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Sep 24

Diy dad (again)

back room
It’s been a while since my last post, the reason being I’ve purchased a house and have been spending most of my spare time there, working on the million and one things that need putting right.
When it’s completed, the house will be rented. The renovation work I’m doing is mostly cosmetic and I’m trying to be realistic about how much I really need to spend on it and degree of finish I should aim for. Today’s young professional expects a certain quality of decoration, but then again I have to turn this round in a sensible time and start getting money from it to pay the mortgage.
A lot of it is simple stuff, stripping off 70’s features, such as polysterene ceiling tiles (!) and removing a lot of tongue and groove boarding which covers things like the balustrades on the stairs. Today’s tenants want period features and the (Victorian) house has some nice bits that should be exposed again.
This week I have been tending to the windows. The actual windows are UPVC, but I’m not going to be pulling them for proper hardwood sash boxes, as much as I like them myself. For now, it’s just a case of making the interior trim a little nicer to add a little more period charm.
The trim inside the windows was a real dog’s dinner. The wood used was a dark hardwood, which already looked very dated. The side jambs projected about an inch into the room, instead of being flush with the wall. Therefore the side casing was floating off the wall and had been bodged to fill the windy gap with Polyfilla and even toilet roll (!!).
I had to take everything off and trim the side jambs back to level, then add a better side casing that sat flush to the wall. Today I smoothed some bonding plaster over the walls to take up the slight undulations and brought everything to level. Tomorrow I will install a proper ogee trim to the outer edges and run a bead on the inner join to hide any fine gaps. The plasterer can then skim up to the trim and all should be good.
Every day I work on the house I have two or three big jobs I try to get done. Whilst speed is of the essence, I try to make time for doing things to my best ability and for doing a proper job of things like keeping tools sharp. It’s very nice to be working somewhere where I can make a big mess without looking at my watch all the time to check when I need to get the house clean again for the family’s return!
I can also appreciate I need certain power tools to speed things up further. I can see myself parting with some hard-earned cash for a nice plunge saw soon, as there will be a lot of storage to build. The need to cut large sheets ‘on-site’ has meant I’ve been looking into how other people do this and there are some very interesting tools and techniques out there. The saw should pay it’s way easily and I may also get a Festool Domino and maybe a ‘Centipede’ table. The MFT would be nice from Festool, but it’s not huge, so I can just square the rail up manually and work like that. Slower, but at the end of the project I need to store this stuff and I can find space for a Centipede table, not so easy with the MFT.
A new garden wall will be built soon by a local bricklayer and hopefully the plasterers can arrive soon to skim upstairs, just have to get the sparky in first to check electrics and find out why certain things don’t work. Joy!
I’ll post some more pics soon…

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