It’s been a while since my last update. Well, the builders are nearly done with the extension now, in fact they stopped turning up every day at 7.30 about 3 weeks ago. Things have slowed down quite significantly as we approach the final stages of the build.

The bi-fold doors went in, but there were problems. I thought they looked OK from a distance, and they do, I mean you can see the whole of our back garden now and finally light is coming into our downstairs. But there are big gaps at the top of the doors and around the triangle window. Things aren’t evenly lined up. And to Chris’s eagle eye it’s looking really messy.

Our roof is leaking a little. The roofer ran out of mastic when he was tiling and he hasn’t been back yet. That was around 3 weeks ago.

So there are some minor hurdles. Our builders and our bi-fold door supplier have suddenly become very difficult to get hold of. Yes, it’s Christmas but it’s very frustrating.

So things have slowed down, which is inevitable after rapid progress when the builders were in every day for 2 months. Now we have to do things in a certain order, and the bi-folds are holding the whole process up. Until that’s sorted we can’t plaster. Until the plaster is done we can’t put the boiler on the wall. Until the boiler is on the wall we can’t hook up our underfloor heating. Then we can only crank it up a degree a day.

Here’s hoping that mild weather continues for a while. And not too much rain until our roof is fixed.

In the meantime, it’s back down to us to get stuff done, so Chris ripped out a cupboard and we started to put up the ceilings again – lifting a very heavy plasterboard and drilling it to the ceiling. I swept up after the builders, kicking up a tornado of house dust…

So it’s an interesting phase. The tradesmen have gone AWOL, leaving piles of building rubbish for me to sweep up. We’re chasing various people who aren’t responding quickly. We’re also trying to plan for the next phase; finalising quotes for various kitchen designs, trying to work out what we can compromise on to get quotes closer to what we can afford; selecting flooring materials, tiles and wooden floorings, deciding what match and where to source from; looking at light fittings, switches, spotlights, sockets. Lots of decisions. Lots of arranging and herding others. Lots of small unfinished bits to tie up. It’s a little crazy and testing our patience.

And spending a few days out at family houses for Christmas has also been testing. Warm houses with carpet, central heating, hot showers and wonderful cooking areas. Then returning to our draughty, dusty, cold, echoey shell of a house. Deep breathes, get the blanket, and keep going…

Newsflash: Our builder showed up this week to fit our backdoor. Which looks great apart from a slightly wonky handle. And he also finished off the masticing on the roof. So now we’re hoping for rain to test our roof. If it leaks we need to know before the builders disappear forever…




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