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Dining Room

July 2006

Like the rest of the house, when we moved in it was a white room with polystyrene white anaglypta wallpaper hiding artexed walls. The ceiling had the York Cottage signature Christmas cake icing artex, however it was a good size.
September 2010

We soon realised that the dining room more hallway than dining room. It was the connecting point of the house which you had to walk through to go anywhere. We decided that it would be good to eventually have a seperate dining room that isn't part of the hallway. As part of the lounge renovation and creation of the music room I blocked in the doorway. Eventually I will re-arrange the kitchen to complete the creation of a separate dining room. I installed a heating vent in the ceiling to get some heat into the room.

October 2010

The radiators were removed from the walls leaving awful torn and dirty wallpaper. No decoration planned in this room for a while yet so we have to put up with it for now.

October 2012

As the winter was coming soon we decided we must get some heating installed downstairs. It was so cold last year and only starting the fire made the area useable. During Karen's half term we cleared the contents of the room into the games room and took up the floor. We found another concrete block that once supported a fireplace, matching the old photos we have of the building which shows that there was once a chimney there. I broke up the concrete and put new floor beams and also found a large spider... Unperturbed I removed the old electrics including an old double socket which was live and laying on the dirt under the floor, then installed the new ring main and also a digital aerial cable.

November 2012

We continued at a pace to finish the room. Karen cut and screwed in place aluminium angle before we cut the celotex to create a new insulated base. We filled this with rockwool before laying the heat spreader plates and installing the pipes, fed through a hole in the wall from the Study. We eventually got this completed and I then installed a new floor while Karen went to the lake to swim. We put the furniture back ready for having our children and grandson over for Christmas day.

January 2014

Unable to work outside on the patio due to the appalling weather we decided to begin a new project, so set to the dining room. We removed the arches and the breakfast bar, the plan being to build the partition wall and create a self-contained room. However, things were not quite as they seemed from the old photos. The huge oak pillar that we knew was in the middle of the room was not actually supporting anything as we had expected. Instead it was simply decorative so removal should be simple, however the steel beam that spanned the room to support the upstairs floor was slightly bowed but also supported by brick pillars either side which are in the way for our planned layout. This means we need to replace the beam with a longer one one that complies with today's building regulations. We also found that there was a huge wooden beam next to it that supports the kitchen ceiling, which used to be a flat roof extension. So before we can simply build a stud partition wall to create a dining room we have to invest in a new support and remove all the kitchen ceiling. Why can't anything be simple in this house? At the end of the month I removed the supporting beams and we arranged for a structural engineer to come in and inspect the steel beam. On the morning he was due to arrive I removed some of the bricks to reveal the ends of the beam. I found that one end sits on the supporting pillar by only 35mm. I also cut out some of the plasterboard to reveal some of the studwork by the cupboard under the stairs..

February 2014

I removed the plasterboard from the boxing under the stairs to find that it was purely "decorative", so I removed all the wooden frame. I also found a spotlight hidden above that they obviously no longer wanted, so instead of disconnecting it they simple left it in the ceiling. It was still wired up but no longer live, along with two other wires dangling down inside the stud wall. I then removed the wall which formed part of the hallway, piece by piece, until I had revealed a single supporting beam. All of the rest has now been removed. I removed the flooring and cut out sections where the wall will be built.

March 2014

I started the job of building a new dining room wall and cutting out the ceiling ready to support the upstairs while we replace the bent supporting beam. I corrected the dining room lighting and put in the cabling ready for a new hall light.

April 2014

I continued to build the stud walls to create a self contained dining room, with an archway into the hall. Having just come back from our 10th anniversary driving adventure around Portugal we decided that there were a few things we wanted to incorporate in the design, some alcoves in the wall to display bottles of wine and port (inspired by our stay at Quinta do Silval) and also a lit edge around the ceiling which we saw at a restaurant in Coimbra.

October 2014

I finally got started on the big job of pulling down the ceiling, something I have been putting off all year. Once the plasterboard was down I then had the job of cutting out the original beams which were seriously bowed. Of course this wasn't without issue! Some of the new joists that had been put in for the upstairs extension did not span the room so the fan in the eaves that blows hot air around the house had nothing to support it. So I had prop this up while I spanned the joists to provide support. I removed the electrics and put in new cables ready for the new lighting design.

Movember 2014

At the beginning of the month I put up a framework for the new ceiling with a gap around the edge ready for resessed lighting. Unfortunately the work then slowed down as I had a minor surgical proceedure on my leg which stopped me from bending my knee properly. I did manage to install the door liner and finish the plasterboarding while Karen stripped the walls ready for Jason to come and plaster the room. After only a few days the plaster was dry thanks to the underfloor heating and Karen then cracked on with the decoration, including a red ceiling also inspired by our Portugal trip. I put in the LED lighting around the edge so now I just need to hang the door and put in the oak floor.

December 2014

After much consideration we decided to put down laminate flooring rather than real wood because apparently laminate is better for underfloor heating and the joists would have been a problem. Karen cashed in all her savings to buy the expensive table she had wanted for a long time which was delivered before the laminate floor was laid. After my leg had healed I got on my hands and knees to lay the floor and fit the skirting which Karen had stained in readiness. After a long wait we finally got the door for the cupboard which I hung. The decoration of the room was finally ready for Christmas and we are very pleased with the result.

In January we added a few final touches like some pretend curtains which Karen made and the wine racks. Another room finished!