All the big, dusty dirty work is done!! Hooray!!!
The structural bits and bobs, steels, chimney breasts etc are all in, or out in the case of the chimney. I now know all about helixes and joists, and we’ve discovered some hidden treasures!
I walked into my kitchen last week and there were no floors and no ceilings and I thought to myself, I only wanted a new kitchen. Ha! The problem with these old houses is that once you start un-peeling them, you find all sorts of hidden problems. Removing the floor tiles uncovered rotting floorboards, removing the floorboards uncovered wonky joists and so the whole lot had to come up and needed to be replaced. All these hidden problems keep costing money so we are already 25% up on our original spend. In fairness it’s not just the building work. After saying we were going to use all of our old appliances we decided that our old gas hob would look rubbish on our new island so we decided to get a downdraft induction hob instead. We also decided that we wanted a 20 year guarantee on our bifold doors instead of the normal 10. If you’re going to do it, its better do it right. The money we are spending will never be added to the value of our house, but I’m getting my dream kitchen.
As well as uncovering all the old problems we’ve also discovered some treasures. Once we’d lifted the floorboards we had access to a part of the cellar we’d never been in. Our lovely builders (they really are the loveliest builders EVER) greeted us with armfuls of pharmacy bottles and tobacco pipes. A couple of the bottles still had liquid inside them, and one of the bottles had a clear label for “The Mixture” from a chemist that still exists today, John Bell and Croydon on Wigmore Street, W1, London.
A couple of days later a diary from 1951 and some family photos were unearthed. The photos showed a family with a new baby all at the bottom of our garden it seems. It felt so magical. Once the renovation is done and we have five minutes we’re going to have a look at the deeds and see if we can find out who lived here, and then potentially return their photos. Very exciting, on all fronts.