I’m so exhausted at the end of this week that I don’t know if I should laugh or cry… so at times I’ve opted for both!
I can describe my feelings for the project in much the same way my friend describes her relationship with her newborn baby. I am so in love, so inspired & excited by the potential, the possibilities and I buy into all the promises it offers to bring my life. Yet. I turn around for two minutes, and it hurts me, shocks me with some drama and dilemma – screaming at me to organise and fix something! And of course… it demands all my attention and money.
Yet. I mustn’t be too dramatic (Well. It’s me!); things were bound to come up. Unexpected issues, costs and when the window fell out the wall, I opted for a c’est la vie attitude because, what else can I do?
We actually made amazing strides this week.
We finally accepted the harsh reality of needing a new boiler and all new radiators. There is no point going to all this expense tearing down old plaster, rebuilding walls and decorating; making the place look great – only to run boiler pipes all around the skirting boards and walls in a year when the old boiler does finally give in! You may not have noticed from the pictures but the original radiators were just CRAZY over-sized and would have cost a fortune to heat. The sludge, rust and black water that came from the boiler, pipes and radiators only added to the evidence that the whole system was on its way out.
The team we employed (A Jupe’s) were incredibly accommodating, quick, efficient and only mildly untidy! In just two days we had all new pipes throughout the flat and shop, plus a new boiler and our old “crap” removed from the house. AND BEFORE YOU SAY WE COULD HAVE SOLD IT FOR SCRAP…Just NO. Who has the time for that? The muscles for it?! It took 4 guys to take our lounge radiator to the van… let alone the other radiators and everything else?!! They were welcome to it and reduced their quote off the back of it! So how could we complain?!
Whilst they were busy tearing up floorboards and ripping out pipes from every corner of the building, Seb and I were still kept very busy with the dogsbody work! Sebs been keeping our business afloat, I’ve been instructed to rest and relax because I’ve been ill since the beginning of the year with quite a serious problem. But who can rest when you have a house and a flat to finish?!! SO instead of doing as I was told, I went to the shop and asked the plumbers to borrow some tools… (my family are rolling their eyes in horror right now. I am horribly accident prone)!
I managed to knock out the fireplace in the shop, PVA the walls ready for skimming and remove all the remaining plaster from the back of the shop. I also managed to NOT hurt myself or any of the workmen around me.
We then had Chris from CEC Plastering come round for a simple quote to do our bedroom – we still don’t have a single room finished 1 month in…! He couldn’t have been more interested, accommodating and helpful. He ended up reworking his entire schedule – working after his existing jobs in the evenings and weekend to plaster our bedroom and (1/2) THE SHOP…
YEAH YOU READ THAT RIGHT!! He came in and with his team (Sam and Liam), just took control.
Instead of us spending…god knows how much on a steel, building control and labour getting rid of what we have dubbed our… “Hangman’s Noose”. Chris suggested that he reinforced the beam and created an artistic arch…We decided to let him run with it.
We disappeared to B & Q to let them “do their thing” and buy up more plasterboards. As I struggled to help Seb pile them into the back of the van, I caught my fingers between the board and the van and instantly burst into a fountain of tears.
“I can’t do this”, “everything hurts all the time” and “I’m so sick of this” were just three of the dramatic sentences that left my lips at that moment…
However, when we returned to the shop to see what work had been done, I cried again; this time for the right reasons. I was fully back in, more in love and passionate about it all than I’d ever been! Until tomorrow.
The rollercoaster continues…