This blog has been set up to record the restoration of Ashgrove, which was devastated by fire in August 2007.
Please add comments of encouragement (or even suggestions for the colour of the walls, carpets, tiles, furniture....!!)

Tuesday, 15 April 2008

Some miscellaneous shots

The first one (looking against bright sunlight from the kitchen) shows an exploratory hole knocked in the chimney breast wall. Andy said he has found another supporting beam across that wall on the kitchen side - but no problem.

The one with Mum on is when she was having a serious discussion with Andy. I think that the others are self evident, including the dramatic ones looking up through the longe ceiling into the guest bedroom.

After prolonged inactivity real pressure is on us now (as I knew it would be) to make decisions on the many aspects affecting renovation - kitchen, bathrooms, doors, electrics, and coving etc. etc. to avoid delaying the tradesmen - not easy when you have to dash all over the place trying to find the 'right' items - if you know what I mean! (Emotions are rising to the surface!)

I think that we have decided on the doors provided that our choices are available. Compromises are inevitable. The Ventrolla man is coming to look at the windows on Thursday afternoon, and I understand that in the meantime Halls have also asked someone else to come. I think that Andy has arranged for the Building Inspector to come tomorrow.

I am afraid that it is all hell let loose - and it is difficult to keep up with brochures and messages galore. Please God it will all be worthwhile in the long run.

Friday, 11 April 2008

Review meeting

Today Paul, Mum and Dad attended a progress review meeting with Matt (the surveyor/project manager) Halls (the building firm) and Andy (the onsite builder). By all account the meeting went well for us.

A target completion date of 1 September has been set, and we have been able to agree the transfering of insurance money from fitted furniture and other things that we don't want restored to other projects. So it looks like we will get the kitchen changes (knocking out the chimney breast, blocking up the passageway to the dining room, creating a door where the larder was) as well as a new utility room (where the shoe box was) and an ensuite to the front bedroom all within the insurance settlement.

There is damp in the attic and in the front bedroom, so some remedial work will be required, and a roof man is due to inspect soon.

Meanwhile, electrics and plumbing are well advanced, and Andy is now chasing Mum to decide on bathroom furniture.

The biggest issue is probably the windows. It seems that the builders don't think that many of the sash windows can be repaired, and they want to replace them. So we are now having to decide what to do.

Click here for a slideshow of pictures Paul took on 11 April.


Friday, 4 April 2008

Everything's gone!

Paul was over here this morning and he and Mum had a useful session with Andy.

After lunch I went with him and saw the remarkable transformation with 'everything gone' and the lads seemingly just scraping off old wallpaper. They have certainly had a good clear-out, and future possibilities are apparent.

It is very encouraging after 7 months of frustration. It will not all be plain sailing because of new equipment decisions etc. but there seems to be genuine co-operation from Andy. At his request we have given him our suggested power plug needs to pass on to the electrician, and a kitchen supplier was there this morning talking to Mum.

I think (as I suspected) she is going to be rather bewildered with so much to be decided so quickly. It takes her a month to buy something simple from M&S!

Look at the slideshow here and see if you can recognise the rooms. Then come back and add a post with your reactions!


Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Clearance continues

I called at Ashgrove to collect the mail this morning and managed to take one or two shots while the workers were having their sandwiches in the conservatory. (Mum was out for lunch with her cousins.)

They show some progress in the clearing process. The hall shot (fuzzy?) shows the floor now clear of debris and the plaster on the wall has been chipped off. The wall stripping in the vestibule has revealed traces of the original Victorian floral wallpaper - shot not clear but probably due to my uncertain stance when using the camera. The one taken outside shows the base of the bay with the bricks removed, revealing the supporting timbers. It may be possible now to see something of the structure from below in the cellar.

We will probably have a better look round at the weekend when the men are not there, and perhaps take some better pictures. Andy wasn't there today but there were four others.

Apparently four very large skips have been despatched full, and the fifth one is now in position. They are certainly not hanging about. Dad