So after our search for a decent builder started running from weeks into months (one came round to quote, then just disappeared from the face of the earth – didn’t answer texts or emails and never came back with a price!), Mr E was chatting to his lovely brother in law Dave about how difficult it is to get anyone to do any work. The answer wasn’t exactly what we were expecting: ‘I’ll do it for you’. Dave works for a team that refurbishes properties, and along with Dan, his son, they gave up their precious bank holiday weekend to knock our kitchen and dining room into one.
Dave also had a brilliant idea – he suggested that instead of using an RSJ to support the first floor once the wall is down, we used a big oak beam instead and made it into a bit of a feature. A quick call to our surveyor to check whether this was okay and to get the correct measurements and next thing we knew it was all added to the plan. Oak worktops are on my wishlist so this tied in very nicely.
The lads arrived Saturday morning raring to go and I was amazed at how quickly they got stuff done. Firstly, here’s a reminder of how the kitchen looked before:
And the other side of that wall is obviously the dining room, with patio doors leading to the garden. The first thing to do was to take the extractor fan and units off the wall, then the plasterboard, and then carefully move all the electrics and the pipes to the radiator:
Then the wood framing came down and pillars were built either side to support the huge weight of the oak beam. Next, it had to be hefted into position:
Then there was loads of other stuff to do. The lads removed all the coving, filled the original dining room door, filled holes in the ceiling and re-positioned electrics and plumbing. And here’s how it’s looking after a whole weekend of very hard work and lots and lots of dust. The wall is down, the oak beam is up and the old dining room door is no more. Next, it’s new worktops, unit doors and tiles (note disgruntled dog who does not cope well with change sulking on the sofa):
After all the building work, we have to be realistic and know that we won’t be able to afford a new kitchen. The plan at the moment is to replace the worktops and cupboard doors and drawers, then re-tile. Hopefully it will look like new. The floors might have to wait though. Here’s our current fave for the doors and worktops:
The colour didn’t come out very well – here it is from the brochure – it’s a matt olive green:
And I still adore these tiles from the tile shop handily situated right across the road from us, which I think will go perfectly with the doors and worktop:
So that’s it. Here’s where we are currently – living with a bit of dust and mess, but at least the worst of it is done.
Then this photo just makes me realise how much work we need to do to make the garden look nice too. It’s never ending!