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....!!)

Thursday, 31 July 2008

The new lounge bay arrives!

More plumbing progress with the installation of showers, heated towel rails, and mirrors, etc.

Also, ceiling rose installed in hallway.

Front door looks good freshly painted, and new glass in front windows reflects the greenery.

First sight of new bay today, duly scrutinised by Celia. Three-man erection team soon had it fixed in position.

Not an exact replica of original bay in some very minor details, but perhaps less vulnerable to the weather because of that. Should be judged on its overall impression when it has been roofed, glazed and fully painted. I am confident that it will not let us down.


Friday, 25 July 2008

Inspection teams

Ashgrove has certainly proved to be a family tourist attraction over the last few months!

Here are two recent 'inspection teams'.


Well Eric did deliver the vestibule door frame and the skylight, and both have now been fitted.

The front door has been painted, and the house is now looking good from the front. Quite a contrast to the dark, sad looking boarded up house of a few months ago.

Eric should be delivering the new bay any day. Andy has already completed the base ready for it to stand on. As soon as it arives, Andy will get to work on the bay roof and get the lounge watertight as soon as possible so that he can then replace the floorboards.

Upstairs is progressing well, but there is still a lot of work to do downstairs. We are getting the first hints that the schedule is looking tight, and I wouldn't be surprised to see completion slip a couple of weeks to the middle of September. Let's hope its not longer.


Saturday, 12 July 2008

Site progress meeting - 11 July

Well another month, another site meeting. And again, we can report good progress.

The builders continue to report that the project is on time with a completion date less than two months away.

That said, there is still quite a bit to be done, with some major carpentry items on the critical path.

The skylight and the vestibule woodwork are due to arrive next week. Then we await the lounge bay structure and the staircase handrail, balustrades etc. We have been assured that Eric the joiner is a good old fashioned master craftsman, and that his work is first class. But he doesn't seem quite so good on predicting delivery dates!

The kitchen is now nearly complete, the coving finished, and all but one window is finished.
I've put a few pictures below, but here is a link to a slideshow of photos taken in the house today.

We helped mum and dad select light fittings from Kok's lighting yesterday, and agreed tiles for the kitchen. So that's two more sets of decisions made.

Some very heavy dining room furniture arrived today from the St Catherine's Hospice furniture shop (including 12 chairs!) and is being stored in the garage. Dad says it didn't cost much and will 'put us on'. And so it will, but I wonder till when?

Now Mum's contents shopping begins in earnest (carpets, curtains, beds, chairs, sofas, tables, ceiling lights, lamps, washing machine, dryer, fridge, freezer etc etc). Any vounteers to help with the decisions?


ps as this project is coming to its last stages, so the next stage is being drawn up. On Thursday evening we visited a garden room extension that our architect designed to get some ideas for a conservatory replacement. If all goes to plan, we should have that finished in time for Christmas.

Monday, 7 July 2008

Coving and kitchen

Miscellaneous shots of the new covings which, before installation, are huge and very heavy. New picture rails have also been fixed. Special adhesive is used for the covings, and they are also nailed into position for safety. Having had to use nails to ensure the adhesion of a large ceiling rose which I installed some years ago (DIY) I now feel vindicated!

Also, more progress in the kitchen installation, plus the final renovation of the upstairs sash windows by Ventrolla.

Much remains yetl to be done but we are encouraged by what we see on each visit. As mentioned previously, we still have to keep a close eye on everything to avoid errors, and Celia is ensuring that the finer details meet with her approval.

We have also commisioned a new fireplace interior and fire to match the original surround from a London house (possibly Chelsea) which we found in a search in Manchester guided by Paul.

We have a further review meeting with the Contractors on Friday when we hope that some outstanding questions will be resolved.