Do Up Diary #4 – Our new home in a home!

What will be our ‘home in a home’ – the before pictures

As the pot of money to do up Moregeous Mansions is already as stretched as Hilaria Baldwin’s hamstrings, there’s no choice but to live on site whilst works are done. Being in Manchester, Instagram friendly outdoor teepee living is not an option so we had a cunning plan…. to live in the room which needed the least doing to it. Ok, ‘the least’ includes a new structural ceiling to create storage above, saving and restoring cornice (blog post on that later this week – totally fascinating), all the plaster off the walls, reboarding & skimming, new central heating pipework, electrics and an en-suite in a section of the property which previously had no drainage but hey, why make things easy 😉

You’ll see later this week when I post the finished plans of what is going to be happening that this room, up on the first floor east side, is the furthest away from major works. For the last few weeks, as I’ve been winding down client work, making sure our 20 lots of self-managed tenants are happy and trying to clear a jam packed house, works have been ongoing to get this space ready to be a home in a home.

Dave B gets cracking on the ensuite

The room is now reboarded using insulated plasterboard, skimmed and first coated with paint, the ceiling is back up and super insulated in the loft space and the new stud work for the en-suite fixed, with an angled corner to allow a better view into the main room as you walk in. I’ve installed a few en-suites like this in large bedrooms, and in fact in bedrooms much smaller than this one, they can work really well if designed properly. There’ll be no other bathrooms or loos in the house for ages during works to it was essential to get a shower and WC in this room but it proved a challenge with no way of taking pipework straight down due to the constraints of the room below and no actual previous soil pipe anywhere near. Hmmm.

Mr M got digging outside and our garden pathway turned into a death-trap but hey hey, we found an existing pipe we could connect into temporarily. It’s a mixed water system so it’s all good and means we don’t have to have have a saniflow or hire a portaloo, can you *even* imagine sharing a loo with six burly builders for four months? I can’t believe I Instagrammed some soil pipe yesterday, that’s gotta be a first on there surely, but I was SO happy!

We’ve rummaged around in our rental Steptoe-like cellars and it looks like we can use an old Victorian basin we already have, so I’m now sourcing a shower tray, luscious loo and tiling. Bolstered by Twitter yesterday, especially @ElizabethFell1 and @BoroBathrooms, I’ve decided not to put in a temporary ensuite but to design and install the one which will remain in that room. It’s more pressure on me whilst we’re physically trying to clear the house but will save money and time in the long run. Sensible decision but a bit hair pully-outy.

Mr @DaveFireB did a top job yesterday getting all the pipework in so quickly – Dave can you move over here from Yorkshire please so we can use you all the time?! 😉 –  so now it’s just up to me to get cracking with ordering what’s going in there! The stress is building as scaffolding arrives this Friday so certain parts of the house can be dismantled – that’s the scary bit! I know Mr M’s a bit stressed as I caught him this morning transfixed and staring for ages at a pile of rubble, like you do…..

2014-08-05_0002But Missy, as usual, is taking it all in her stride, taking ownership of boxes, bricks and bridges. It already looks like that tail has been dipped in paint 🙂2014-08-05_0003


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