I thought it was a good time for a little recap on our building works. The builders have been here for nearly 4 months and are due to finish in about three weeks. If you think you heard me say that before, you are not wrong. Three weeks seems to be a continual promise which never gets shorter, but I think this time they might mean it.
This week the plumber and electrician will complete the second fix, finishing the bathrooms, putting the cast iron radiators on the wall and fixing the lights and house alarm. The plastering is complete and this week the glass panels will be going in on the stairs and the first of the cladding should be going up on the outside of the house. Next week the decorators are coming in to do the mist coat, the top coats will hopefully follow shortly after. We’d intended to it ourselves to begin with but we rapidly realised what a huge job it is.
The scaffolders still haven’t returned to remove the rest of the scaffolding which they started taking down four weeks ago. So we still can’t see the views from the windows on three sides of the house. Scaffolders it seems, are a law unto themselves.
So far we have managed to keep broadly in budget. We had an (expected but very overdue) extras bill from the builder which was more than we had anticipated (I panicked because I always do about these things) but we managed to make big savings on carpets and wooden flooring last week so that helped swing things back in the right direction.
As far as the flooring goes, it took us about 2 minutes to decide on our carpets and about 2 months to decide on our wooden flooring. We went all round the houses considering the merits of everything from Amtico to ceramic tiles for the ground floor, before eventually (yesterday) buying the very first wood floor I had looked at six months ago. It is engineered oak, click system and brushed and oiled as opposed to lacquered. It’s quite rustic looking as we wanted something that would work with the wear and tear of two dogs and a small child, rather than against it.
When we have finished, there will be very little in the pot left for furniture and interiors, but we are lucky to be inheriting my parents old (enormous) red leather corner sofa and we have found a source for cheap decor weight fabric for curtains, which will save us a ton. I’m hoping to go back to Ardingly next month to pick up a few other bits of furniture too. We have the essentials, the rest can be bought over time.
We have made a few mistakes along the way during this build, but things have run smoother than we dared hope. We have encountered spectacularly good and bad customer service (should I name and shame?) and we’ve developed a huge amount of respect for the builders (though they’ve driven us loopy at times) Undoubtedly we have made a good investment for the future, but beyond that we have created the kind of home we simply couldn’t have bought. I can’t wait to move back in…
PS – If you are joining late and wonder what the house used to look like, see this post.