Wednesday, June 6, 2012


Last time I showed you pictures of our beautiful new wood floor in the hallway. We left proper expansion gaps around the perimeter when we installed the floor but as the wood had been stored outdoors we didn't expect it to expand much anyway. WRONG!
The next time we got there, the 15mm gap between one wall and the floor had shrunk to zero and the floor was buckled. So far we haven't done anything about it. We could try to cut the floor where it hits the wall using the MultiTool (Fein Multimaster knockoff) but the boards are screwed in place and I'm not sure if the screws allow for enough movement to stop the buckling and creaking once we cut the board. The only other option is redoing everything.

Right now I'm working on something completely different. A close friend's mom asked me to help her renovate a 1960 flat. The last people moved in there when it was built and moved out feet first. Needless to say there is some updating to be done. They did occasionally re-paper the rooms (including the ceilings) but always in very old-fashioned patterns. The rooms have 10x10cm parquet tile (probably solid oak), the bathroom is tiled, the kitchen, hall and WC have/had dark green vinyl. Instant depression!

The bathroom was redone in 1971 (we found leftover tiles in a box wrapped in newspaper) and looks it - rose patterned tiles and a bath worn almost through the glazing down to the cast iron plus dripping taps and drain on the sink. The only light was provided by an 18W fluorescent batten with completely yellowed plastic cover.

The WC was even worse - dusty pink PVC tiles and yellow wall paint never(!) repainted in 50 years.

We also replaced or fixed about half the wiring in order to bring it up to modern standards and make it safe. However, heating is a disaster. There were two gas stoves, one of which was removed because it scared my friend's mom. The larger of the two bedrooms has/had an electric storage heater, a solid tiled monstrosity. Yesterday I discovered that the boss started to rip it apart and quit when she found it to be lined with asbestos. Told her that right from the beginning *sigh*