In the Spring of 2021, we drove down South to the Bristol area for a 3 week visit with family.
In Autumn of the previous year, Cal had worked in Bristol on a contract with his dad, and had planned on putting the van through its MOT (yearly roadworthy test) while he was down South. After failing the MOT, Cal had to abandon the van down South.
This was the deal of a lifetime! In recent years, reclaimed floorboards have become increasingly trendy - for good reason. They are much thicker than the floorboards being made these days, and the old pine was traditionally slow grown - a better quality than you would find today. They last a lifetime, and if your boards ever look tattered and worn, a quick sand and oil will bring them back to life. As people have started realising the true value of these boards, they have gone up in price - some reclaimed boards can go for more than a brand new floor. At a minimum, we had expected reclaimed boards - without any refurbishment - probably naily and in poor condition, to go for between £20-25/sqm.
With a brand new MOT, we went straight to London to pick up our flooring. We found out these boards had previously been used as racking in an old carpet factory - which meant they were barely worn, and they only had one or two nails in either end - rather than every 600mm, as one would expect from old floorboards.
With heafty fines for overloading a vehicle, we decided it was worth making two trips. The extra tank of fuel was well worth it - as we were saving thousands on our flooring budget (note, this was well before the fuel crisis). We made the second trip fun, by stopping by Hull on our way home, to visit family.
I was surprised by how monumental this progress felt. For the first time in the years we had owned Jameswood, we could finally walk around upstairs without the fear of falling through the floor. The visual progress that the flooring contributed to was immense. Even with stud walls still open, the flooring made the house feel homely.
Once the flooring was all in, it was time to move on to plasterboarding. With Cal working on clients’ carpentry projects to bring in some much needed cashflow, I took on this task with the help of our workaway volunteers. I Youtubed how to install the boards, taught my team, and we got to work. This was dusty, heavy work, but many hands make light work, and in another 6 weeks, we had managed to plasterboard the house. A neighbour, who we had leant some scaffolding to, offered us a plasterboard lift, which helped immensely with the ceiling boards. By the end of the summer, I was able to lift a whole sheet of plasterboard by myself - something that I had struggled to do at the start of this project. With plasterboard in, the house was really starting to look like a finished space. There was lots left to do, but we were starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel.
It was a sereal moment in the project, where at the beginning of the summer we didn’t have floors and stud walls stood skeleton-like in each apartment - we now had finished floors and rooms forming in our home.
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