Sunday, 27 September 2015

Getting started with the garage...

One of the biggest (read most expensive) jobs planned for this year's renovation tasks is to make some essential repairs to my separate 1960's garage. It is unusual to have off-street parking in this area, let alone a garage, so as ugly as the building may be it was a big advantage when I decided to buy the cottage.

However, unlike the quite robust build of the house, the garage is showing it's age. It needs a new roof, and has some quite large gaps in the brick courses. The builder who has come to look at it for me has identified that the issue is related to subsidence of the slab underneath the back wall of the garage that will need underpinning. This requires approval from two sets of neighbours (those at the rear and those at the side) for a party wall agreement to be put in place.

The rear neighbours (who will be the most inconvenienced) have been no problem at all - those to the side, who own the other attached garage, have proved a little more problematic. Their property consists of a small commercial shop and outbuildings that they now have planning permission to convert to 5 flats. Part of the redevelopment plans involve demolishing their side of the double garage. The owner informs me that they are in the final stages of selling the property to a developer, so will not undertake any discussions about agreed work. Here's hoping that the sale proceeds quickly, and that the developers are a little more accessible in terms of reaching agreement to progress this work. It would actually be better for me to wait to replace my roof once the other side is demolished...but due to the subsidence issue, I can't have this drag on for months.

When the builder came to quote, we also noted some issues with the wood trim on the front of the garage - with the paint in generally poor condition, and a bigger issue on the left side where the wood had started to rot. Based on our discussion, I decided that this was something I could tackle myself whilst waiting for the other works to be scheduled.

We have had the most beautiful autumn weather this past weekend, so I decided that I needed to make the most of it for outdoor painting. Here is where I started on Saturday morning...

 The area where the trim had started to rot

You can see the poor state of the woodwork. Up close, the cream paintwork on the door itself had been badly applied. I think the door was originally white. So I spent the rest of the day washing everything down, scraping paint, sanding the wood trim and garage door, applying wood filler to repair the left side trim, and then repainting everything - garage door included.

By 5pm, the results were...

...weathertight for the coming winter. The colour of the door also now co-ordinates with the front door and fence.

And because I love a good before and after, these photos show the evolution of the front of my property...

June 2014 - in it's original condition when I completed on the purchase

 April 2015 - front door and fence painted, and front garden landscaped

and today

Sunday, 20 September 2015

A barley-twist leg side table...

Continuing with the theme of furniture makeovers, this is the second item that has had a recent revamp. I picked up with little barley-twist legged side table the weekend I moved into the cottage last year from a nearby village for £5. It then sat in its original state for more than a year as other projects took precedence.

Here it is in its original state - no major issues, though it was quite heavily varnished which had started to crack on the table top. My plan had always been to paint the table, but like with the new chest of drawers I added to the sitting room, I decided to leave the table top as natural wood and only paint the frame and legs. I again used ASCP pure - though partway through painting the legs I was regretting not using spray paint!

Like the chest, I sanded the table top and then added a coat of rosewood stain and several coats of Danish oil.

I love the different grains and colours in the wood that are now able to be seen, and the fresh contrast with the white frame and legs...