Halloween is creeping in Rise of the Roost readers, and what better time to hide from those pesky trick-or-treaters’ and snuggle down to my latest fortnightly blog. There’s been epic organizing and planning but, don’t worry there’ll be no bored tears here. I shall keep it short and sharp with a few updated pics. Can you believe that in two months from today, Christmas will be upon us? Most of us have already been dreading the pre-Christmas-shop-hype but it seems here in the UK the shops are pulling out every consumer trick in the book to make us SPEND, SPEND, SPEND on every event all at once. Its enough to make you want to shove a pumkin on santa’s head and go run naked into the snow, or maybe that’s just a Norwegian thing?
Anyway…. this however puts the Christmas seed in our heads’, which grows painfully quickly and before you have time to push those present-nightmare issues away, you’re already putting those xmas plans in motion and trying to execute the family visitation Rota. Its all good though, for those with an actual kitchen already in place, you will be fine.
For us “kitchenless” people however, this will be our first decoration.
House Progress? I hear you asking. Yes there is! It was soon back to reality, as Jason got to work bricking up despite a few drizzly days. We have walls and a window gap and a door gap, no roof yet but we have walls! I’m probably too excited about that.
2 weeks before – left , as it is now – right
If you look closely you’ll see all the walls are up, the wall on the right is reclaimed red bricks so its hard to make out in the small photo here. There’s a heck’ load of concrete heavy breeze blocks in the outer wall and lighter ones in the inner wall with insulation in the middle. Aint’ no wolf gonna blow this house down. Jason has added a lintel above the bi-folding door and window frames and also left a space for the all-important cat flap.
This is the (permitted development) space we have gained inside for the kitchen. As this is an L shaped kitchen you can’t really see the whole effect right here as I am standing in the dining room part with the open-plan living room to my right.
Doors to garden (right pic)
Next on the list was the kitchen. Whilst wrapped up in blankets we sat in our drafty front room flicking from catalogues to magazines making decisions on kitchen units and layout options. This took a further week of planning and so we narrowed it down to the Sofia range from Wicks in Cream with a beech worktop. At first we firmly settled on the striking graphite range (I wanted to have something bold) but after much deliberation with the not-to-generous-space of the new kitchen we decided that it would be safer to stick to Cream which made choosing the floor and work tops a much simpler process.
The Sofia range has integrated handles so the lines are very smooth. We decided to go with the inner curves in both corners as this will be a focal point and also ties it nicely with the art deco styling of our 1930’s house. At this stage we are sure this is the best choice for this house but we’ll see how it goes in the further we go with our renovation. When I should have been reading in bed, I took a lot of time (many nights) scrolling through kitchens on Pinterest and it helped enormously.
During our meetings with the design consultant at Wicks we talked through our plans as our man Baz whipped up a quick illustration of how it will look when its finished. The two photos are for illustrative effect only and just gives you an idea. There might possibly be a small floating island but that’s only if we have space. The space is bigger than it looks here. As wicks were offering big savings of 50% off plus another 20% by the salesman.The kitchen came in well under budget which was ideal for us because I never landed that job I mentioned earlier.
The same day we stumbled upon an nice family run tile and flooring shop and found the perfect green tiles to match the kitchen. We’re still a long way off from tiling though, so this will have to be something else to look forward to for now.
This next section of the blog is about Bi-folding doors – so if this part sounds uninteresting you might want to skip right to the end part, I wont be offended.
Another order this week was for this new sleek range of doors by synseal.com. We know first hand through friends of ours that its not worth the risk of skimping on bi-folding doors as the cheap ones are notorious for having weak areas that can be easily breached by someone with the know-how. So armed with that info, we looked into a cost effective alternative. Now don’t be fooled, they are pricy so expect to find yourself forking out a few thousand pounds (at least) for these doors. The price can go sky high depending on the size, material, colour, finishes and accessories you add on. I’m not going to bang on about what are and aren’t great Bi- folding doors, ain’t no body got time fo that, as most appear to be of a decent standard in the first place. Apply the rule “you get what you pay for” and that will give you an idea. Also check out the guarantee that comes with them. If the doors are only assured for 5 years you know they’re probably not going to take much of a beating before they fall off and given that the back door is the most accessible area to break into, do you want to risk that?
No matter how tempting I would advise that you don’t buy blindly on the internet just because they are cheap. See the doors yourself, feel the weight, the movement and the quality of the finish. Some finishes can be a tad “rough” – (I blurted this out to one salesman who was horrified I’d used that word to describe his product) what I meant was, that to the touch it felt rough – like sandpaper, which would be a total pain to wipe down.
In our Bi-folding quest we also learned that most doors have a long lead time – up to two whole months and into next year! and then we were introduced to a new lesser-known product called Warmcore that had a lead time of around four weeks. The doors are designed and pressed from one sheet of aluminum (unlike off the shelf screwed together UPVC doors) And its unique selling point is that they are “Fully concealed multi-chambered cores substantially improve thermal performance when compared to thermally-broken aluminum doors”. – in other words, they have an orange bit inside that traps the air, insulating the doors and the wrapped aluminum doesn’t have gaps to let any wind in from outside keeping you lovely and toasty. Plus, they boast they have a low threshold, ok, ok I’m getting too detailed with my findings. I won’t bore you further about thresholds.
We were told to expect 4 weeks for ours to be made and fitted and would hopefully arrive before Christmas. If they don’t, we’re going to have a very cold Christmas roast. The selling point for me was the “Five-Star” security guarantee against forced entry for a period of 10 years – really, I think that says it all, or at least I hope it does. So note, we have no idea how these doors will look when they come in. I will review them when they have been fitted & tested by us and keep you posted on what I think of them. In the flesh they seem perfect but we’ll wait and see.
See you soon,