Today's the day building work starts

(56 Posts)
Reastie Mon 08-Jul-13 07:43:45

I've been posting on here for months various questions ( thanks for all your help btw) and today finally is start day for building works. We're having work done on the kitchen and dining room.

Spent the whole week end clearing out both rooms and we are now living in a make shift kitchen and dining room which is in the playroom.

I'm rubbish with people in my house and am feeling sick with nerves for the month or so ahead where it will be mayhem. I'm very fussy but also not very assertive.

I'm excited for the end product but not the work to get there!

Any tips to get this to go well? Anyone else having building work done and need some fellow hand holding?

Sushiqueen Mon 08-Jul-13 08:10:28

We are having our kitchen done at the moment. it has been a week so far and also have a makeshift kitchen (except ours is in the garage). Just grateful that the weather has been ok so can have Bbq's especially as Dd won't eat ready meals.

It will be another 2 weeks until ours is finished and I can't wait to be able to put everything in its rightful place.

At least you have good weather for it smile

Reastie Mon 08-Jul-13 08:13:15

You're right there sushi on the weather. I've made some frozen microwave meals we will be working our way through and have 2 microwaves to cook in! Our makeshift kitchen isn't so bad (although I'm terrified of ruining the playroom carpet which is quite new) it's just the dust and noise and intrusion of not having my own space IYKWIM. My 2 yo DD is terrified of loud noise. Utterly terrified. I don't know how she's going to cope with the noise confused

Sushiqueen Mon 08-Jul-13 08:22:03

I did frozen meals as well which has been a big help.

Are you able to block off the area at all - keep other doors shut which might lessen the noise a bit?

I can definitely relate to the own space bit. I work from home a few days a week and although the guys are great and don't expect anything, it is still someone in your house, causing you to change everything you do. I have been having to walk out the conservatory, outside the house, then come back in the utility room to get to the makeshift kitchen. Becomes a right pain after a while especially when you have a dog following you all the time.

I must admit though they have been fantastic at cleaning up every night and work long days to get the job done.

Hope it all goes well for you and your dd copes - few trips to the park might be needed!

Jacaqueen Mon 08-Jul-13 09:24:49

I am about 6 weeks into a 14 week build. I still have use of my kitchen for another week or so but after that it is going to be chaos. They are building the new extension part first and then they will do the knock through. Kitchen and utility will go into the new extension, with a bedroom and ensuite above. Old kitchen gets extended out to provide dining and sitting space.

My builders are so nice and polite. Don't drink tea or coffee and try to be as unobtrusive as possible. One of them looks like Javier Bardem so that helps as well.

Not too bothered about the cooking but not sure how I will cope without the washing machine. Alcohol will probably help.

Reastie Mon 08-Jul-13 10:29:12

Well, builders have arrived and the 2 working today are really nice and polite and friendly (thank goodness). I might even buy them cakes later as they don't drink tea or coffee either. Hope they are the main ones who do most of the work and not just the initial remove everything people.

jaca your works sounds like you'll have an amazing house at the end envy

sushi we will block off what we can and see how it goes. We're on holiday for a week next week thank goodness so at least will be out of their way and with a proper kitchen. I miss the dishwasher so much already! Having to wash up in the bath just is not fun.

MummytoMog Mon 08-Jul-13 11:49:58

I'm starting today too. Feel sick as a dog about it all, we're starting at the top with a loft conversion, and working our way down to the bathroom and then the kitchen. Have a remortgage application going throught to fund the kitchen and bathroom, and terrified that is going to be rejected and we'll be stuck half done. I cleared the attics into the garage, which is going to be a pain when I have to clear the garage so it can be demolished...

Reastie Mon 08-Jul-13 15:14:05

mummy hope you get the remortgage, what an added worry on top of everything.

Well, kitchen has been completely cleared out ready for electrics tomorrow. I've got an IBS attack from the stress confused there's no hope for me is there

Yorky Mon 08-Jul-13 15:55:46

We have just about come to the end of 4 months of building work, you sound like me, know what you want but not great at teling other people. I'm ashamed to say I hid behind my husband a lot, he has no qualms with 'we're paying for this so they'll do it our way'
I did better than I expected with people in the house all the time (still nice that they aren't here as often now)
It did drag towards the end, for at least the last fortnight I just wanted it done, but I can still say, hand on heart,
It was SO totally worth it smile
You can do it, keep us updated and lots of pictures

Reastie Mon 08-Jul-13 16:02:14

Thanks yorky , will have to take daily picture updated won't I! What did you have done to take 4 months?

