Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

Making a house a home (part IV)

Our future downstairs toiletBack in mid-July, we anticipated that we’d be 6 weeks away from moving in to our new house. Well, it’s been more than six weeks and we’re still not in.

We haven’t hit any major snags but August has been a busy month for us (as evidenced by the lack of blogging) and so we haven’t progressed as much as we’d hoped. Here’s an update:


The damp-proof plastering dried out mid-August, and so we have the first two coats of paint on the walls in the dining room. I’ve also been able to patch up some bits around plug sockets (for example) that weren’t quite finished to how we’d like.

I also mentioned last time that we needed some extra bits done – we had a builder in last week, who did these for us. So, the plastering is all done now, and we just need to wait for all of the new plaster to dry out. This means that we’ve finally had all of the holes from the old plug sockets filled in.


The bathroom was the one upstairs room that we planned to decorate, and also the one with the least amount of work required. However it ended up as a lower priority when we realised how much work the rooms downstairs would be. Anyway, we’ve got on with the painting in here and it’s basically done, but needs a little touching up to make it tidy with clean lines. The floor also needs a serious clean to get the paint splashes off, but otherwise, the bathroom is pretty much finished now.


The living room, dining room and hallway all originally had the same dark blue carpet. We had to take this up as part of the re-plastering work, but we’ve decided to get rid of it. This is mainly because the new plaster is actually thinner than the old, so the dining room floor in particular now has a very slightly larger surface area – and so the carpet no longer fits correctly. We’ve instead decided to get oak laminate floor, with the same pattern across the kitchen, dining room, hallway and living room. The new flooring has been ordered and paid for, but we’re awaiting the last few bits to be delivered before it’s installed. As for the old carpet, a friend of ours took it off us for nothing for use in her house, which is great as it would have probably cost us money to dispose of.

‘The Triangle Room’

Beyond the living room is a room we’ve been calling ‘the triangle room’, as it’s roughly triangle-shaped. I assume it was originally part of what is now the living room as it’s separated by a comparatively modern stud wall. This part of the house used to be a shop, and the window in this room used to be full height. It’s been partly bricked up, but only on the outside, as we found when we took a bit of plasterboard off behind the radiator and opened up a void below the window.

I mentioned that we’ve had a builder in – he’s filled the void with insulation and covered it with some new plasterboard and plaster that is flush with the rest of the wall. We’ve also had an additional stud wall and door fitted in the room, as shown in the work in progress photo at the top, as eventually this will become a cloakroom with a toilet and washbasin. This probably won’t happen until after we’ve moved in as we’ll need to save up some more money first. It’ll also need flooring putting down, but again, after we’ve moved in.


We’ve started painting the dining room, as mentioned, and once the rest of the plaster is dry (which should be in the next couple of days) we can paint the living room as well. We’ve bought all of the paint already – the dining room is being painted green, and the living room a kind-of chocolate brown.

Exterior building work

We had two gas fires that we didn’t want, which both had external flues. Having removed these, we got the builder to fill in the holes in the external walls. He’s done a great job and it’s actually hard to see where the holes were originally. When the mortar dries, it’ll be almost impossible I reckon.

What’s next

We’ve not got many jobs left now. The flooring needs to go down, and we need to re-hang some skirting boards and lift some gripper rods that were left over from when the carpet was down. After that, it’s basically just painting, and then we can move in. Whilst this won’t be the end of the house renovation project, we’ll have done the most disruptive work before moving in. If all goes to plan, we’ll be living in the house by the end of the month.

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