Happy New Year everyone!!!
I have to admit, I'm really excited to try and get you up to date with the renovation. Christmas and New Years saw us finally get back into the house side of things (rather than the garden) and we've been sanding and painting and varnishing, trying to get as much done before David had to head back to work on January 5th.
We realised that we really needed to get it done now, or we'd never have the big block of time to spend on it before the end of May, when we're expecting our first child.
Yup, I'm pregnant! And honestly, there isn't much else I can think of as a better deadline than an impending baby!
I'm really glad we have finally started back as well, since there is absolutely no way I'd want to do any of this with a baby. We're currently right back to where we started in June when the major things were being done - dust and stuff everywhere!! We're currently sleeping in the lounge at the moment since we decided to sand/varnish the floors in the new baby's room (our old room) and our new bedroom (what was the office). And then we decided that since everything is out, we may as well paint too...
Anyway, today's little topic - hot water cylinders. Or lack there of.
I think I've mentioned before that unexpected things pop up all the time. The leaky, old hot water cylinder was one of them. Below is our little kitchen in it's original state (taken on a cold Dunedin winter morning before the builders arrived...). The hot -water cylinder box-cupboard-thing is to the right, with the clock on it. If you want to remind yourselves of how the rest of the space looked originally, you can do so here.
You see, the first thing is that we have a small kitchen. I do really like our kitchen, but it is small and the hot water cylinder was in a random and rather inconvenient spot. It was covered by a box that looks like it could have useful storage space in it (see: little cupboard doors) but actually, there was no way you'd want to store anything in them. It was kinda gross and dusty in there. I think they were more 'service' holes (for all that servicing that went on...?) than anything else.
One day, when I was sitting in our 'office' working away and minding my own business, there was a knock at the door - it was the plumber who was there doing some work on the bathroom.
Plumber - "Hi. Um, I have some bad news for you"
Me - "Oh....?" *dread creeps over - can he not do the bathroom anymore for some reason???*
Plumber - "Yeah, your hot water cylinder is leaking. Not heaps, but, it's dripping. It's a really old one too, so while I can fix it, it'll get worse over time and you'll need to replace it"
Me - "Oh..."
After further conversations, it was clear that we may as well do the work that needed doing now (while everyone we needed was there) and that the plumber thought going for gas hot water was the best option. I knew that I wanted to move the cylinder from where it was - it was annoying and took up much needed space. But it would cost the same amount to move it elsewhere as it would to convert to gas and I had no idea where we would move it to in the first place.
David was still away but I managed to catch him on skype and we agreed to go for gas. No more space-hogging cylinder and we'd get good water pressure (goodbye old header tank!) and we'd save money on electricity since we wouldn't be constantly heating hot water.
You can see what I mean about non-useful storage, now that the front of the cupboard is gone. The pipe going up into the roof was the wetback pipe.
As the builders were taking the cupboard down, it became apparent that the visible beam that runs along the ceiling, wasn't actually sitting in the wall. It was about 2cm out. So, the cupboard had been supporting the beam, rather than the wall. Erm... don't worry, the house wasn't going to fall down and the builders put in a new supporting beam against the wall (which you can see below - looks like pink wood) and everything was fine again.
After that, the electrician came and put the plugs that were in the side of the cupboard into the kitchen wall as well as adding two extra at my request (this house is annoyingly lacking in power plugs. We're going to get another double set put in as well on Friday, since our oven has pretty much died, taking with it two power plugs. But never fear, we bought a new one in the boxing day sales and I cannot wait to get baking in it!! An oven with the right temperature?? I'll take it. But alas, yet another example of unexpected things popping up...).
The builders had done a great job of saving as much of the original coving as they could, but they had no more left to finish off the bit where the cylinder cupboard had been. I told them to leave it for the time being while we tried to figure out what to do. And then the plasterer arrived...
His name is Andrew and he looked at the missing coving and said "Do you want me to something about that?".
Me - "Ummm, yes? The builders have no more coving left so we're trying to decide what to do"
Andrew - "I can make something for you. It might not be perfect but it'll be okay"
Me - "Yes please!"
Half an hour later I came back to the below...
Me - "Oh wow! That looks great!"
Andrew - "It's not perfect..."
Me - "Looks pretty perfect to me"
Now that it's all been painted, you'd honestly never know it was any different. Turns out Andrew has done a lot of work on some of the older buildings in Dunedin doing restoration plastering, including replicating some of the very intricate coving the buildings had. Can't get much better than that now can you?