Week Three: The Flat: Our Saviours Arrived.

At the weekend, my cousins Hayley and Zee came down (along with beautiful Frankie!). Zee is a professional carpenter by trade and owns his own company with his brother-in-law Jay (Jason for short? I never figured it out). He can turn his hand to pretty much anything and he helped us enormously when it came to problem solving and prioritising what needed to be tackled first and how we can repair major issues (like the hole in the side of our house) at minimal expense.

He had four days off before his next major job was starting so he kindly said he would come down with Jay and help us tackle some of the more time-consuming jobs head-on.

We went on our first “trade-only” shop at B&Q and bought up all their Celetex

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(what a painfully expensive material) and 60 plasterboards. We’d had a few quotes for plastering the bedroom and because it is an attic room with beams and awkward angles, we’ve been told its about a 5 day job. For one room. :-/

So they started there. Celetex cutting with one hand as they ate bacon sandwiches with the other. Seb and I were in the lounge (to-be-kitchen) carefully and probably quite badly cutting the Celetex to size; and we’d done just the window seat in the time it had taken them to finish the whole room…

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They started nailing in plasterboards and because our  amazing electrician (Dominic’s Electrics) had worked so flexibly and quickly to get the first fix done for them, they had finished in less than 24 hours. Despite the tricky angles and the awkward joists.

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Instead of starting to plaster in here though, they advised to move onto boarding the lounge/kitchen. It made sense. The longer the boards are about, the more likely they are to get knocked, kicked and damaged. We also have our kitchen arriving next week (small detail :-/ )

So they moved downstairs and got Seb involved; cutting the boards and teaching him how to get them up on the walls.

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Zee also moved our pipes from the existing kitchen to the lounge (new kitchen – but you knew that by now). Which we’d been quoted £2K for and he did in 3 hours for the cost of his time and materials…!

Meanwhile, Jay was plastering the ceiling…then walls of our kitchen and giving me a lesson on the flicking-wrist-motion needed to create the perfect flat surface. Yeah. So he had to redo my bits. But I had a go!!

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On top of all this amazing help. Hayley and Stuart came back to lend a hand. Demolition-Stu, as we now call him, smashed out the existing kitchen whilst Hayley and I stripped wallpaper and PVA’d the bare walls in preparation for plastering. Seb started knocking out the bathroom whilst the electricians started in the shop. It really was an “all-hands-on-deck” kind of week and it felt AMAZING to have so many people around supporting and driving the project forward! We are putting walls back UP at last…

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I want to kidnap Zee and Jay and not let them leave until they’ve solved all our problems and done our whole home & shop. However, I couldn’t be more grateful for the four days they gave us and all their hard work and advice. If you live in the Kent area – I couldn’t recommend them enough (Webb Flint LTD)!

There isn’t much of an update on the shop this week as the electricians have been in and giving it its “first-fix” – a time consuming but crazy-important detail. Pictures of wires, cables and empty sockets are really not exciting so I won’t bore you with those. I couldn’t be happier with Dominic and his team and I can’t wait to finally switch all our new lights on…but that is still away off.

I’ll leave you this week with what Demolition-Stu has dubbed our theme song… Says it all…

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