700mm wall unit under the worktop and accessed from the main kitchen side. These units are where the wall was and it makes the kitchen much bigger. The compromise is that the breakfast bar takes space from the middle room but we think the kitchen was the important part and it does give much more storage than it ever had.
The OH has been quite impressed by the Howdens units. The quality and fit have been very good and there have been some improvements made since the last kitchen we bought, ten years ago. Okay, it is not a top quality kitchen but we are very happy with it. Little things are much better. For example, the small bits of metal that support the shelves now have a little sticky up bit which locks the shelf in place so it does not slide out. And the legs were much better to fit and adjust than the old ones.
The only issue occurred when he went to fit the legs onto the drawer unit (far left) and realised that the base had been put on upside down so the holes were actually inside the carcass. I rang the lcoal store and explained the problem but they did not seem to believe me (a mere woman - what would I know!!) and decided to send out a sales rep to see what the problem was. He turned up within the hour and was very good in arranging a replacement the following day once he agreed withour diagnosis. And we got to keep the old one as it was of no use to them - it would be impossible to turn the base round without damaging the unit. So all we need now are some drawer fronts and we have another drawer unit for free.
In the rest of the house, the carpets and doors have been fitted to the bedrooms and stairs. The rest of the house has been plastered and I have been busy getting the garden sorted. We had pushed the garden back in front of the house to give ample room for sitting but I wanted to create a proper wall and border (I am a gardener after all). So I installed concrete foundations, then a twin wall using concrete blocks at the back and reclaimed bricks from the house. It took a lot of work but I am very pleased with the result. I did think that as the bricks were all odd sorts and colours we may have to paint the wall but it looks brilliant as it is. And we got the concrete blocks from a skip in BIcester so the only materials were the sand, cement and the coping stones for the top.
I have used driveway pavers for the lawn edge and have now planted up the border. The only job now is to level the lawn and re seed where necessary. By the time we come to sell - probably in January or February now, it should all have settled in and the bulbs I have planted will be coming up - snowdrops and Narcissis.
So what is left to do - finish the kitchen, clean and tile the kitchen floor, lots of odds and ends with CT1 and Filler, much painting, finish the coving in the lounge and then lay the bamboo flooring. Not much at all......