Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Little jobs... Relatively!

This new project we’ve taken on currently features a high level to-do list 53 items long. Some items are small but larger ones include “New kitchen” and “New downstairs bathroom” – so if we broke it down to task level it would be many hundreds of lines. We’ll be busy for a while!

Some of the items are smaller, though – everything is relative – so they’re easier to start moving on. Unfortunately the relativity can trick the flawed human brain (or at least mine) into thinking being smaller means they’re small. For example, we have moved several doorways: we’re changing the purpose of some rooms, and a bedroom doesn’t need four doorways (it's arguable whether the kitchen needed four either but that's irrelevant now!).  

Moving a door sounds fairly easy to my ears, until I drill into the detail and realise it means:
·         Making a hole for the new doorway (the easy, fun, sledgehammer part)
·         Installing a lintel over the new doorway (so the house doesn’t fall down)
·         Framing the new doorway (precision is important here, unless you’re happy to have self-slamming doors – we inherited a few of those, it’s not ideal!)
·         Hanging the new door (again, a precision job)
·         Installing architraves 
·         Framing up the old doorway to become wall
·         Possibly installing bracing strips if the change impacts on the bracing elements in the house
·         Installing gib/plasterboard over the new framing
·         Adding skirting board across the new wall
·         Stopping the joins and fixings
·         Sanding (and more stopping and more sanding and stopping and sanding and stopping and sanding...)
·         Painting walls and trims around both sides of both the old and new doorways
·         Installing hardware (handles, door stops etc)
·         Repairing the floor which was previously under the wall 

Here are a few photos from the work done on one of the doorways, which we (i.e. our skillful builders) widened to add french doors: 

Though we’re getting to be reasonably handy on the DIY front we don’t rate our abilities highly enough to believe we could frame and hang a door well, so this is builder territory for us. We’re not too bad at bashing holes though, and are okay at painting, so we still got our hands dirty. 

There are still a few things to do on this doorway - no handles yet and the doors and architraves still need painting - and it's taken a couple of weeks to get this far. Little jobs indeed! 

Do you under or overestimate the amount of work required in projects like this? Has it ever backfired badly?

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