Monday, 7 November 2011

A Little Bit More Progress

Frugaldom House to Home Project Progress

It's now been five months since we moved into our 'fixy-up' and we've reached a point where a little bit more work can be done in order to make the place completely wind and watertight. We were also blessed with a pleasant surprise, when we discovered that the kitchen ceiling was nowhere near as bad as we had been expecting to find it.

Today, after getting the bathroom window properly sealed in, work began on stripping out the old kitchen and back hallway ceiling. For whatever reason, this part of the house, which we think is a conversion from old stables, had been sheeted out in thick chip board and then covered in polystyrene tiles.

Owing to the fire hazard that is polystyrene, all the tiles were ripped from throughout the entire house before even moving in, but the chipboard had to remain in place. To be honest, I was dreading it all coming down in case it revealed rotten timbers!

By lunchtime today, all the old wood had been pulled down to reveal the sarking, which is in surprisingly good condition. Only one part where most of the water had been running in over the previous couple of years, when the property was empty, looks like needing replaced. Savings, savings, savings! I love savings!

This is what got ripped out today.

Imagine if any of that lot had come down on someone's head? Eek! It's almost completely dried out so, assuming we have no rain overnight, this will get chopped up as firewood and stored for using over winter. It should have been done this afternoon, but someone stole all the daylight hours from beneath our very noses!

Our street is a very quiet street. It's normal for it to be quiet, except for the minute we decide to start moving anything out there! As luck would have it, the freight lorry arrived to collect several boxes of books that were being shipped out, at the exact same time as the log delivery arrived. And this was just as 'Ratty' was trying to get all his tools packed into the back of his car after finishing the kitchen work. We had a queue of vehicles lining the tiny street waiting to get to our door!

Tools all packed and away, boxes all shunted out into the lorry and then it was straight to work unloading the logs by hand from friend's trailer, along with a load of wood chips for the duck runs.

It didn't take too long, but then there was the barrowing of it all around to the back of the house before stacking it.

It took only about an hour to shift everything to where it is supposed to be but, suffice to say, lunch turned out to be a very, very late affair. Thank goodness for homemade pea and ham soup and some freshly baked bread.

The contents of the kitchen were returned to their rightful places and then the joiner phoned - to say he would be here tomorrow to measure up the kitchen window and back door. Keep in mind that we haven't even managed to get around to having a letter box installed in the new front door or manage to get around to glossing it, let alone have thought of ordering the window that the joiner is going to be fitting!

Never mind, at least we are quite cosy with the fire blazing, the water heating and the radiators all being warmed by the same logs. I can't wait to get the new log burner, but that's a whole different challenge for 2012.

Our log store has now been refilled and there's a spare pile by the back door, as well as those now stacked either side of the fireplace, so this should keep us going for the remainder of the year - I hope!

The 2011 Frugaldom Challenge budget of £4,000 has now been reduced to £687.36

The 'Everything Else Kitty' is in deficit by £609.71 with no prospect of egg sales since the 'wee minky bandit' incident. (Not bad considering that includes the house move and emergency repairs.)

There's enough vouchers, points and spare change in the Christmas kitty to cover gift buying this year.

The fixy-up (bought and paid for) is well on its way to becoming our 'forever' home.

The next challenge is to cover the costs of insulating and replacing the kitchen & back hallway ceilings, upgrading the electrics in that part of the house, replacing the door and window 'like for like' (which involves having a wooden door made to measure) and then making the most of all that until next year. That's when the real work will begin - doing repairs that others will actually be able to see, like new log burner heating system, interior plasterboard walls, ceilings and proper floors.

Now I need to find the best deal on sheeps' wool insulation, a letter box and a matching set of door handles. Topcashback, here I come! :)

NYK Media


  1. Hiya Frugaldom. I'm not being clever. But? I wouldn't burn the chipboard if I was you. Its full of glue and toxic chemicals. You could probably use it for animal housing if you covered it with felt. The council should also recycle it for free.

    Are there no grants for roof insulation?

    We have a Stanley Mourne (No.Solid Fuel Cooker), it heats three radiators (none in bedrooms) and we cook on it. Food cooks slowly and tastes amazing. We paid nearly 2000 Euros for it. I gotit from the builders merchants and just paid them a hundred or so every month. Ask them if they will give you interest free credit? There are lots of second hand ones for sale. People today go for oil and gas and radiators that only comes on and off and leaves you freezing. Solid Fuel heating is 'constant' heat.

  2. Hi Dave, thanks for the heads up on the chipboard. H is going to remove the nails and square it all off to see if we can felt it and turn it into roofing for another log store! :)

    Re the grants - I have done several checks and no, there are none applicable to us. Nobody in our household has any of the listed disabilities, social security benefits, family situations or are of qualifying age group.

    Now the part I am most amazed at having to answer - you're fairly new to 'Frugaldom', so I'll forgive you for your error, but just this once. LOL

    But, INTEREST FREE CREDIT???? The entire concept of the frugaldom lifestyle is to avoid credit like the plague. In fact, the ONLY acceptable credit is if it's 100% guaranteed to make me money. LOL

    Solid fuel heating is only as constant as the time you spend keeping it burning, but being able to go away for a few days 'at the drop of a hat', no matter what the weather, is something that needs to be considered. If I relied entirely on solid fuel, the pipes would freeze in winter if nobody was here to light the stove and keep the chill off the place.

    Our open fire heats 3 radiators and the hot water, but I'll still have electric heaters for back up and I want a stand alone logburner that can be lit even if the power goes out, unlike the back boiler type, which relies on electricity to pump the water around the house.

    The more you analyse these things, the more you see how easy it would be to simply go out to work, stay warm all day at someone else's expense and then just pay whatever it costs to crank up the heat once you get home. LOL

  3. There is nothing wrong with credit if you need it. Credit creates jobs. I am talking affordable and necessary credit. My Credit Union gave me a roof and plumbing. I am not suggesting credit cards, three holidays in the sun a year, and a new car every two years.

    I'm saying affordable long term credit that gives us ALL our own little warm house.

    If you look back at the 1945 Labour Government they built houses to repair Hitlers blitz.

    When you build houses you create jobs for builders, plumbers, electricians, joiners, carpets, new kitchens, fridges, televisions, computers, everything!

    Britain used to manufacture goods. Now it keeps China and India in business.

    Every time we buy something we keep somebody in a job!

  4. A future possible tip for moving logs - and only if your area uses them - we use our plastic waste-bin on wheels - the smaller of the two. It still takes about 15-20 runs to move our logs but we only 1/2 fill it at one time so we can tip it out near the log store - and we have to roll/drag it over gravel all the way! I fill up and tip out, my OH fills up the log store. Tea and cake afterwards to stop our muscles seizing up xx

  5. And I say b*ll*cks to credit! 'Affordable credit' is an oxymoron, in my book.

  6. datacreata, thanks for that suggestion, apologies for my outburst, but we have only a single bin here, so the wheelbarrow is our best option. H barrows & tips, I stack. The it's time for a cuppa. :)

  7. So glad the roof was better than expected!

    Sft x

  8. So am I, SFT.

    Joiner came and inspected it today and all that's needed is one small support beam, a couple of cross beams and the wooden lintel/beam above the window replaced... then a new window, a new door frame and a new door. LOL


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