Do Up Diary: Bringing The Outside In

Are you feeling toasty tonight as the temperatures drop and the sleet sets in? Got the heating turned up a couple of notches? You lucky devil you. Seriously, I love that you’ve got your hygge on and I know I’ll be hygge’d up with you very, very soon but just for now take a look at this and yes, you’re allowed to feel smug 😉

The final holes have been knocked through into Moregeous Mansions – in the main part of the renovation, not the new build – and the November wind is once again whistling through our home. Two years after half the house was knocked down, we’ve finally done the second major part of the outer skin works and though it’s bloody freezing, it also feels like another giant leap forward.

As a home renovator, making decisions on things like these huge windows is massive. They’re (a) so much money and (b) once done are pretty much unchangeable. Even a kitchen can be tweaked or altered but windows are for life, and that’s possibly why it took me so long to get round to actually taking the plunge and ordering them. Even ‘experts’ are scared of getting it wrong on the big stuff, let me tell you.

Let’s have a look at what we’re actually doing this week, the double height bay window replacements from existing to new.

The tall bay on the left below (in front of the living room and master bedroom) had actually been replaced very badly in the 80’s, with cheap pine and awful joinery. The sash windows were gone and in their place shoddy, single glazed top openers. The gorgeous decorative upper sections, still in place to the bay on the second elevation, had been removed and lost forever, replaced with plastic guttering. Yuk!

2016-11-08_0001.jpgThe original sashes on the right no longer worked but more importantly had slipped dramatically to one side so couldn’t be restored, hence our decision to have full new bays made. We considered plastic fantastic but just couldn’t bring ourselves to do it. Timber it had to be!

The scaffolding went up this week as the temperature started to drop….. oh joy. img_8847
img_8760img_8767Happy times: me & fire. I just can’t resist! All the painted timber got burnt to save on skips – bonus 🙂

Sad times: waving my ornate windows goodbye, though Andy doesn’t seems quite so unhappy?!  I loved them, even though it was only laser cut film stuck on the lower frames for privacy and it’s lasted brilliantly.

Equally traumatic was the discovery of so many ladybirds huddling in the warm east facing old joinery and under the old lead. I tried to save lots of them but we had casualties. I’ll miss my Autumn / Winter visitors once my new bug-tight bays are in.

img_8849As much as we’ve tried to seal and block the gaps with board, sheeting and insulation until the double glazing goes in later this week, the weather tonight literally couldn’t be worse. It’s torrential rain and bitterly cold and after all that sun last week, typical! We’ve moved up into the dormer this week and have onesies, thermals, blankets and a gas fire until the radiators go on in a fortnight. One thing about a long renovation, it makes you prepared for anything. Zombie Apocalypse a la Walking Dead? Bring it on.img_8859It took two days to get one of the bays down, the opening prepped and then the new one in, without the glazing. As you can see above, one set is in up to bedroom height but without the floor or proper ceiling. There’s quite a lot to do this week to get them ready for glass, not least of all undercoating and painting all the timber, which is my job.

Let’s hope it stops raining tomorrow eh, or this is yet another one of our ‘little’ jobs which might go on for longer than scheduled!!

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