While Travis is away I thought I'd deal with some of the small changes we want to make to the house. I figured a bit of paint and some pruning would be easy to organise and live with.
First on the agenda, painting the dining room and lounge walls. These rooms were painted a deep red, a colour that makes the rooms seem small and gloomy and altogether too cave-like. Before Travis left, we picked out what we thought was a nice warm cream for the walls and called in my uncle who just happens to be a painter/decorator (very handy). Brett duly arrived this Tuesday morning to paint walls and ceilings.
The scope of the job increased dramatically from there. Brett looked at the beautifully ornate plaster ceiling in the lounge and said, "you really need to fix that before I paint it." We knew it was saggy when we moved in, but Travis and I weren't aware of a) the potential for the whole thing to fall down or b) the magnitude of the repairs that might be required. Brett was a bit more savvy though and arranged for the fibrous plaster people to pay me a visit on Thursday morning. And this is what my lounge and dining room looked like by Thursday evening.
The plasterers braced the ceiling to push it back up against the batons, then used a plaster and fibreglass mixture to stick the ceiling to the batons. A prop and flop repair. They sent their lad into the roof space to lift all the insulation off the batons and dust it so that the plaster would stick – I could hear his broom scraping above my head with a sound like a horde of very busy mice. Then they threw the plaster all over the nice clean rafters. The lad, Nathan his name is, kindly offered to take a couple of photos for me on one of his trips up the ladder. This is what the flop part of the process looks like.
Once the repair is complete, they'll put the insulation back in place and the mess will be covered up. They'll do that after they've removed the props and plastered over the cracks and screw holes in the ceiling.
While all this was going on, Brett and I were deciding that the paint I'd chosen was just too yellow. It looked creamy in a small patch on the dining room wall, but came up much more lemony once Brett started spreading it around. We picked something a little more muted and I rushed off to the paint store to buy another 10 litre bucket of paint.
Thus goes my first venture into home renovations – I had no idea. I'll be less naive next time.
I also arranged for a friend who has a landscaping business (another handy person to know) to come and trim the huge holly hedge we have at the front of the house. It's blocking light to the bedrooms and choking out the roses in the garden. Anthony only managed to trim one side of the hedge today – it's a big, messy job – but I can already see how much more light and space we'll have once it's finished.