Home, Just me, Loft Conversion, Project, Property, Property Development, Renovation
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Black Wednesday – Week 11

If you’re in or close to Leeds, you may have heard me on Wednesday last week. You might have mistaken the noise for a small pig being squeezed in a vice, but no, it was me. Screaming. I don’t remember the last time I felt so angry (it was probably the week before) but you know you’ve completely lost your shit when your husband comes home from work early. Without you having to even ask.

loft-conversion-week-10

Don’t jump!

We’ve been waiting patiently for our staircase for 11 weeks now. Keep getting told, they’ll be started on it soon and it’ll be another week. Each and every time a new trade comes in to crack on with their job, I get; “When’s the staircase coming?” “Where’s the staircase? “Haven’t you got your staircase yet?”

Erm, yes, don’t you like it. It’s there. We’ve had an aluminium staircase made to look just like a bloody ladder.

**eye roll**

The last we were told (Monday 14th November) is the staircase was being “made right now”. Factor in two weeks to make and finish and it should be ready for fitting. Which takes us to, ooh let me work that out…. erm… today, it’ll be fitted today. Monday 28th November. Brilliant. That gives us just under 4 weeks to get everything finished off before xmas. It’ll be tight, but I reckon we can do it.

Roll on Monday 28th Nov!

Is it being fitted today?

Well, you’ll never guess what I found out last Wednesday… it turns out, they’ve not even started making it yet. Wednesday 23rd Nov will now forever be known as Black Wednesday. The day I made the pig squealing noise.

So we won’t be done for xmas. Despite it being nearly four months of building work by then. And do you know what? That really made me sad.

To top it off Charlie came home that night and asked, “can we have our old house back now?” Mega mum guilt. Cue me crying inside.

Ok, so that’s all of the crap out of the way. Now onto some of the more positive stuff. You know me, always a glass half full kinda gal.

exposed-brick

The exposed brick wall has been sealed and it’s looking rather dapper. After a fair amount of research on what to use, we opted to try Kingfisher Interior Brick and Dust Sealer in a matt finish and it seems to have worked a treat.

sealing-brick-work

Small areas of the mortar were repointed, left to dry for a few days before the wall was cleaned back with a stiff brush and vacuumed clean. We were never going to get it perfect, so we’ve simply embraced the slightly disheveled, rustic look. Which I genuinely love anyway.

entrance-to-bedroom

We’ve only done one coat which has given a real warmth and richness to the brickwork, helped to even out the tone of the wall and sealed in all that dusty stuff.

exposed-brick-wall

I’ve also been busy sealing all of the plasterwork which was actually a breeze after buying Trade Bare Plaster paint from Screwfix. Oh my word, this stuff is amazing. Rolls right on. No watering down required. Dries quickly and the coverage, for a mist coat, is awesome. I’m only going to need one coat of actual paint on top of this. Nice.

bedroom-door-onto-landing

Skirting and architraves are being cut to size today, but we’re not fitting the skirting until the floor has gone down. More on that to follow. V excited about what we’re doing for the floor.

bedroom-door

The bedroom door, looking out onto where the landing will be. And our aluminium staircase.

velux

The landing still has half of the floor missing as we can’t build any of that back out until the staircase is in. Once that’s done there will be storage built down into the alcoves.

landing

Now i’m standing in (what will be) the bathroom looking out onto (what will be) the landing. You can see the metal frame work for the pocket door here.

loft-bathroom

The door will slide into the wall giving us an extra 80cm/sq of floor space in our 2m/sq bathroom.

shower-room

You can see here where the floor has been lowered and marine ply laid for the shower tray to sit on. It will fit flush with the tiled floor giving the look of a wet room. If the plumber got his measurements right, that is. More pig noises to come if he didn’t.

jt-softstone

Avoiding the standard white shower tray, we’ve opted for a solid black number to tie in with the black hexagon tiles. It’s not just any old tray so I’ll be writing a blog post all about the JTSoftstone cushion floor by Just Trays soon. Gona be so good.

And that ladies and gentlemen, is that. Am I doing your head in yet with all this talk of lofts? I’m aware I haven’t really written about anything else lately, and for that I apologise. The blog is, 99% of the time an outlet for all the ideas and nonsense that’s inside my head, things i’m working on, thinking, planning, finding… The loft has taken over all of these things. I can’t actually wait to start talking about something else. I’m boring myself sometimes.

Thank you for bearing with me. Hopefully it’s helping at least one person out there. Anyone?


