Sunday, 8 December 2013

Roof, windowsills and more

Stuff has been happening, rather slowly due to, among other things, the cold. It is as good as winter and there is no heating at all in the house, apart from a little electric fan thing, and all the heat from it dissipates through the multiple holes all over.

As usual... excuse the quality of the pictures. These are taken in as light as it is gonna get here until spring, and in any case taking pictures towards a window in a dark room is never a good idea...

Finally something major happened, after months of rain and delays: the new roof.

The old roof was  not salvageable, rotten beams, roof tiles that pulverise with minimum pressure. Insulation, windows and other stuff still needs to happen. Looking forward to being able to warm up the place. The heating guy will come soon to have a look and start up our central heating installation.

Speaking of heating, we finally decided on a bathroom radiator, a spectacular one if I may say so ;) we ordered it from the UK, (we are going very international with our supplies... within the EU however) and had it delivered. It is still protectively packed, and much (wall, tiles, floor) needs to happen in the bathroom before we can install it. Hopefully but perhaps unlikely, before the rest of the heating is started up. Sneak peek:

Bathroom towel warmer radiator

(Full peek) It is white and brass. That's untreated brass :D the sort of thing that happens to you when your partner is an enameller, I guess. Our taps will also be untreated brass. Is this really happening?

Windowsills have also happened, three (or rather, 2 and 1+1):

White Carrara in the bathroom

White Carrara in the double windowsill of the bedroom, as well

Belgian bluestone in the staircase, 0.5 floor, covered in cement dust
The Belgian bluestone is the traditional choice here, a local type of limestone from Hainaut. I know it is difficult to believe, but there are some rocks in Belgium ;) in Wallonia anyway.

The bluestone is impregnated to be nearly black and less porous, and has little sea creature fossils all over. We've chosen this stone for all our windowsills except bedroom and bathroom, where it really wouldn't match at all. Instead we chose a not too fancy Carrara white with grey veins. The bedroom colour scheme is warm grey and white with a little black (and the old fireplace has some Carrara bits), and the bathroom mainly white with sage green and brass.

We installed two windowsills in the bedroom, we ordered the two stone slabs to touch at the center for one continuous windowsill. Like all windowsills we ordered, they are much deeper than usual. They would have anyway due to the extra width we are adding to the walls with the insulation + plasterboard, but we are having them stick out even further. This will probably give me a headache when it comes to curtains, especially in the extra deep and long bedroom one, which must block out the light (there is a street lamp just outside our window, attached to the façade!), but having as I do a plant addiction, and this being a very dark country during winter, plenty of space close to the windows wins every time.

Bedroom windowsill & isolation/plasterboards & cabling
It wasn't easy placing these huge windowsills, especially since one the windows turned out to be a couple of millimetres higher than the other (which is probably pretty impressive, in fact - coming from Spain I think these Belgians work very accurately ;P). We reinforced them with 4 strong metal L brackets, an absolute must in this case. I am proud of ourselves :D a corner chipped a little but hey ;P

We have been concentrating on the bedroom, which is a relatively simple room. We cannot focus exclusively on one room since pipes, electricity cables and so on have to cross many rooms, and the walls cannot be finished until that is in place. For the rest, we are focusing in the bedroom, next in line being the bathroom next door.

All the pipes and cables that pass through the bedroom, towards the bathroom and up into the attic are now in place, as are the cables and outlets from the bedroom itself, so the walls have gone up as well. Now there's a lot of finishing plaster and then paint to be done. Choosing the perfect grey for the walls is giving me a lot of trouble.

Bedroom windowsill & isolation/plasterboard
The floor will be last, and we cannot bring it in and install it until we have heated up the house, or else we'll have wood movement problems. We are quite decided that it'll be untreated solid oak planks, which I'll tint and oil myself. I guess wood is my weak spot and I simply must do something to it before installing it. Plus we like a deep oak tone, like our windows and antique furniture, that doesn't seem to be fashionable right now.

The entire first floor (bedroom + bathroom) will have continuous flooring, so yes, we are putting wood in the bathroom, gasp, and I am not using varnish... gasp!* I dislike the lay-on-top gloss of varnish, and I have found a waterproof oil treatment meant for kitchens and bathrooms. Wood is too beautiful to put a layer of polyurethane over it! call me crazy ;P

*We are however putting a waterproof membrane under it, because we are not completely crazy. We have considered tiles, but we would have had to remove the entire floor (plus ceiling downstairs...), replace the beams, pour a concrete floor... or else raise the floor an unacceptable lot... nah.