Sunday, 8 June 2014

'Twas on a Tuesday morning that the Plumber came to call..

This house is solidly build, but very little has been done to it for years, so I knew I would have to Get Stuff Done.

The first bit of Stuff I got done was the electrical Stuff - replacing some sockets, moving some light switches (I am baffled as to why someone would think putting the light switch 3 feet into a room, rather than, y'know, next to the door so you can turn it on as you go in, and off as you leave) The electricians also checked everything and did a couple of things to improve safety, which seems like a good idea. And put the TV ariel where I wanted it, so I don't have to have wires trailing all over the living room. Which is nice. I mean, I had got about 3 channels, by hanging a little ariel off the end of the curtain pole, but I missed BBC 3 and 4. 

Oh, and they installed a doorbell. Which is good, as I sometimes have visitors who I want to let into the house, and that's hard of they can't attract your attention.

The next (and so far biggest) bit of Stuff I have had done is the Plumbing Stuff, and specifically, replacing the boiler. The boiler which was here was an extremely elderly back boiler, behind an extremely elderly and unattractive gas fire. It had two settings - 'on' and 'off' and was probably at least as old as I am. Maybe older. 

So, I searched for 'boilers least likely to explode and take your house with them', and then got a few plumbers/heating engineers round to quote and to make recommendations, then on tuesday the chosen plumber came to do all the actual work. 

going. . .
As well as removing and replacing the boiler, they took out the old hot water cylinder, and the airing cupboard it was sitting in, the removal of which makes the spare bedroom feel much bigger - it's now possible to have a bed in there *and* open the door!

There was a slightly worrying moment when it became clear that removing the airing cupboard left me with rather less than the recommended amount of floor, and indeed ceiling, in that corner of the room, but happily, a lot of bits of plasterboard later, everything was sorted!

While the plumbers were here, I also get them to put a hand basin in in the downstairs WC (hurrah for hygiene!) and a raditor (hurrah for not freezing!) and they also cleaned out all my gutters for me, and moved my fridge, so I know have a fridge and freezer which both work, in the kitchen, and the one which came with the house, which only works intermittently, is out in the shed as a spare. 

All my radiators now have proper thermostatic valves on them, and I have a new widget for controlling the heating, which is very exciting - it has 7 day programming, you can tell it when you are going on holiday so it will turn the heating on the day you come home, and it even has a little button you can push if you are having a day off work, which causes it to substitute Sunday's programme for the normal one for the day. Those of you who have modern heating systems probably don't find this very exciting, but my last house had a very very old system (options were to have the heating on, or off) and the house before that didn't have any hearting, except for a gas fire in the living room, so it's all new and exciting to me!

For reasons which I do not entirely understand, changing the boiler means I have lots more water pressure than I had before, which has had a very positive effect on my shower!

I was very favourably impressed with the plumbers, who were fantastic about clearing up after themselves, both as they went along, and once they had finished. 

The next project will be to get insulation into the loft (and into the wall cavities, which I suspect are not currently insulated, although I need to check) and then to get the dreadful stone-cladding out of the living room, and removing the equally hideous  charming  wallpaper there, with a view to them getting the whole room re-plastered and redecorated. I need to start getting quotes for all of that to work out whether I can afford it now, or whether I shall need to save up again, first!

In the meantime, I thought this little gem from Flanders and Swann, might be appropriate . . 

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