Things are never simple…

What could go wrong when doing a house renovation you ask…? Well, a lot! Since the episode of the red bricks we have come across a number of “obstacles” which have all tried to test our stress levels, and cash flow!

The latest (and most impactful) is the delay of our windows. Yes, no build project would be complete without an issue around windows! We were hoping for a delivery at the end of October/early November but we are now faced with early January. Reason for the delay lies with our builder, unfortunately the order didn’t go in early enough and we were ‘pipped to the post’ by a very large window order from Ireland. This is a total nightmare as our kitchen is being delivered and installed from the 12th December. Under no circumstance can moisture get to out cabinets as otherwise the wood will expand and contract resulting in an ill-fitted kitchen.

We are trying everything we can to improve on this January delivery; sourcing new suppliers, incentivising our current provider and even asking to buy someone else’s window delivery slot. With Christmas just around the corner, the hope of improving this delivery is looking rather slim. I will of course, keep you all updated on progress.

Meanwhile, our roofers have decided to up their previously quoted price for the zinc roof by +50%. Why you ask? There is no reason. Apparently “your client” (i.e. me) “is very particular and therefore to ensure the work meets her standards, we would need to increase our price”. What a load of rubbish and pure admittance that the work they were planning to do was quite simply going to be a ‘bodge’ job!!!  Well, we are better off without them I say! We have (hopefully) sourced a new roofer and now just waiting for a confirmed start date.

As with most things, this roof delay has had a knock on effect. The scaffolding is still up which will now impede on the installation of our large sliding glass doors which are due to arrive on Tuesday. I have asked if we can push the installation date back but that would need to shift all the way to January. Not an option. We have no choice other than to take the scaffolding down to allow for the glass fitting, and then put it back up after. Agh, what a pain!


Finally, we have had a few niggles with the lounge stove and chimney. We were originally planning to keep the existing fireplace and just install a new stove with a backwards flue system. When reviewing the style of this verses the style of what we striving for in the house, we felt that the existing red brick and flint fire place was too traditional and not modern enough. We have therefore decided to opt for a much more modern fireplace design that consists of a full height plastered chimney breast. So, work begun taking down the old fireplace and a new one was built.



My plan is to install shelving and cupboards either side of the chimney breast, similar to the below design.


Only after building the new chimney breast, were we advised that the stove flue could now be designed to go vertically out of the stove which is a much preferred option for air flow and general stove performance. Plus, the look of this is far better as you can see your flue above your stove closing the gap between the stove and the lintel.

If we had known about this before the fireplace was rebuilt there would have been absolutely no issue, no cost and no trouble to simply install the flue through the wall and then build the block work around it. But, given the block work had already been done, things were a bit more tricky. The flue installers came today and could only install the flue up to the highest point under the lintel. This resulted in the flue having to be at a 45 degree angle which I really didn’t like!



So, me being me, I couldn’t live with this and had to ask for the block work to be removed so the stove fitters can come back and install the flue higher up on the wall so the 45 degree angle is hidden behind the chimney breast and not on show. (I’m sure I make this harder for myself by being so particular…!!).

This has now been done (all on the same day) and I have arranged for the stove fitters to come back next Thursday to move the flue position. Now breathe…


Aside from the “obstacles”, first fix of the electrics is almost complete and the plumbers are in full swing with the bathroom pipework and underfloor heating. The balcony for the master bedroom has come down and new structural drawings have been provided so we can proceed with building a new column-less balcony. The roof tiles for Riley’s roof have been laid, fascia’s, guttering and downpipes have all been installed and most of the required plastering has been done. We are getting there, it just feels ever so slow right now, and such a struggle!










Thanks for reading! x


1 Comment

  1. Les
    October 20, 2016 / 6:18 pm

    You are doing a brilliant job at ‘project managing’ SJ I would definetly employ you! Keep up the standards I say 👍

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