O hi.

So it’s been a bit quiet around here for a little while. Sorry to those of you who were desperate for more thrilling updates on boilers and ceilings (and who isn’t desperate for those?!)

I’ve been a bit busy working, being too tired, watching tv, being too tired, sitting around and being too tired which is not a good combo for DIY-ing or blogging about DIY-ing.

I’ll try and do some round-ups of the bits I have been working on but for today I thought I’d revisit a post I wrote almost a year ago and do a general progress report as it is coming up to a year of owning The Penthouse.

A year ago I was still waiting for the paperwork to go through to buy the flat so I wrote a big long list of all the things that would need doing. Let’s see how far I’ve got…


Floors – there are some *very* interesting carpets in every room (including the kitchen and bathroom). They are almost so dated and ugly that they’re cool. Almost.

Yep most of they are still there and I have basically falling in weird love with them. Does Stockholm syndrome apply to floor coverings? They’ve gone from the kitchen, bathroom, sunroom and lobby but are still hanging on in there for now in the other rooms. They’ll probably be the last thing to be replaced once the decorating has been done so I don’t spill paint (which is 100% going to happen at some point) on new floors.

Ceilings – the entire flat has polystyrene ceiling tiles. You know, the sort that are mega flammable. Nice. There is a different design in each room too just for variety.

Oh yes. Those. Well the tiles are gone as are almost all traces of the original ceiling structure. They’ve been replaced by joists, plasterboard and paint. I’m definitely a bit in love with my ceilings (though I have named certain corners after things I would rather have spent the money on).

Walls – pretty much every wall has woodchip wallpaper which is apparently a nightmare to take off. Doesn’t the flat sound like a great place so far?!

Hey, something that turned out easier than expected. THAT MAKES A CHANGE… I’ve stripped almost all the wallpaper off and it was by and large pretty easy. Now I just need to finish it off, patch in the holes and paint them. Thinking that might be a bit less easy.

Electrics – my Dad reckons the flat will need a new consumer unit (fuse board thing) and I have a suspicion that the wiring is generally pretty ancient too and might need replacing completely.

Yep. I got the whole place rewired and discovered that was a pretty good idea as the wiring was original to the 1950’s flat and crazy dangerous in places.

Light switches & sockets – these could do with being replaced and a few more electrical sockets would be handy

I love my new light switches (still).

Heating – the boiler doesn’t work properly at the moment and it’ll be around £500 to get it working again or around £2,000 to replace the old back-boiler with a modern combi boiler. Sigh.

Got me a new boiler too. I know how to treat myself. Thank goodness for warranties though as I’ve had to get mine repaired twice (once when the circuit board stopped working and once because a teeny tiny bit of plastic had somehow wormed its way into the system!)

Kitchen cabinets – the cabinets appear to be largely ok but are rather dated looking and a little shabby in places. I’ll have to work out how many of them can be refurbished and how many to replace.

In the end, they all went. On closer inspection some of them were just a bit too busted up to last and I managed to reconfigure the layout to fit in more storage.

Kitchen appliances – there is currently a built in fridge and freezer but the free standing oven/hob/grill looks quite old and scary so that’ll need to go.
Kitchen sink & worktop – the worktop is basically fine (which so far in the list is a massive relative compliment!) but the sink is pretty icky so that’ll be going.

New everything as part of the kitchen refurb woohoo! Totally haven’t blogged about that. Feel guilty about it sporadically. Doesn’t seem to turn into actual blog posts though oops.

The shower in the bathroom looks fine but the bath and fittings are rather shabby and oddly laid out. and the lighting situation needs some attention.

The bathroom is the least changed so far. Everything is still there but I have at least sorted out the light as part of Project Spend All My Money On Ceilings so no more weird alien shaped light in one corner which is nice.

Three words: Shell. Toilet. Seat.

I replaced that early on with a super cheap replacement which I learned is not really suitable for standing on to adjust light fittings or strip wallpaper but as long as you don’t mind a bit of wobbling if you stand on it it is just fine.

Built-in bedroom/office cupboards – they’re crying out for some cool interiors.

For now I’m just rocking the ‘jazzy’ wallpaper choices I inherited as I haven’t touched these.

Gas fireplace – this’ll be coming out but I’m not sure what to do here instead at the moment.

This was removed when the new boiler was installed and for now I’ve just got a big picture propped up in front of it to disguise the big draughty hole that is badly taped up with cardboard to stop the cats trying to climb up it! Not the most sophisticated of solutions/design approaches but it is a) cheap and b) working so it’ll do fine for a while.

Mystery damp patch in the lounge – this will need some investigating (pleeeeeeaaaaaaase let it be nothing dramatic!)

Have I told you about this? Maybe I’ve whined about it on Facebook? There was obviously a long-running leak from around the chimney. The freeholder has tried fixing it twice now but the rain always finds a new way in so that is an ongoing battle.

Damp in the sunroom – gotta shift that and repaint.

The sunroom has mostly been full of boxes as we’ve done work elsewhere in The Penthouse and I’m only just getting round to emptying it. The damp is still there and we now have it’s dustier and greener cousin mould too which is fun. That was today’s discovery so I’ll be wielding my bleach on that soon!

Front door(s) – the front doors could do with a lick of paint and the interior doors might benefit from a lick of paint too.

I have a whole brand new front door! It was replaced (free of charge!) with a fire door. It currently has a thin patchy layer of primer on it but once it gets warmed and I finally commit to a colour choice it’ll be looking super smart. The interior doors are still untouched.

So not actually all that bad. The place still looks somewhat ridiculous with it’s bare walls accentuated by new patches of plaster and half-stripped wallpaper but hopefully all the big messy (and expensive!) work is done and next year will be cosmetic changes and organising.

I’ve also done other bits and pieces like hang some curtains, get involved in my Residents Association, painted a radiator and painted half of the office as well as installing the kitchen I never seem to get round to blogging about oops.

I’ve had quotes for tiling my kitchen, the tiles have been delivered (and I carried them up all the stairs to The Penthouse which I swear briefly dislocated one of my lungs!) and I’ve put up some shelves in there (which are still attached to the wall!) so the kitchen should be looking super nice soonish.

Jo x


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