So on the last post about the house I promised rage over the kitchen floor’s dpc. This was, in reality, tiled quite a long time ago. So long that I actually don’t really know when anymore, but believe me it’s still annoying. As a first time renovator, there are plenty of things that you have no prior knowledge of until you do them. Most information is provided by googling and youtube, and it’s surprising what you can accomplish when provided with the resources and a little common sense.
Subsequently, I have never tiled a floor before, and until recently, never tiled anything. Our kitchen floor is the only floor of the house that sits on a solid concrete base, the rest is suspended wooden flooring. Obviously we wanted to tile the kitchen floor, as much love as I do have for the stick on 99p tiles that had been used, an upgrade was necessary.
According to the adhesive, it’s supposed to dry in around 6 hours. 3 days later it was starting to look like it wouldn’t ever dry. So suspicion turned to the dpc… and as it turns out the complete lack of one, well I just assumed it had one. That’s probably what’s doing it then.
So after completely tiling the kitchen floor, we decided that the only way to fix it was to take up all the tiles and wash them. That’s a fairly horrible job before you go any further, and then damp proof the floor with the cupboards still in place. Doesn’t sound too bad of course but now the side of the house has a very special render effect caused by soggy tile adhesive and a pressure washer and I’m left with the prospect of getting a liquid bitumen based paint under the cupboards and six inches up the wall behind. I have been warned about this stuff, people say, “It’s very messy” and they are not wrong! Even more so when you’re lying on floor, on your face, with a stick that has a paintbrush duct taped to the end of it, relentlessly jabbing the wall. We also levelled the floor as tiling attempt 1 had made it apparent that it was far from being horizontal. I bought disposal overalls for the job to try and avoid being well damp proofed myself, they were absolutely god awful. IT WAS EVERYWHERE.
So here it is, after being damp proofed (which I might add is very sticky even when dry and therefore a delight to tile anyway) with the first tiles going down.
I’m happy to say though that my efforts are not in vain and it works! The floor is dry, finished and grouted a good half an hour before our ‘kitchen warming’ barbecue starts!
So there we are with the kitchen, aside from painting and the odd bits here and there I’ve avoided it’s pretty much done. This now leaves us with the dining room to do, obviously being joined this is the next logical port of call.
I think most people who know me would say that I spend a large amount of my time in a constant state of annoyance at various things. Everyone else on the road apart from me, for example. The British Heart Foundation are not exempt.
It all begins with the sofa. We are kindly given a sofa by Lee’s dad. Fairly tasteless but in a pretty good condition, no one could argue that it wouldn’t throughly benefit from a wash and dry but we didn’t have a sofa and apart from a minor threadbare patch on the arm, it’s doing pretty well. You can kind of see it here, slightly submerged.
Unfortunately, the doorways and corridors in our house are quite narrow. The front hallway for example is actually narrower than the downstairs doorways. Currently our sofa was in the dining room which was fine (it fitted through the french windows), but as the kitchen progressed we now wanted to move it into the new living room. And guess what, no surprises, it doesn’t fit.
Not a hope.
Ok, never mind, I’ll sell it and buy a small, cheap second hand one. So it’s on ebay for 99p and no one wants it still. Ok then, I’ll give it to charity and buy another one anyway. So I phone the British Heart Foundation and tell them what it’s like. I send them a few pictures and then they come to collect it. They’re very late, I stay in till 3 o’clock waiting for them when they said around 11, I had plans to go out actually but never mind at least it’ll be gone and it’s going to a good cause. A lady turns up with two unsure looking teenagers who seem to think they shouldn’t move it. So they go and get her and she tuts her way in,
“Oh no, we couldn’t possibly take that”.
“Well it only got a small threadbare patch and I did send you a picture of that as well as explaining that to you”
“Oh, I’m afraid that we can’t possibly accept it in that condition. I think it may have a tear!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” (It doesn’t)
“You are a charity though right, and it’s free, for a charity shop….”
“Yes but we only accept as new products, our customers are incredibly picky”
WELL I’M SO VERY SORRY THAT YOU DON’T WANT IT HOW INCONVENIENT FOR YOU, NO PLEASE I HAD ALL DAY ANYWAY. ALL I WAS GOING TO DO WAS SIT HERE IN MY PYJAMAS AND WATCH COME DINE WITH ME WITH A BAG OF DORRITOS, I LIKE THE WAY YOU CAN SEE INTO THE UPSTAIRS BEDROOM FROM HERE, I THINK IT ADDS CHARACTER.
A few weeks later a nice young man comes knocking at my door asking for me to donate money to the British Heart Foundation. HA.
So in a slight rage, I defaulted to ‘I’LL JUST DO IT MYSELF THEN’ and attacked the sofa with a saw and a chisel. If I can’t sell it, and I can’t give it away then I’ll just take the bloody thing apart and reassemble it in the other room. I now realise that these things that you pay hundreds, if not thousands, of pounds for, are made up of very cheap softwood and staples. Literally.
And yes, it worked! It’s still standing now a good few six months later, a little worse for wear and liable to consume anything you leave on or near it into a vast floral abyss, but still definitely a sofa.
The final thing I said I’d right about was the window. This had made me lose a lot of sleep and spend a good few nights trying to sleep on aforesaid sofa due to the hideous noise it produced. When we first moved in it wasn’t so bad, but around winter the wind started to pick up and living on top of a hill anyway we are subjected to this noise, very loudly, when it becomes just very slightly windy.
As you may notice, Lee is armed with foam filler, an entire can of which does nothing. He then decides that if he goes outside with soggy toilet roll and throws it, he will;
a) locate the hole
b) successfully hit it from the ground floor outside
c) Wet toilet roll will form and instant and impervious bond with the required surface, fitting perfectly into the gap.
So he chucks it, the first one misses the house, the second one hits the middle of the window and does actually stick. In fact I believe it’s still there, but is a good two foot from where it probably needs to be. Half a bucket of plasterboard adhesive and two more cans of foam filler and needed to make it stop, which all just keep disappearing endlessly into our solid brick walls?
So next… (I like to do this so that when I inevitably leave it another 6 months I remember where I got to)
We attack the seriously manky shed and toilet… and meet the new addition to our household!