MmeLindor Mon 08-Jul-13 16:27:49

We have just finished a project that was supposed to take 4 or 5 weeks and ended up taking 8 weeks.

I would say

- prepare yourself for a delay. There will be somethign that goes wrong, or you haven't though of, or the builder forgets to order... Don't get upset and panicked about it. It will be worth it in the end

- at the same time, don't cut corners, just to get finished earlier. We had option of going for a plainer wet wall for the shower, instead of waiting a week for the one we wanted. NO BRAINER. When you are waiting for it, you might think that the plain one will do, but later you will always regret not waiting that one week.

- get assertive. You are spending a lot of money on this project, and you can only spend it once. If you don't like it, say so. Think about the time it took you to save (or to repay, if you have borrowed) to pay for the work.

- Forget cleaning as you go along. Sweep occasionally to keep it in check, but don't waste your time.

- Wait till all the work is done to put up fancy lamps. I had to climb a ladder today and clean ours again, cause it was manky.

Reastie Mon 08-Jul-13 16:37:51

mme 8 weeks for 4 week job? <sigh>. This is due to be a 3 - 4 week job. I'm rubbish on the waiting for the right thing - I just want it finished and done but you are very right, I must get better at this.

MmeLindor Mon 08-Jul-13 16:49:19

Well, to be fair. I wanted it to be a 4 week job. I think 6 weeks was realistic, and 8 weeks happened because of aforementioned wet wall.

It is all rather luffly so well worth it.

Reastie Mon 08-Jul-13 18:30:24

Care to share a picture of the work mme so I can drool and have hope for my hopefully lovely new kitchen?

Yorky Tue 09-Jul-13 10:54:31

We turned a small single storey extension into a lovely long kitchen diner with 2 new bedrooms, and en suite and a utility room over smile
Pictures here
although not too many recent ones as my phone doesn't seem to want to upload any atm

It did take longer than we wanted, or maybe it just felt longer, but we survived living in the house with 4 DC (eldest aged 6) while walls were knocked out. The builders were great, our 3yr old misses them!

MummytoMog Tue 09-Jul-13 11:07:43

Well we got off to a flying start - scaffolders were supposed to come first thing. They arrived mid afternoon, dumped their stuff and left. Have promised to come today and get scaffolding up. However, they did catch our neighbour in (shared drive of DOOM) and have agreed with him that they'll put the scaff up so that he can still get his car down to his garage/shed which is apparently VERY important to him. I offered to leave our car on the road, so he could park on our drive, but this was not acceptable, so I'm glad the scaffolders have worked something out. And that I don't have to have another incredibly frustrating conversation with him.

In other news, I also had a good conversation with our bank, who sound like they would be prepared to remortgage us if our current application fails, would just have to wait for the loft conversion to be completed, so we'd end up with a delay, but only a month or so and we could probably cover that ourselves. Would cost more (higher interest rate) but nice to know we have a fall back if it all goes tits up. And (due to the requirement for CRAZY expensive fire doors) I have been investigating reclaimed floors for the kitchen/diner. Not as hideously expensive as you might think. And I have three brothers. Brothers who owe me many many favours...

I really want to ogle your extension Yorky, but will have to wait until I'm home and can log in properly! Sounds similar to what we hope to do downstairs - I'm desperate to have a utility and a downstairs loo for the kids. Sick to death of the potty.

Reastie Tue 09-Jul-13 13:36:27

yorky that's a fab fb page

mummy great start hmm but good news on the bank front.

We have electricians here today and then plastering tomorrow and Thursday.

MmeLindor Tue 09-Jul-13 13:58:23

oooh, love the pics Yorky. Will see about putting some pics online. I have been meaning to but haven't got around to it.

Reastie Tue 09-Jul-13 15:18:37

Yes yes to sharing piccies. Have put a piccie of my lack of kitchen as it looks now on profile.

Work surface has arrived, looks fab grin

MmeLindor Tue 09-Jul-13 16:25:09

Oh, that brings back memories!

