1 April 2015

CONCRETE WORK TOPS

One of the most exciting decisions we made during the renovations of our kitchen, 

We spent a lot of time discussing (...and with the odd argument thrown in!), what work surface would be best.  
Was it to be wood, granite, corian, ceramic, quartz or concrete?   
My research lead us to concrete and once I'd seen it, there was no going back. 
I knew it was what we had to have.  

Luckily for us, I found a local firm Low info, who with the help of Tim, 'spoon fed' us through every step of the process.


Once the units where in place, templates were made in MDF. We needed 3 separate pieces... large island size with cut out for hob, L-shape that goes from door into corner then to sink and lastly the section where the sink was to be. 


(above) This is the sink section and below shows the MDF template.


Once the measurements and templates were made, the concrete was filled and caste at the factory. It then needs to cure...

"Curing is the process in which the concrete is protected from loss of moisture and
kept within a reasonable temperature range. The result of this process is increased
strength and decreased permeability. Curing is also a key player in mitigating
cracks in the concrete, which severely impacts durability."

We decided on a natural 'beach white' colour.  To lighten the weight of the concrete, the
centre is filled with a foam plaster board and the concrete poured (sometimes by hand)
around the edges.  Below shows the underneath of the worktop with plaster board in the
middle and the concrete on the edge.



Finally, after 10 weeks of waiting, the exciting day arrives and the concrete is delivered.  
It took 5 strong men to lift the island into place ... 


from van to tressel table ... 


from tressel table to utility room floor...


from utility room floor, then basically sliding it on cotton rags to the kitchen, 
picked up and put onto the units and moved into its final position.




                           (below) The finished work tops in place. 


26 February 2015

KITCHEN AND UTILITY REVEAL

I'm getting a few subtle hints ....
(actually not that subtle, rather more like blatant, honest remarks)
that I'm 'dragging my heels' taking too long in showing the final reveal of the kitchen and utility rooms.

So, I've decided to do things slightly different and show them now, 
then save the updates of details etc for later posts.

Here goes then......ta dah!!!!!...........

 








(below) The utility room ...


 


What do you think of the finished renovations?  
I would love to hear from you.

23 February 2015

STARS AND STRIPES


The kitchen is complete...yay! 

Now time is spent finding new and exciting 'bits and bobs' to put in it.  
Some more practical and some not so...

Something we needed desperately were tea towels.  
This one was found on a trip recently in Amsterdam at Sissy Boy.

The black wooden stars are less practical but look lovely sitting on the concrete worktop.

18 February 2015

JACKDAW UP THE CHIMNEY


Our daughter was woken by loud chirping noises coming from her chimney - 
it's not uncommon for Jackdaws to build their nests on top of chimneys with sticks and twigs, 
which often fall down them - bird included.


The chimney had been sealed off with a board when we renovated the room, mainly because of the mess that the birds had caused in the past. 
We couldn't leave this one stuck up the chimney to die, 
so the board was removed, dust sheets draped...


bird pulled out and rescued....
(funny how my daughter has a bird on her t-shirt this morning!!!)


It flew off out of the window. 
A few minutes later it was back on top of the chimney - 
hopefully not to repeat its adventure again!!

13 February 2015

SHADES OF GREY

'Shades of grey', which I took whilst on a walk today...


homage to the hotly anticipated film adaptation of 'Fifty Shade of Grey
which is released today at UK cinemas!!

3 February 2015

KITCHEN AND UTILITY RENOVATIONS (PART 4)

DECISIONS


After the 'strip out' of both kitchen and utility rooms, decisions from us were necessary.

Our builders helped with the planning for the internal walls.  We were adamant that these rooms wouldn't be cold or drafty.  

The builders offered us with a great source of information and after much discussion, 
it was decided that insulated plaster board was the way forward.


Insulated plaster board has become an important material used in new housing or 
to renovate and refurbish older houses like ours.



There is a layer of plaster board which on the reverse side has an insulating foam.  
The boards are designed for cold weather conditions, reducing the amount of heat passing through them, ensuring a warm environment to live in, reducing energy costs and carbon foot print.  All this was good for us and most importantly for the house as well.



Before the insulated board was attached, most of the positioning for wiring and plumbing had to be made instantly 
- which was a little stressful.  
The pressure was on to get it right!!
Confident with our choice of plumber and electrician, we were guided by their expertise, we listened and decisions were finalized.  


The boards were installed, plastering began on top of the boards and then over night the rooms were transformed... 



(above) Plumbing and first fit electrics installed in the kitchen.


 

(above) utility room showing toilet (right hand-side door)
and cupboard (left hand-side door).


(above) detail of toilet room with first fit plumbing.


(above) walls plastered and doors hung to toilet and cupboard.
Both doors open into the utility room.


(above) First fit utility room plumbing for sink and washing machine.
Also, this is the wonderful new window that has been added on the south side of the house.
It is one of the best decisions we made.



9 December 2014

KITCHEN AND UTILITY RENOVATIONS (part 3)



The building work continues....









(above) Electric first fit


 (above) Boarding fitted around the new utility room window and existing wall of cupboard prepped for plastering.

 

 (above) Toilet room window and walls

We're getting somewhere at last....
day by day, new and exciting things happen to make a change. 

The end of the tunnel is in sight!!