Update – 5/2/2018 – Courtesy of Joanna Bailey’s comment below:

” I just want to mention for anyone with a house pre dating 1930 (I can see yours is probably more modern than that) Not to seal bricks! Old bricks with lime mortar needs to breath and their are no products out there that have been approved for this work with things like heritage society. I looked into this a while ago after hearing you could seal outside bricks to make them more water repellent but after lots of looking and advice from a chartered surveyor, I realised their are no safe products to use. Please let people know this to avoid damp soft bricks which will crumble over time.”

25 Comments

  1. I so wish I had heard of that mist coat stuff BEFORE I had painted my whole house. Loving the brickwork and the pocked doors. Gathering all my ideas from you for my dreamy loft conversion which will happen one day.

  2. That brick wall is just everything. It adds SO much character, I love it!! As for your staircase, dear god. What a total nightmare. I will keep everything crossed they pull their finger out soon! xx

    • I also have everything crossed. Heard today that they’d due to fit it Dec 7th. I won’t be holding my breath! Distracting myself with other things like buying towels and loo roll holders, which obviously we don’t need yet at all xx

  3. Keep writing about the loft, I am loving the as we go progress reports. Truly a drag about the staircase – it needs to happen soon!

    Brick wall looks AMAZING, oh my goodness, it makes the room look real, not a square new box. Bathroom is going to make me cry, I want a black and white wet room and always have.

    Hang in there, when it is done, it will be amazing! And to make you feel better, I once went three months having a kitchen reno – all appliances piled in my living room, eating meals that could be cooked in a popcorn popper or a toaster oven, both of which resided on the bathroom counter. Plaster dust absolutely everywhere. It was hell, and it was SO WORTH IT. Yours will be, too.

    • Thanks so much for the pep talk. I know deep down it will all be worth it, i’m just impatient and don’t function well when people don’t do their job. Glad you love the brick wall. All the builders think i’m nuts to leave it like that. Ppft!

      • Builders don’t know everything! When i did that kirchen reno i had them put an outside shower in at the same time, since they were playing with plumbing right there. “You want HOT water?” Well, yes, i already have a hose forcold water. Duh. “OUTSIDE?” Decadent, i know. They did it and it was a wonderful thing. Go with what you know you want.

  4. Oh god I feel your pain, we’re doing our own renovation project and it’s weeks behind schedule, builders always take their own sweet time, we haven’t had a kitchen for six weeks and it’s driving me crazy! It will get there, the brick wall looks lovely!! x

  5. Jen Stanbrook says

    Definitely don’t stop writing about it. I feel your pain lovely lady, you know I’ve been there and it’s really crappy. Particularly at this time of year 🙁 Hang in there, scream all you need to, it will get done and you will get your life back… and have an amazing loft room too! Can’t wait to see it x

  6. I know that when you have high standards (for finish and service and innovation) it is A REVELATION to see that is not how everyone else operates. Consider this a mark of what sets you apart. A cause for pride!

  7. freshdesignblog says

    The staircase saga sounds like a nightmare! But other things are progressing and I’m sure it will all be worth it in the end.

  8. Knowing what you’ve used to seal your exposed brick (and to see it!) has been super helpful, I hope that things start moving quickly for you!

    • Oh excellent! I’m glad it’s helped April. I will no doubt update the blog in a few months to let people know how it’s fared 🙂

  9. Karen,

    I am planning on exposing a brick wall in the near future and have read some post that recommend cleaning the brick with a restoring agent. Did you ever consider that? It looks like the sealer that you used helped clean the residual plaster off and bring some luster back into the brick. Any other tips?

    Pete

    • Karen Knox says

      Hi Pete, no didn’t really do that much to the brick before we sealed it. Just repointed some of the missing bits of mortar, cleaned it back with a hard bristle brush, gave it a hoover followed by two coats of sealer. Still looks fab now!

  10. Joanna Bailey says

    Hi, everything looks great. Hoping to do a similar project in a few years so very interested. I just want to mention for anyone with a house pre dating 1930 (I can see yours is probably more modern than that) Not to seal bricks! Old bricks with lime mortar needs to breath and their are no products out there that have been approved for this work with things like heritage society. I looked into this a while ago after hearing you could seal outside bricks to make them more water repellent but after lots of looking and advice from a chartered surveyor, I realised their are no safe products to use. Please let people know this to avoid damp soft bricks which will crumble over time. Cheers.

    • Karen Knox says

      Thanks Joanna, this is brilliant advice. I have added that info to the post as an update at the end. Appreciate you letting me and my readers know!!

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