Elldrew Exhales, Planet Elldrew

Grand Designs: Week Four

19th November 2012
home renovations week 4

3 OF 7

Week 4 and the house still looks like a bomb site. So much for it being a 4-5 week job…more like a 6-8 week job we think! 

That said, the bedroom suite is coming along nicely with the dressing room being completed – which means that 3 out of 7 rooms are now complete. Of course there are no carpets or lights yet but after 4 weeks of rubble Elldrew are pleased to champion any evident progress. As for the rest of the house, well it’s progressing…we have had formal confirmation that load-bearing-wall-that-supports-no-load does definitely support no load and thus reconstruction has started in earnest. And grand entrance hall light, which you may recall from last week, has been returned and the lovely light man has commissioned a smaller perfectly proportioned version!

Aside from that, progress in Week 4 has been unremarkable. Having received numerous comments questioning our sanity we thought we’d share with our readers how we are living in this shell of a house.

Since Week 1 (when we huddled between boxes) we are now firmly entrenched in the Guest Suite. Thinking positively, this feels a little like living in a hotel room; by which Elldrew mean that we have a bed, an en-suite bathroom, a small wardrobe and a small TV. We don’t however have room service, daily cleaning or a nightly turn down, but that’s just fine detail.

Each morning Elldrew seal the door against dust and each evening (following a brief exploration of that day’s progress) we unseal the room and adopt the appropriate position on the bed. By appropriate position one should remember that the bed, of course, currently acts as sofa, dining table, coffee table and desk as well as sleeping place.

Morning’s have started to take on magical qualities. Take this morning as an example, whilst Elldrew were sipping coffee in our PJs, a small troop of  mini-builders marched past wearing overalls, carrying their tools in hand and on shoulders, with each one muttering a jolly morning greeting. We swear we  heard one whistling “hi-ho” as they walked on by.

Having a fridge on one floor, microwave on another and sink on the third floor also presents a fun challenge, so mealtimes are something of a mix between The Crystal Maze and the Olympics. Every meal begins with a treasure hunt to locate cutlery, crockery, and condiments. With these acquired it’s the beat the clock round. As the microwave ticks down the seconds we hastily clear an appropriately sized serving area on the bed and floor. Once served it’s straight onto the obstacle course where Elldrew carefully try to navigate steel beams, plaster boards, paint tins and other paraphernalia, trying not to drop any food and minimising the amount of dust attracted to it. Eating itself compares to Olympic gymnastics, with the winner being he who successfully balances himself, and his meal, so as not to drop any onto the duvet on which we’re sitting. Fun times!

You would have also thought that in our 4th week it would come as second nature to remember to a) take coffee cup down from 3rd floor to ground floor for a coffee (or it’s a quick sprint back up the stairs), b) pre-fill kettle in the evening to boil water for that morning coffee (another quick sprint up the stairs) or c) make sure hot water timer is correct after mini builders have left in the evening, as turning off power throughout the day means Elldrew wake up frozen as the heating thinks it’s two in the afternoon…we have to hope the stairs are doing wonders for our fitness levels as we are currently squeezing through open wall space to get to the fridge as mini builders are slowly closing up the original door way to the lounge.

Our daily routine is frequently peppered with Ouch’s as we head butt the eaves, and we have learn’t to allow an extra 5 minutes to de-dust clothing before leaving the house. But aside from all this we are rather enjoying the experience. Not sure we’d do this again and we’ll be pleased when it’s over, but so far Planet Elldrew are keeping a smile on their faces.

Next week Elldrew are taking an exciting weekend break but shall endeavour to provide a further progress update. Who knows, with a bit of luck room 4 may be underway!

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