Sunday, June 05, 2011

Building a Studio 3 - Lack of Progress

The stairs for my studio were ordered to arrive some 12 days ago. This is what they look like.

Not good. The builder is very angry at being let down by the stair maker who has been very reliable in the past. He made the staircase of the house across the road which we inspected before chooing our builder. Mystery is afoot as the stair maker stopped answering the builders calls and the builder became concerned that the joiner had gone out of business. So on Friday he paid a visit to his premises in Wigan. All boarded up. But his cheque has not been cashed. Having been told thsi via email, I rang the joinery business pretending to be a potential new customer who had herd a rumour that they had gone bust. The phone in the closed up business was answered withing 3 rings and I was given an astonished denial that they had gone bust. But still no stairs or any explanation.

Two new joiners are coming out on Monday to measure, the quickest is to get the job. Sadly this is holding up building as both the bathroom and the dormer window are depedent on the very precise location of a supporting wall which cannot be finished until the stairs are in.

Meantime the Velux windows went in the bathroom and the seating area. Wrong type ( I asked for PVC not timber) and in the case of the seating area one the wrong size and position. Grrr. We are working with this builder without plans so we have a great deal of flexibilty as we build. This has huge advantages: cost is one - no need for an architect and the building inspector is on a 24 hour notice call out system so no delays for advance approval of building regs either. More so, I get to discuss options as we go along and that is proving a very good thing as we have been able to make changes for the good once we have seen the space develop. In fact once the floor and ceiling went in and we could see the exact head height the whole furniture placement changed. And we decided to add a dormer.  And it allows the builder to come up with genuis ideas.

For example, you see here this partition wall in progress which is the wall of the bathroom? As you can see from the first photo it is one side of the stair well meaning that it is fairly useless. This bothered Bill the Builder. So he suggested he build a kind of cellar door that will clip to that wall but is releasable over the hole to sit firmly and securely on a lip and can then be stood on, his idea being that the usless wall has just bcome a huge design/display wall. Genuis. ( In my mind it also operates as a kind of drawbridge in reverse to prevent savages who wish to steal my stash from getting up the stairs while it is down. I shall keep a stock of boiling oil on hand.) At the point when we both independently came to the conclusion that the bathroom door should go on an angle to avoid a sharp corner, he offered to hand make me ('in the original price' of course) a shaped window to go above the door which will add light and make a lovely feature.

However, one of the disadvantages of no plans is that you need very clear communication about details. Now I thought that asking for a top hung, white PVC window to span three beams so I could sit and see the view outside was pretty clear. Somehow this translated into a two beam window in timber with a position that shows sky only. Fortunately the builder's philosophy is (a) Can Do  and (b) The Customer Is Always Right. Which is why a replacement larger velux has now been delivered. I should think so :)

Pending the stairs going in all the progress that is being made is me doing the kind of shopping that involves you spending hundreds ( ahem, nay thousands)  of pounds and coming back from the shop with nothing in your bag. The toilet and vanity unit have been ordered as have spotlights and curtains and bed to turn the temporary studio into a guest room.. Tiles have been chosen. Desks, paints and shelves researched and - for let no one say I do not micromanage - the loft floor has been written on with precise instructions for socket locations and furniture postions and the extact width the window seat has to be to fit a roll of wadding inside.

And is there any quilting going on? Well what do you think?!
But I sold Leaving the Accra Quilt Show and it appears that I may have secured a commission for a similar one.


JB said...

Reading this is exhausting. So many decisions! We built a home eight years ago with plans and that was stressful enough. Good luck on your project.

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