Monday, March 28, 2016

11 Days and Counting

It's hard to believe we will be living in our new house in 11 days.  Lots of progress has been made recently and the house is almost ready for us to move in.  Last night there was a big storm in the UK (Storm "Katie") and the wind howled all night.  We went over to the house today to make sure none of our new wood fencing had blown away.  Luckily it was all fine. Today is a bank holiday in the UK, so the house was quiet.

There were a few mishaps earlier in the week.  Most of them are in the process of being corrected, but we've had to accept some mistakes and move on.  The frames for the terrace doors ended up being dark green instead of dark grey.  This was due to the RAL colour we ordered (RAL is a colour matching system used in Europe).  Hand on heart, it looked grey to us when we ordered the doors. To change it now would require a lot of cash and a long project delay (sigh).  So we decided to embrace the green.

The washer and dryer were delivered last week, but the guys who delivered it scratched the washer door.  It was replaced two days later without any questions.  Then one of Garett's ovens didn't work when it was connected.  A technician stopped by to look at it, but we haven't heard anything since then.  And finally, three of the glass panels which into the (green) door frames ended up being the wrong size.  So they had to be reordered and hopefully they will arrive prior to our move-in date.

 Easter Sunday - The view of London from Parliament Hill (Hampstead Heath)...between waves of Storm Katie.

The new front door is ready and primed for paint.  We requested that the windows on the door get replaced with opaque glass for better security.

The "library" section of the reception/living room is painted in blue/black (Little Green Basalt).

 Notice my new pendant lights above the island?

Plywood is temporarily keeping out the elements until the glass panels arrive for the doors on the left.

From the kitchen you can see the new wood fencing we installed in the back garden and our small terrace.  These doors slide open and will bring an outside-in feel to the kitchen in nice weather.

 From a distance the colour of the exterior door frames look okay until you inspect them more closely.

Now you see what I mean...

 Goni built a desk for me in the TV room.

 Ryan's bathroom is 95% complete.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

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Here are two pictures of my new niece, Kaylor Ryann.

Sprint to the Finish

A week ago I was worried we wouldn't finish in time to move in on April 8.  The movers are scheduled to show up bright and early that day.  But after a visit to the house this weekend my confidence level is back up.  Goni and his team have just under 3 weeks to get everything across the finish line.  And it feels like it will happen (barring any unforeseen catastrophes).

Garett and Ryan check out the new front door.  I love the new house number etched in glass above the door.

 We need to decide on the color for the front door.  We're debating between "Down Pipe" (first column, last color) and "Railings" (second column, 3rd color) -  both are Farrow & Ball.

In the entry we are going to paint the ceiling "Dash of Soot" from Little Greene.  I'm going for a gloss finish to reflect the light.

Here is Mario at work painting the reception/living room.  This guy has painted the entire house by himself!

This is the view from the entry into the kitchen (powder room is on the left).

The staircase is looking beautiful again.  We're painting the treads, risers and spindles "Off Black" by Farrow & Ball.  The railing will retain its mahogany color.

 The TV room is finished.  It will be cozy!  Paint color is Little Greene "French Grey Dark".

Ryan can't wait to get into his loft bed.  It turned out amazing!  All he needs now is a ladder...

The kitchen is looking good.  The granite and the new backsplash (white chevron tile) are both installed.

We used cement tile in the utility room.  Goni thought the tile was too nice for a space that no one will see, but I like it.  Garett ordered the washer and dryer today.  They will sit under the granite counter.

The wood partitions are ready to be installed in the back garden.  These will give us more privacy and bring a modern, finished look to the space.

This week the back doors and windows will also be installed.  Should look great when they're in. More pictures next week...

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Heading Towards a Move-In Date

Garett notified our builders that we are planning to move in on April 8th.  Hopefully that will light a fire with them.  There is still a lot of work left to be done before the house is move-in ready.

 The back garden has been cleared and leveled (the fig tree stump was particularly difficult to remove) and the wood fence will be built in the next two weeks. Rather than deal with the crumbling brick walls, we are going to build the fence in front of the existing walls.

Charlotte saved the front garden gate from the skip (dumpster) and it will find a new home in the back garden.

 In the meantime, the front garden wall has been entirely removed and rebuilt (picture of rebuilt wall coming soon).

Here is the view from the house looking out the front door.  We need to figure out what to do with that large manhole cover near the sidewalk.  Our plan is to cover it with tile while maintaining access.

 The new corbels and coving have been installed.

 The builders ran out of hardwood flooring for the utility room, so we ordered these tiles instead.  The tiles are handmade in Morocco and they will travel from Morocco to Spain and then onward to London.

John visited us for a couple of days this week on his way to Belgium.  Here he is on Rugby Street.

 We tried to cram in as much as possible in a day and a half. I may or may not have fallen asleep immediately after this picture was taken (proof of a great visit).