Started the blog

These are the before pics. Will put on some after pics when I have time

Sushiqueen Tue 09-Jul-13 16:26:55

I have half a kitchen, most of the units are now in, most of the first fix electrics done (he needs to turn up to do the final part!! been waiting since last Friday),

Wprktops were templated today and get fixed in next week. Then the electrics can be connected up and the sink, plus the final units go in (but of course the kitchen fitter is on holiday after this weekend so we have to wait until end of July for those, plus the cornices etc.

Oh and the plinths aren't going down until the tiling is done, which can't be done until the other door in the kitchen is blocked in, so that the skirting board is all even. And god knows when that is being done.

But at least I should have a working kitchen again at the end of next week - well that is the plan at the moment.

Reastie Tue 09-Jul-13 16:28:11

mme we NEED after pics grin

NeatFreak Tue 09-Jul-13 16:33:38

We are just over 5 months into an extension ( very big one!) and have been without a kitchen for close to two months now. Build was meant to be finished before baby arrived but said baby is now three weeks old... Two older dc are still sharing a room (and arguing/ staying up late every sodding night) and we have only one working tap in the entire house, which is upstairs! However, the builders are lovely and are now starting to plaster etc and we have finally chosen a kitchen so we are on the final stretch and it will all be worth it!

MmeLindor Tue 09-Jul-13 17:24:13


Will update more in the coming days. Still some bits and pieces to finish off.

Reastie Tue 09-Jul-13 18:19:01

wow mme that looks amazeballs. FWIW PIL have done the same thing re: no bath. You have to live in it so do what you would like/use IMO.

neat 5 months <faints>. I take it you're finding it hard from the nn wink

MmeLindor Tue 09-Jul-13 19:12:35

I think I would have to leave the country. (except you can't while work is going on cause there are so many tiny details to be checked)

NeatFreak Tue 09-Jul-13 19:32:27

It is far harder than I thought. I insisted on hiring a self storage room to stop 'stuff'piling up everywhere as we had to empty loft and garage but it has happened anyway. I coping by keeping one room relatively clear and nice and spending all my time in there. Builder now refers to us as his second family but that doesn't make it any less awkward when I am sitting in 'nice' room trying to breastfeed fussy newborn and he sticks his head in to ask a question! The extension will add a huge kitchen/ diner, utility room, new entrance hall, two new bedrooms and two new bath rooms so it will be amazing when its finished but it has been a really long slog.

We have a makeshift kitchen with a few camping tables, mini oven/hob, microwave and food/ cooking equipment in stackable boxes and are coping ok- the hardest part is trying to wash up when we haven't got running water downstairs and I can't lift anything heavy due to cs, such as bowls of water or dirty dishes!

If you need any tips etc probably best not to ask me as clearly we haven't managed it very well and I am not enjoying the experience at all... My beautiful baby is keeping me relatively chirpy though!

Reastie Tue 09-Jul-13 21:06:07

<takes hat off to neatfreak>. I'm not coping and it's a month long job which I am 2 days into, goodness knows how you've managed!

MmeLindor Tue 09-Jul-13 22:03:56

Oh, you are a wonder, Neatfreak. I would be a puddle in the corner of that one neat room.

I agree with the putthingsintostorage advice. I wish that we had just packed everything up and put it into storage. We did with some stuff, but in dribs and drabs. It would have been so much easier to completely empty the house and be done with it.

MummytoMog Tue 09-Jul-13 22:19:20

Have just spent over an hour filling out the remortgage application. I'd forgotten how horrible this was. Scaffolding is not completed, but have had sneaky thought that I can repaint the front of my house one weekend and hope they don't notice I've been on their scaffold. So that's cheered me up.

Reastie Wed 10-Jul-13 07:10:26

mummy sad . I love the idea of repainting the house - excellent idea. They might not even notice hmm

We've got nothing in storage, just everything pushed into other rooms. Everywhere is a mess! But we're only having a couple of rooms done, it would be truly nightmare-ish if we were having more done.

