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renovation? Empty renovation?

Post  ChrisG on Sun Apr 20, 2014 10:09 am

Ever wish you hadn't started a project? We wanted to change our walk-in pantry. It had three wooden shelves around the walls, set at quite a large distance apart. Some time ago, we had built some dividers and added cupboard doors. The cupboards didn't actually match the shelf height, so it was a bit of the botch really. Anyway, we decided to take the shelves out and put 'normal' kitchen cabinets in instead.

What a nightmare it has been!

The house, being over 100 years old, wasn't built like modern houses. The shelves, rather than being added to the walls after they were built, were actually embedded into the plaster. Take them off and all the plaster comes off too!

The walls were also painted in the past with distemper - and anyone who knows anything about distemper knows that nothing, nada, zilch, sticks to it - including paint (we discovered that the hard way!) and plaster. So the distemper needed to be removed. Now, there is no easy way to remove distemper from walls. It is hard slog with a scraper - resulting in lots and lots of nasty dust, which doesn't stay in the room where it is generated. Oh no, it needs to sneak its way out under the door and into every room in the house, whether on feet, hands or clothes, or by floating seemingly insignificantly on breezes you just didn't know were there.

So, two weeks later, the distemper is all off and the walls are ready for plastering. At least, the parts of the walls where the plaster had removed itself along with the shelves. Browning (plaster undercoat) and plaster mixed and attached to the walls. Now it's time to add the cupboards.

Except the walls are not straight Shocked ! So, the cupboards don't hang straight without more serious scraping to remove plaster that from the parts of the walls hadn't needed replastering in the first place, but now it does! Urgh!

Try again with the cupboards. At last they are going into place nicely. At least, along one wall they are. Apparently, the corner cupboards, although advertised as being a certain length and actually measuring that certain length, have to be hung several centimetres from the corner, which means the calculations for fitting x number of cabinets in the available space, with 4cm left over, now don't fit!  Mad 

The whole thing (so far - it still isn't finished quite) has now taken ten weeks!! What with the plaster falling off, the distemper removal and the replastering, then waiting for it to dry out, then hanging cupboards on walls that are not all takes so much time!

I'm sure they will be lovely when they are finished (I hope) and I am soooo looking forward to having my kitchen back - which is where all the pantry contents have been lurking for the last two and a half months - on the counters, the table, the chairs. Can't wait!

Now, what shall we work on next??  Shocked 


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