Elldrew Exhales, Planet Elldrew

Grand Designs: Week Six

2nd December 2012
home renovations week 6


Week 6 in Elldrew Manor has been a week of mixed emotions. Whether it was coming down from the high of last week’s Parisian jaunt, or that we are just sick of the dirt and dust, we don’t really know, but for sure the first half of the week was one of bad moods, frustration with Mr Builder, and tedium at living in a tiny self contained room. 

Granted getting home in the early hours of Sunday morning only to be woken at 9am by a mini-builder is not the best way to start the week, but this start of the downward spiral was made worse as head mini-builder seemed to abandon us leaving us with Dopey and Sneezy, neither of whom speak more than a word or two of English. Elldrew can now speak from experience when we say that trying to explain, hungover, to a non-English speaking builder that the bedroom chandelier should be 7ft not 4ft off the floor is not easy…much hand gesturing required and much confusion when Dopey mistook the patting of our pounding head as the sign for lowering the light.

In good news, the net result of all that hand gesturing was that by Sunday night the bedroom was complete, and Elldrew managed a smile when we first lit our chain pendant bedside lights and magnificent iridium black chandelier (dimly, of course, we still hadn’t recovered from that Paris trip). Note, by complete we mean painted and illuminated – the absence of carpet, curtains and furniture means it is now essentially storage space for the builders bits and bobs (but a nicely painted storage space, of course)!

Alas the high of the new bedroom quickly faded and our mood took on a tone not far short of Grey Steel 2 (the bedroom colour) as progress for the following 3 days seemed to be essentially zero. With deadlines approaching, the new kitchen remaining in its boxes, and the new boiler choosing this week to develop ‘teething troubles’, Elldrew decided it was time for a head to head with Mr Builder. A polite but firm conversation around timing with Mr Builder on Tuesday, became an assertive altercation by Wednesday, despite his insistence that they were on track and were busy doing lots of small things that weren’t visible to the untrained eye (hmmm…). Fortunately Mr Builder once again affirmed our faith in him and by 9am Thursday morning the seven dwarves (strike that) the seven mini-builders, were all back merrily beavering away!

Sitting here on Sunday morning it certainly feels like someone has waved a magic wand, as in the last 72 hours Elldrew Manor does seem to have gone from zero to hero. No, of course we still don’t have a kitchen, but it does now look like the kitchen fitting is not to far away. The upstairs corridors are under-coated and prepped for painting, new hall lights are hung (minus shades for dust protection), and the floor sanders are busy deafening the neighbourhood to make good the floorboards in preparation for kitchen installation. Assuming the neighbours don’t complain too much and the environmental agency doesn’t shut us down then we hope that by tonight we will have an even dustier house, but lovely polished floorboards, and by next week maybe the kitchen will be starting to look like a kitchen.

In the meantime we’re going to escape from the dirt and noise with a jaunt to buy Xmas decorations in anticipation of having the work done long enough before Xmas to get a tree!

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