Right, now, how to do my insanity workout dvd today without the builders noticing grin

MummytoMog Wed 10-Jul-13 12:25:06

So scaffolders not shown up to finish job yet, but a pair of chippies rocked up and immediately started sucking their teeth and complaining about having to cut the water off and the dodgy electrics (loft is run off a spur from the upstairs sockets and the fuse is shared by the kitchen sockets. We mentioned this repeatedly to the contractor as we're going to completely rewire the house at some point during the build). Eventually they decided to cap them off for now and my brother will investigate on Sunday (when he comes to repaint my house!). Have since had a text asking if I have a hose. I don't. I assume they're draining down my system to remove the loft radiators. I really hope they know what they're doing. That boiler was expensive and it's only two years old.

Reastie Wed 10-Jul-13 19:05:18

mummy confused hate that teeth sucking and head shaking. Not had that yet and crossing fingers madly we don't get it. Hope they know what they're doing and hmm to them asking if you have a hose.

Things OK here. Builders late as bad traffic and then had to wait for a while for another builder to bring in materials. Plasterboard has been started to be applied. Apparently they accidentally set the alarm off via the panic button when plasterboarding and had to ring DH for the code! Alarm now not working but luckily alarm man coming tomorrow by coincidence to service alarm so can sort that out then. If it had to happen it was a good time for it to happen!

Have headache from hell today confused and biggest pain if being stuck in all day tomorrow to wait in for alarm man and delivery of wood for DH having being stuck in this morning AND all day Tuesday for deliveries of things I need to check/inspect <sigh>. All this lovely weather and we are trapped in one tiny room with everything in it. DD is going crazy and behaving awfully from boredom already.

Shamoy Wed 10-Jul-13 19:20:36

We had building work start this Monday too! Ours is a 10 week job. So far so good! Builders are turning up at 7.30am and seem to be motoring through the work so far. We've already got a wall knocked through downstairs!
I just had to clean the bath for the second time today so that I could bath he children. It was full of builders dust!
I'm not looking forward to the early starts and the really really loud noise during the holidays!!

NeatFreak Wed 10-Jul-13 19:52:28

It feels better knowing others are going through similar experiences. Just had total meltdown on dh after convincing my 5 year old to fill some empty water bottles from the bathroom tap upstairs so I could boil the kettle and wash up after dinner and fushing through it before the baby woke up. It's been going on solong, I'm sleep deprived and breaking point has officially been reached sad. Builders were here for most of the day and have done some plaster boarding, a bit of plumbing (can't tell what but know they were doing something!) and finished off the doors/ skirting etc. I could go and stay with family but not for another 2.5 weeks by which point there should be much more progress (fingers crossed!) so it'd be a bit pointless, especially as they are 400 miles away and we are visiting in 5 weeks anyway...

Tomorrow is a new day so here's hoping we all have productive builders, little mess and lots of progress!

MummytoMog Thu 11-Jul-13 00:17:06

Ok, Neatfreak, that sounds awful! At least we still have the run of the house mostly. Got home late, found scaffolding still not finished, but finished enough to cut off our satellite signal (annoying but bearable) but also our neighbour. Which is not acceptable. Scaffolders say builders need to sort it out. Builders of course are not here to ask. Neighbours being nice, but I bet they're pissed off, I would be. Anyway, builders have also left combi boiler with nil pressure, which I don't think is good for it from what the gasman told me when he fitted it, so will have to check I can refill it tomorrow as radiators are off, but I can't see any sign of capping on the pipes. Buggrit. And the lazy buggers did sod all today except break one of the loft windows, which fortunately is being replaced anyway but still hmm

Reastie Thu 11-Jul-13 07:31:01

mummy <sigh> for you and the satellite signal and boiler. Hope lots of things happen today for you.

neatfreak are you OK this morning? I'm not surprised you had a meltdown, it sounds so stressful I don't know how you've coped so well already. Do you have any friends you could stay with at least during the day to get some peace?

shamoy sounds like an impressive start. There's dust here everywhere too confused

Plasterboarding and plastering today hopefully and alarm service/moving some alarm points.

MousyMouse Thu 11-Jul-13 18:26:54

we are getting a new bathroom right now.
it's a bit of a pain as this is the only bathroom in the house. at least the weather is lovely and we have a lido nearby...
agree with the others, expect delays. dismantling was supposed to take a day, another one for the dry lining and then another 3 days for tiling.
we are on day 5 and the dry lining has nearly finished.
the dust is unbelievable.
I mop through the hall every evening to keep a bit on top but you woukd never know...
can't wait for the finished article!

