House Progress update

The builders began demolishing the back of my house two weeks ago and brick by brick the walls came down. This has been the hard work because the only access to this part of the house was through a 30″ gateway. That meant that three piles of demolished bricks, concrete slab and rubble equal to this had to be wheelbarrowed from back to front to remove it and prepare the way for construction. Yesterday, the steel beams undergirding the upper reaches of the house went in to carry the internal and external existing walls. They will be concealed in the walls so we will have a straight shot with no visible posts or beams .

Top pic was the before shot after the plastic conservatory was removed. I have never liked this British culture of plastic structures. they look ugly because they are ugly and plastic only declines the day after it is installed. The once promised lifetime warranties of the 1970s on up were for the lifetime of what? The “never needs painting” touted back then never mentioned the ugly grey and orange staining that soon ensued, so for me, the removal of all things plastic raised my serotonin levels ten notches.

This is how the building looks this morning. I looked out from this room to the back garden and here is what I saw after 18 months of living in.

My garden beds are filled with veggies again and this too increases my serotonin levels. Look at these potatoes standing to attention.

In my greenhouse my tomatoes are well on the way to producing summer fruits and I am glad I got it in time.

Today I will be taking my newest third piece into the house and anchoring it to the walls. My theme wood so far has been that king of woods, cherry, but I am not set on using only cherry for the whole living room.

As part of the development for the Sellers Home house we asked what you thought would be important in your home and for the living room things like blanket stowage, toy boxes came up. That being so, my attempt next is to design storage boxes because my granddaughter, at two ,regularly contributes her collection of toys at the house.

Here is what the garden looked like when we bought the house. I’ve added three outdoor buildings and then of course the growing boxes, raised beds, garden benches, sandbox and so on.

This shed worked out well and with the move-out from downstairs during the building work, I have had place to add clean storage space.

This shed takes the garden tools and was made mostly from six plasterboard (sheetrock) wood pallets so very low cost and nicely robust enough too.

23 thoughts on “House Progress update”

    1. Yes. We did this at the front area we just completed the refurbishment on. The new windows are solid wood and they work beautifully. very happy with them.

  1. I see in UK you have windows opening to the outside. How do you clean the glasses?

    1. The window cleaner comes with a pumped water system that can reach up three floors. He does three average houses an hour and charges £20 a house with 10-12 windows and an extra five for a conservatory. He brings his own crystal clear water so no streaking too so he never needs anything except access.

  2. Tomatoes are looking good! mine are way behind, but then i dont have a greenhouse. My potatoes are well on the way though. Its taken a while for things to get going in the garden this year!

  3. Thanks Paul. I’m very much enjoying the house series.

    Any chance a grandfather clock has made it onto your list of things to make?

    This month I’ve started on making larger furniture objects for my home as well (also mostly in cherry). A grandfather clock is about number six down the list.

    I have been using shellac as my primary finish on most projects. I especially love the look of garnet shellac on cherry. I’ve read of some individuals first applying some coats of oil (e.g. tung, lindseed, Tried & True) before applying shellac. I haven’t done it myself. How does this alter the final look of a finished cherry piece?

    1. I would never compromise the look and feel I get by using shellac by applying oil of any kind. Oil finishes are just easy for people to apply, that’s why they like it most I think. Nothing wrong with that.

      1. Vidar Fagerjord Harboe

        But what if one wants to add oil, THEN shellac? I’d suspect this would be done to “pop the grain” on certain woods. Done carefully, it could be stunning! The deep mother of pearl effect on quartersawn birch, for example.
        Each to his own taste, but I find it lovely. But would it be okay to do?

    2. Adrian Amoroso

      I use shellac initially to raise the grain. I lightly sand the shellac and then apply 2 to3 coats of Kunos oil. It was what I was taught when I did a box making course and I’ve continued using the technique. Not sure if its any better than other techniques but I’m happy with the results 🙂

  4. Hi Paul,

    I hope you saved some of the bricks from your remodeling. Over the years that I have been in my home I have had numerous needs for my house bricks, for repairs; chimney, windows changes etc.
    By the way, I like what your are doing to the house. Best wishes.

  5. Paul, Do the horizontal siding boards on your large shed have a rounded face? How is water kept out from where the long edges of meet? The siding has a nice look, thanks.

  6. Hi, sensei Paul,
    Are the nesting birds still in your shed?

    Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom.

  7. Michael Power

    Paul, your blog posts are so informative and encouraging for amateur woodworkers. Thank you so much.

    I would like to ask what wood you used for your vegetable boxes, and what joinery ?



  8. Something is not quite right on the blog currently. If I click on the menu for the blog, the most recent blog is the experiential learning one. If I click on the link at the top of an individual blog then I can then see this one as the most recent, but it says there are 11 comments. When I click on that link there are none. I can only find the router blog from the email re latest blog posts.

    1. Vidar Fagerjord Harboe

      Right click and select reload page. Do that on the entire site you are visiting. I have reported this issue, as I’ve encountered it myself. Probably a cahche issue on the server backend. I experienced problems on my own blog, similar to these issues.

      1. It is only misbehaving on my mobile. I’ve tried clearing cache and browser history to no avail.

  9. Hello Paul,
    When you first walked us through the property after taking possession, you queried a damp patch in the corner of what was probably the rear dining room. It’s at the bottom right hand side photo showing the vertical RSJ and the rainwater pipe with a junction that took water from the conservatory roof.
    1. Did you find what it was.
    2. Have the builders been informed.
    It would be so annoying, if after all that work water was still evident in that corner after decorating.
    regards Ian W

    1. It was just the furniture against the vinyl wallpaper with no air allowed to pass between and so holding in moisture and creating a good spot for mold. The DPC course is in good shape. and the walls are all dry. Thanks for taking the time to nudge me though.

  10. For the last two years I have helped an old cancer survivor builder friend, whom I have tried to train in the use of hand planes, as we refurbish and refit a really old shop into something that receives many accolades from customers. I have to say that your videos and blogs are a great inspiration, so thank you. There is much I could add but suffice it to say that I have now trained my friend to ask for me to use hand planes on finishes rather than power tools because they produce a better finish, and faster than his new power tool methods. Trying to fit new refit finishes to a 100 yer old building with it’s bends and warps has been a challenge. I delight in what you have taught us all and look forward to what is to come. I have not yet converted him to old wooden planes which I inherited from my father, but I am getting there. From one old retired bloke to another – thanks.

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