Saturday, August 25, 2007


All of the electricity has been replaced in the kitchen as the entire kitchen was being run from about 2 sockets and a bar lead. Rich ran the wires through first, leaving loops for the sockets, then went back and wired in the 2gang sockets.

Of course, this had to be done mainly with the power off, for obvious safety reasons! Thankfully, a rather wonderful little girl got her Daddy a useful torch for just this kind of thing. (you know who you are!)

This is when Daddy looks at the camera. Not useful!

This is what Daddy can see when he is working with his headlight. Much more helpful!

and this is Rich posing with the new socket tester he got. It's excellent, and basically plugs in, then says what is wrong with the wiring. In this case, nothing (obviously!)

Sealing the plaster with paint

Whilst Rich was doing all this (Ivan having gone home to his lovely missus and nipper), Caroline and I were painting. Obviously I couldn't take a picture of me painting, so when Rich was doing the ceiling bits that I was having trouble to reach, I took a couple, mainly for the benefit of a gorgeous little girl we know.....

If you look behind Rich, you can see the finished arch and it looks good!

It's important to seal the plaster, and to do this we used a 50%paint, 50% water mix of cheap emulsion (magnolia!) applied and worked in generously with a roller. The first coat was very patchy, as it is absorbed at different rates by different densities of plaster and so on. The second coat looked a lot better. This means that when we finally choose a colour and paint, the expensive paint will go on evenly, and neatly, and have good coverage, and the plaster is somewhat protected from knocks and grease.

Piping and so on....


When I returned from Wales on the Monday, I discovered that Rich and the lovely Ivan had done a very tidy job of the piping, the boiler was on the wall, and we were well on our way to hot water.

The one that goes up the wall is the gas pipe for the cooker hob. It's a bayonet fitting, so it is simple to move the cooker out for cleaning and so on. The others are the hot water feeds, all soldered joints, all neatly done!
And the most excellent boiler. I was reluctant to have a combi boiler, it's a Ravenheat one, and so far it's been excellent. The dials ect are clear to use, the response is amazingly quick, and it is much more energy efficient than the previous boiler. The heating is practically immediate to the radiators, and we have already noticed a couple of things that we really like, like being able to set the radiator temperature separately to the hot water temperature, meaning we can have lovely hot radiators, but set the hot water to a temp which won't scald anyone, or mean we have to put cold water into a bath to counter water which we just spent money and resources heating.

Ok, so... Plastering?

..... where did we get to?

We had a ceiling, and the plasterer was coming. Good. This is last Saturday then.

Plastering is an art, and if it's something you can do, fantastic, more power to your elbow. If it's not, like for Rich and I, then something has to be done - i.e. get someone in. The walls in the old kitchen had blown in places (the old plaster had come away from the wall) so we stripped back as much as we needed to so that we got to solid plaster in some places, and plain back to the brick in others.

We also took the opportunity to put in an arch between the kitchen and the laundry space, as we're never going to have a door on there - we aren't door people - and then the two places are connected, but still separate, if you follow my meaning.

There aren't many pictures of this bit, because the plasterer was working at a real pace and I didn't want to get in his way, plus the Adorable Child and I went to Wales for friends childrens christening.

Both of these pictures you may have to make bigger to see the point of them. This one is the ceiling, and shows where the wiring for the light is. Rich has attatched a small piece of wire to the square connector block, then pushed everything except the lead wire up into the ceiling to be plastered over.

Later, when he came to fit the light, he just gently pulled this through, the connector block came through behind it, and the hole was neat, square and small.