Reastie Thu 11-Jul-13 18:34:52

Well, we've had electric first fix and plasterboard up, they are plastering tomorrow. Monday the electricians are coming to do more work and then they need to do some plumbing for a washing machine and then it's all systems go to put in the new kitchen (which is already made up) then cutting worktops, doing tiling and then putting in floor. I'm thinking a month should be realistic (3 weeks after this week), please let it not take longer!

mousy welcome. it's so nice to bore share with other people going through the same thing

MummytoMog Thu 11-Jul-13 19:00:41

Well builders agreed to pay for next door to have their dish moved but not ours. Ours has miraculously started working again, so we're going to leave it. Went round to apologise and explain and neighbour was really really nice about it, although I have since heard that the scaffolders blocked half my neighbours in their drives and then buggered off to get lunch. Not my favourite scaffolders then.

Back dormer is GONE. Most of the pent roof is also stripped back, to prepare for going out to the gable end, so they're getting there on demo.

MummytoMog Thu 11-Jul-13 21:36:47

Scrub that - can't refill boiler and sky is not working now it's the evening. I've shoved loads of water in the boiler and it's not gaining pressure, which makes me think there's a loose radiator valve upstairs. I can't check of course, because there's a bloody great piece of wood screwed in, blocking my access to the loft and I ain't climbing the ladder without someone footing it. I shall leave a note.

Reastie Sat 13-Jul-13 05:52:34

mummy <sigh> oh dear, just as well it's hot and you don't need the heating on confused . Do you have any hot water?

I'm on holiday later (thank goodness I'll get away from the works!) so might be away from the thread, but please keep chatting, I'll be back!

Kitchen arriving on Monday and sad I won't get to see it but it's possible the kitchen might be at least partly fitted by the time I get back grin

Shamoy Sat 13-Jul-13 08:15:51

Our first week went well! We now have a wall missing downstairs which is being held up by big metal bars all through the walls up and down stairs. Going to have the steel put inside the wall to support it next week.
Am finding it very exciting to be choosing the tiles we want and the paint colours etc, which offsets the noise and dust and helps focus on the end result!!
Nice to have the weekend off from the noise :-)

MousyMouse Sat 13-Jul-13 18:55:13

finally all wall tiles are done, floor tiles tomorrow. and a big deadline: the plumber comes monday to install sink, bath, radiator...
my poor relative, working so hard and trying not to curse with the dc around.
hopefully I will be able to take a bath monday evening!

MummytoMog Sat 13-Jul-13 22:41:15

Well next door are all sorted with the Sky - phew! There is now a suspicious damp patch on DD's ceiling, which I think may be from me trying to refill the boiler and I just went outside and there's a light on in the hole in my roof!!

And breathe, because my brother is coming tomorrow to disconnect the electrics and we can work out what is leaking and what light is on and it will all be fine, yes it will.

Those of you at the kitchen fitting stage, and tile picking stage, please cheer me up with lots of lovely beautiful things - I know it will come good, and everybody hates this stage!

MummytoMog Sat 13-Jul-13 22:42:20

We do have hot water. And we also have lots of roof trusses to burn in the stove this winter which we will need as god only knows if the boiler will still be working or connected

Reastie Wed 17-Jul-13 18:43:39

How is it progressing everyone?

My Dsis is emailing me update pictures whilst I'm on holiday this week. The kitchen has been delivered but not in yet and they've put it in the sitting room with my beautiful expensive cream carpet which I specifically asked the builders not to put it in confused . Please let the carpet not be ruined please let the carpet not be ruined.......

MummytoMog Wed 17-Jul-13 21:20:45

Skip finally showed up, a week late. I have almost no roof now. I've also moved a LOT of wood down to the end of my garden. I may need a new wood shed. I'm feeling very tense about it all, and have basically no confidence in my builder after last weekend. Someone reassure me that I won't spend the next six months wanting to kill the builders every single day.

MummytoMog Wed 17-Jul-13 21:21:26

Oh and stuff on the cream carpet, wtf? They will need to pay for the cleaning if its dirty right?

