Thursday, 31 October 2013

How to level out a wonky floor

With most old Cornish houses things aren't quite straight and level and our floor is definitely not level. The worst area is within the kitchen where the floor slopes massively over to the left. With several bags of self levelling compound mixed up we begin the task of pouring the solution on the floor concentrating on the worst areas first. The concrete then naturally pools across the floor filling in the deepest gaps leaving us with a floor a lot less wonky ready to receive the new oak flooring.  
The area that hasn't been covered with the concrete is actually at the correct height the rest of the floor was just a lot lower. Now we just need to wait for this to dry and we can lay out our extra thick insulating thermal underlay and start fitting the floor at last. We removed the tiles that were originally on the floor several months ago so it has been an extremely long time living in a house with a concrete floor so I can not wait to see the new floor go down and see the house transformed once again. 

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

New oak flooring arrives

The long anticipated new oak floor has now arrived and made a very good feature stacked up in the front room for several weeks but now it is finally time to start laying the new floor. 
New flooring arrives
The first job is to remove the remaining old laminate floor that only covered half the room and prepare the room ready for the new floor fitting.
Removing the old floor
With the room stripped bare ready for the flooring we have time to screed the old floor and make it level ready for the new floor. With the concrete down all we need to do now is wait for this to dry and then the floor can go down. 
Levelling out the concrete floor

Sunday, 27 October 2013

How not to cook a Sunday roast!

With so much progress in the house and James working so hard I decided to treat him in the best way possible and that's through his stomach. I decided to cook up a beautiful roast dinner with pork, crackling and Yorkshire puddings all his favourites. However our over decided that it was having other ideas and decided that the fan at the back would stop spinning and set itself on fire. 

Here James is trying to salvage the situation and stop all of the hard work in our house going up in flames. Luckily no damage was done but we did have to suffer with a Chinese take away rather than a roast dinner on a Sunday!
Oven fire

Friday, 25 October 2013

Wallpapering a feature wall

After several months with the wall painted red in our living room we both came to the decision that we didn't like it! Although we both loved the colour and the same colour was used on the fireplace breast and that looks lovely but the room just didn't have the wow factor that we wanted. 
Red painted feature wall
It felt quite heart breaking to have spent money and time painting this wall to then be stripping it several months later but we both felt that it wasn't how we had imagined it and we knew it could look so much better so we headed to the shops to chose wallpaper.

However choosing wallpaper that we both liked was a near impossible task, we went to The Range, B&Q, Homebase and even a wallpaper showroom in St Austell where we spent hours flicking through pages and pages of books of wallpaper samples. After several hours we went back to Homebase and bought a brown damask style wallpaper that we both not only agreed on but both loved. 
Stripping paint in the living room

Wallpaper pasting table
The first strip of wallpaper goes on the wall and already the smile on my face was growing with only the first strip, I was loving the wallpaper and really pleased we made the decision to change it from the previously red painted wall.
Hanging wallpaper

Brown damask wallpaper
I absolutely love the new wallpapered feature wall and is exactly what I
 had in my mind, now to buy some different wall lights as the ornate funky lights that we had previously bought for the wall with the red paint will now totally clash so back to the shops to choose more lights. 
Brown damask feature wallpaper

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Painting the kitchen

The house is really coming together quickly now with lots of finishing touches being completed. Here the kitchen ceiling is painted in white with the walls painted in a B&Q colour called Alfie. 

The colour is slightly more grey than we wanted and were hoping for a more brown warmer toned colour but we will leave it for a while and see if it grows on us and if we still don't like it we might change it but for now with so many other jobs to do it is staying this colour.
Painting in the kitchen

Painted kitchen

Kitchen painting

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Painting in the kkitchen

With the plaster board now fully dry we can really get the kitchen looking more complete with more painting. The walls are going in a light chocolatey brown and the ceiling going in white.
New plastered walls in the kitchen

Preping the walls for painting

White wash walls in the kitchen
First coats of white undercoat going in the kitchen areas
Painting the kitchen ceiling
The ceiling and walls now coated in their first base coats of white.
White kitchen walls

With all the walls painted in a nice clean white it really does start to look amazing and can see the end in sight for finishing the downstairs of our little Cornish home. Check out my blog tomorrow to see how the kitchen looks when some coloured paint goes on the walls.

Monday, 21 October 2013

Grouting the tiles in the Kitchen

Grouting kitchen tiles
Another job is successfully ticked off the massive list of house building jobs and the tiling is now grouted. (ignore the tiling that is not completed at the end, we have issues with the outside wall that needs repairing and rebuilding and until that done the inside is not going to be complete.)

We knew that the red tiles were particularly bright and didn't want to go for a super white grout so decided to go for an off white cream grout to tone the tiles down and think it looks amazing.

Next job more painting in the kitchen and fitting more kitchen cupboards.

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Tiling continues in the kitchen

Work continues in the house with more tiling and suddenly the bright red tiles seem.... extremely bright! When we went tile shopping we had in our minds that we wanted to go for warm neutral colours tones of brown and creams but when we got to the tile showroom and saw these we both feel in love and took home some samples before going for the plunge. 
Red tiling in the kitchen

Red brick kitchen tiles

Tiling the kitchen with red tiles

With months of knocking through walls and removing rubble it's really exciting to see how our house will look finished and is helping to spur on the enthusiasm to continue working hard on the build and renovation. 

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Boxing in the old fireplace

Our house is a little bit greedy and has two fireplaces, so we are going to keep one as a working fireplace and the other as a feature in the room, hopefully filled with lanterns and candles.

But before we can do that we need to block up the fireplace and stop the small creepy critters from entering the house. Just out of the shot there is a wooden platform now blocking off the old fire place. With the back wall of the fireplace painted it is now onto finishing the bottom with a slate hearth.

We have already made a slate hearth for the first fireplace and love it so just need to make one to match now.
Restoring the fireplace

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

exterior painting

With the sun shining and the temperature feeling summery (if you ignore the cold temperatures in the morning and night) we are making the most of the dry weather to get a few more outside jobs complete. Although we have big plans for the outside of the house we know it won't be looked into until spring next year so to tie us over the winter the back garden gets a lick of paint to brighten the area up ready for winter. 
Exterior paint

How to freshen up a back garden

Removing mould from walls

Painting outside

The plans for this area will be to replace the the stone steps with something a little wider and less dangerous. We are hoping to create something using railway sleepers but for now a fresh coat of white exterior paint will have to do. 

Now it's back into the house to warm up and continue the jobs on the inside.

Friday, 4 October 2013

Happy first birthday to our little Cornish home

It's hard to believe that we have been in our little Cornish home for 12 months already. It's been an amazing journey for two first time buyers and myself a first time DIY and renovator. But we have worked so hard and the downstairs of the house is so very nearly completed and we have a week off work planned in for November where we are going to attack the upstairs and make a big push to get the house done enough for a Christmas with the family.

With two new roofs, all internal walls removed downstairs, one new kitchen, a new wooden floor and half a bathroom in one year for two first time buyers I think this is a really good effort. Plus holding down two full time jobs and a busy social life we are celebrating our first year in our wonderful little home with a glass of bubbly a slice of cake and a screwdriver in hand to carry on with a few more jobs!