It’s not even 9.30am on a Sunday morning and already emails are whizzing through the ether and Dave The Brave is out on the Moregeous Terrace, buttering up giant porcelain planks with Rocky watching his every move. Yesterday’s Experience was a juggle, four house hungry visitors hopping over bags of adhesive on the lawn and being brilliantly English and accepting of works going on mid-tour. That’s how we roll here 😉
Righto, let’s have a catch up on what’s gone on since last Sunday…Not strictly speaking an occurrence in the house, but rather a piece made for the house, Mr M and I throughly enjoyed the Manchester Mosaics bee making experience last Sunday. I’ve a new found admiration for Amanda’s work, blimey, it’s pretty intense clipping and shaping all the teeny pieces of mosaic to create such intricate pieces. First you make the white bee insert and then fill in with black, then grout, and it takes absolutely concentration to make them perfect. Mine now has pride of place on one of the dining room tiled shelves. I’ve so many pics of the day, it’d be rude not to write a post all of it’s own really, so watch this space soon. Or, book on here and do it yourself!
Mr M and I had a play outside with some sample and materials for the new box gutter front on the house. The gutter itself leaks, always has done, due to a rubbish job by the installers. It’s constantly dripped down onto the terrace which hasn’t really mattered until now, when the new porcelain tiles are going down. Now I’m just irritated by it. The leak has caused the plywood to split and to be honest, they should never have used ply, even marine ply, in the first place, which has become clear over the past couple of years as it’s bowed with rain & weather damage. You live and learn eh (grrrrrrr). We’ve taken part of it down and have been considering the best frontage to use…We’ve come to the conclusion that there needs to be something which can’t ever rot there. A metal ‘strip’ in the form of grey steel, to match the cladding on the dormers was considered, but I feel it’ll look a bit too harsh for the house somehow. Too hard. I do like this little number, which Mr M is valiantly holding up at the top of the ladder. It’s the fireman in him, he’s good on ladders. It’s a timber effect, blackened ‘wood’ which comes in 3m or so lengths, called Millboard and people usually use it for decking, but it does have many applications. It’s made from composite / polyurethane, so doesn’t rot, or move, or cause any maintenance issues. We’ve had the sample kicking around site for a couple of years. It was a contender for the terrace flooring, until I found the perfect grey porcelain plank and more on that later. I looked at it again the other week and realised it might well work a treat fixed as lengths across the box gutter frontage, whaddaya reckon? It picks up the burned wood aesthetic going in the kitchen and on the new seating fabric which you saw last week. Mr M got cracking with the frame for our green roof bin store. I can’t believe how many of you loved this idea when I posted it on Instagram, there’ll be green roof bin stores popping up all over the country soon. Fab! Of course, it’s massively over engineered and so sturdy that I’ll be able to plant trees in it, never mind a few succulents. Typical Mr M 😉
Quite the most exciting thing to happen this week however is the start of the terrace tiling. We’ve had some RIDICULOUS quotes for laying these 1200 by 300 porcelain planks, plus a couple of tilers came to look and then just refused to answer my subsequent calls. Cowards.OK, the concrete bed *might* be a little, er, wibbly, but honestly I never imagined when we poured the concrete into the little retaining walls in 2016 that I’d be looking at dusty pale grey for 24 long months. We have been concentrating on other stuff inside but still, not good that the layers of dust on the planks in the garage grew thicker and thicker. And have been completely in the way for 2yrs.
Then finally last month a plasterer recommended his mate, Dave The Brave. Hurray!! Not only willing to take the job on but also super helpful and costed without us having to take out another mortgage. I got a tonne of advice on primers, levellers and adhesives from a company called Norcros who I’ve used lots of times before in my lady builder guise. They became interested in the project because of the issues we’re facing (unlevel surface / large contemporary porcelain tiles) and are going to be using us as a case study. As you can see above, our DIY concreting skills mean *some* levelling is required. OK, I’ll admit it, a lot of levelling is required. When it rained – and yeh, admittedly, Manchester, that was pretty often – it was more like a paddling pool than a terrace.
I’ll properly blog it as an advice piece, but as you can see, the Pro-50 is bringing the levels up above. This is critical for large profile planks, otherwise a tiler simply can’t get that beautiful flat finish required to prevent lips between the tiles and uneven surfacing. I can’t tell you how thrilled I am to see these finally being laid, it’s been such a long time, it almost never felt like it would happen. I do envy those projects which just seem to fly finish in six months, but keep telling myself that the best things are worth the wait! Typically we’d to flirt off to a 7yr old’s birthday party late afternoon yesterday, leaving Dave to finish up. I think the storm hit around 20mins after he’d left, breaking the wood posts, sending the gazebo across the lawn and generally causing havoc. Rose wine post party euphoria wears off pretty quickly as you mop up water on your knees and try to re-fix an awning to stop the adhesive softening, honestly, where was the June sun??!!
More tiling today and crikey, I might even be able to order the turf for the lawn this week. Will the Moregeous garden start looking like a normal person’s garden this summer? Finally?? We’re keeping everything crossed!!
*As talked about on Instagram, Norcros have kindly supplied me with some of their product in exchange for the terrace being one of their 2018 case studies, which we’re super flattered about. I hope it looks good enough for them to be happy with!!