Reastie Thu 18-Jul-13 08:27:41

I'm not sure mummy I hope they would sort any mess. I'm extremely fussy in there - no shoes allowed and DD not allowed to eat in there becasue of carpet confused . I'm sure your builders will sort it out and come through and you won't want to kill them in the end but you may a little bit sometimes

FayTality Thu 18-Jul-13 09:35:22

May I join the gang? We're about to start an extension (next Tuesday) so I am still in blissful ignorance of the stresses involved! I also have an exam to sit at the end of August, so my biggest concern just now is juggling studying and coping with the extension confused.

We're planning a full width, single storey extension across the back of the house to link together the current kitchen and dining room, and create a large, open plan kitchen/living/dining space with bifold doors out to the garden. The builders reckon it will take 14-16 weeks - we are planning to hold my husband's 50th birthday party in the house in 20 weeks' time, so hopefully things won't overrun too badly (or it will be a December garden party shock).

I'm nowhere near ready for this! AAARRRGGHH! <breathe>

On the plus side, our house used to be two flats, so we have a second kitchen upstairs, which means that we (hopefully) will retain a functioning kitchen throughout. The only issue is if they need to access under the floorboards there in order to hold up the back wall - we will have to wait and see.

Anyway, I love the idea of keeping a record of progress throughout, so will make sure I get lots of before/during/after photos.

Good luck to all!

Reastie Thu 18-Jul-13 14:31:41

Please do join fay . What exam are you studying for? <nosy>
. I keep telling myself it will be worth it in the end. Mind you, that's easy for me to say from the luxury of my holiday - I'll come crashing back to RL tomorrow when we get back to our tip of a house with still no kitchen confused

MummytoMog Thu 18-Jul-13 16:12:52

That kitchen diner sounds lovely! That was sort of what we were going to do, before we got all carried away (for which I am now kicking myself). Lots of in progress pictures please!

My bathroom ceiling has apparently developed new and exciting cracks. Builder says not to worry. Of course it's not his bloody ceiling, so he would say that.

Reastie Fri 19-Jul-13 19:23:14

mummy confused to the cracks in ceiling. How big are they?

fay that does sound amazing. We were originally going to move windows and doors and the wall between kitchen and dining room but all got too expensive so we plumped for a new kitchen and dining room storage.

Back from holiday. Progress is relatively good and thank goodness my cream carpet not too bad. 2 things wrong with the bespoke kitchen though (not builders fault) - we asked for units to ceiling and they aren't. Shop say they can do it but it'll take a month and will look too top heavy. We've decided to keep what we have but feel confused they didn't mention this when they agreed to do units to ceiling. Additionally we have a microwave unit in a wall cupboard to put our freestanding microwave (with the option of built in in future) and they've done it in oak veneer (same as inside the cupboards) but the kitchen is painted wood so looks really random so need to ring them to redo cupboard. Probably will take them a month to get that done and just want it done. The price we're paying I'm not settling for the oak veneer though. In other news it's great to be back and see it all in RL - it's going to look fab when it's finally finished.

Hoping to paint the kitchen this week end.

MummytoMog Fri 19-Jul-13 19:52:04

How irritating - you sort of expect that when you pay a premium for a personally designed kitchen, then the daft lumps and bumps you get with flat pack don't happen. Glad to hear your carpet is ok though!

Ceilings on first floor are fucked. Will all have to be reboarded and skimmed. DS cannot sleep in his room because of the idiot apprentice putting his foot through the ceiling and I am generally a bit pissed off. So was not amused by the builder buggering off to Madeira next week, and then getting an invoice from the contractor for this stage of the build. He can sod off if he thinks I'm paying that before Monday.

Reastie Mon 22-Jul-13 18:53:57

So how did everyones builders do this hot Monday?

Kitchen here progressing although it turns out our bespoke made to measure kitchen actually doesn't fit and builders have been having to tweak/use their skills to make it fit (although can blame the fact the rooms been plastered and they had to guess the plaster change in size). Rung up kitchen shop about the oak unit that should be painted cream and they don't want to know! They are ringing back tomorrow hopefully they will redo it but have said it will take a month - a month to make ONE WALL CUPBOARD?!!!!! We've said if that's the case they will have to put it up themselves as our builders will be finished by then (I hope!) angry <sigh>

In good news we've started painting the dining room and kitchen. The kitchen a sage green and the dining room a sort of teal ish colour like this

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