DIARY OF A RENOVATION - WEEKS 2 & 3

It's been a relatively slow and frustrating couple of weeks here a VKH Towers, mainly due to a delay in my mortgage being processed but also partly down to my inability to make a decision!  Week two was largely spent stripping wallpaper - four layers in most places! - which is a tiresome job but at least one I could help with.  Builder Paul and I got all steamed up taking off one hundred and seventeen years' worth of paint and paper in the living room and hallway while Spud, the chippy, began constructing the framework for my internal French doors.  

Image via Pinterest

Image via Pinterest

When planning the redesign of the space I knew I wanted to remove the stud wall between the bedroom and hallway and replace it with double doors and internal windows to let the light through.  I love the metal framed Crittall style, like the ones in this image, left,  but sadly my budget just wouldn't stretch to the £20k or so needed to install them.  

Instead, I have opted for wooden ones which,  although the room is almost five and a half metres in length and I needed three panels either side of the doors to fill the space,  have cost only a fraction of the real thing.  They are going to look great when they are painted (I'm intending on using Farrow and Ball's Railings) and finished with some fancy handles  (TBC - I can't decide whether to have black or go all out for some sparkly crystal knobs!)

Here's how they evolved over the last couple of weeks...

Builder Tony trying some shameless self-promotion!

Builder Tony trying some shameless self-promotion!

And the wall is gone!

And the wall is gone!

Framework going up...

Framework going up...

Doors and panels going in...

Doors and panels going in...

Ta-da!!  The finished article - can't wait to get them painted!

Ta-da!!  The finished article - can't wait to get them painted!

Another issue this week has been the cornicing.  When the ceiling came down in the living room some of the cornice was damaged and in the bedroom it is in a pretty bad state now that we can see it properly.  After getting various quotes for repairs I took the decision to remove it all completely and start again.  The cost is pretty substantial but I think it will be better in the long run: just having it patched up could potentially be a false economy should other parts start to crumble in the future.  It's heavy stuff and I don't fancy a lump of it falling on my head while I'm watching TV! 

Unfortunately, due to the age of the property, when it was removed it took half the wall with it! The plaster was live and once again could cause issues in the future so we are going to get rid of all the problem areas and redo it. It's an extra job - and a messy one - that I wasn't expecting but these things happen in old places.  Better safe than sorry!

It has been estimated that my property was built around 1900, which puts it on the cusp of Victorian and Edwardian style.  Cornicing at this time was less ornate and fussy than that of the early to mid-Victorian period.  Thankfully for me, this also means it is less expensive!  

I have chosen a design that is as close to the original as I can get with my budget and is similar to the design in this picture, below. 

Image via Pinterest

Image via Pinterest

Hopefully next week we will gain a bit of momentum and really get cracking on things.  The plumber is starting on Monday so I'm going to be focussing my attention on radiators and sanitaryware.  Exciting times!!

Kx